Who are the Consumers of Online Reviews?

Today, there are thousands of business review sites and the fact that new sites keep emerging means that there is an essential service they are offering. With the internet available all over the world, reviews posted about a business become available to a global audience. Reviews are taken very seriously by customers and the majority of shoppers today will not make a purchasing decision before reading a review. The kind of info that people search for online is really widespread. People visiting a new city or country will naturally read whatever reviews they can get about the airline they intend to use and the hotel they will stay in. That is the reason why sites like TripAdvisor get millions of visitors each day.
Besides hotels and airlines, some other businesses that are heavily reviewed include guest houses and medical practices. Before a customer makes a decision whether to do business with a particular company, many are reported to read as many as 10 reviews. For the US and Canada, the heaviest users of online reviews are people in their 40s and if your business targets people in this age group you’ll be invisible to them unless there are reviews on your business.

They also write reviews
While most people read reviews written on review sites, a good percentage also write reviews. While the percentage of writing consumers is lower than the readers, it is still a sizeable number and research shows that it could be as high as 25%. The biggest contributors are people in their 30s and they could either post their comments on review sites or on blogs. Again, hotels and holiday destinations are the most reviewed businesses. Reviews also cover a really wide range of businesses and goes on to include reviews of books, movies and electronics.

The weight of reviews
When you consider that more than 90% of people base their buying decisions on reviews they have read, the importance of reviews cannot be emphasized enough. Whatever promotional efforts a company makes might count for nothing if it does not have a good amount of positive reviews. For most people, the experiences of past customers are the best indicator of the services offered by a company.
While positive reviews are great and desirable, a mixture of both positive and negative reviews works just as well. In fact, some companies have been able to turn negative reviews to their advantage.…

Tips for Dealing with Online Reviews

Tips for Dealing with Online Reviews
The modern business needs to have an online presence for it to succeed. But whether you maintain an online presence or not, it is important to remember that people will always discuss your business and it therefore helps that you are also present to give your opinions when people talk about your business.
Joining a business review site benefits a business in very many ways. Of course we always want people to post positive reviews but the reality is that an occasional negative review is inevitable. Reviews are taken very seriously by other customers and whenever your business is reviewed you need to think carefully about how to respond.

Decide whether you need to respond
While you must make every effort to respond to customer reviews, sometimes it might not be necessary. If, for instance, you have received many positive reviews, responding to each and every review might actually hurt your business. You’ll not only be creating an un-called for information overload but some clients might actually view those reviews suspiciously. Negative reviews can certainly hurt a business and you also need to make a sober decision on whether to respond or not. If a complaint has been raised by a regular commentator or customer, such complaints should be addressed. You must also respond when the complaint is raised on a popular site where it will be read by many current or potential customers.
Some reviews however are best ignored. If, for instance you can tell that the complaint has been manufactured by your competitors or some disgruntled employee, responding to such a review could do more harm than good. If the writer of the review uses clearly abusive language or publishes the comments on one of those low quality and obscure sites, such reviews should also be ignored.

What should your response contain?
Once you decide that you are going to respond to a review, you need to take time to craft a response that won’t hurt your business. If you are the victim of a negative review, your response must never be negative.  Start by introducing yourself to the reviewer and thank him or her for not only using your business but also for the feedback. Offer a sincere apology and also explain the situation as you understand it. Since the client got a less than satisfactory experience, offer some remedial action if possible. If, for instance, you are hotel owner and the client has complained about the quality of food on a particular day, explain what the problem could have been and assure the client that this is not always the case. Inviting the customer to visit you again (and probably offering a free meal) could resolve the issue.…

This Months Reviews

Reviews are an important part of business.  On both sides of the ball it helps the customer to find good reputable company’s when wanting to purchase a product or services.  If the company has a bad reputation reviews are a perfect way to determine this.  Some reviews may be made up to damage a company.  This too can be rebuked, if there are many good reviews to go along with one or even two bad reviews, a smart person can see what’s happening.  If the company is a bad company trust me they will have plenty of bad reviews and maybe some made up good ones.  It’s a system that is very hard to cheat.

On the other side, reviews help the business owner when capturing an undecided customer.  A company that takes the time to ask for reviews from their customer may take time in the beginning but will pay off very dearly in the end.  There are many places to leave reviews like Angies list, City Search, Google Plus, Yelp and many more.  Some people set up review sites like the one you’re on right now.

This month we have two company’s we’d like to review.  The first company is a little company specializing in the best tasting Pies.  One of Chicago’s very own we are proud to give a five star review to Hoosier Moma Pie Company.  All their pies are made by hand and they take great pride in the ingredients.  They have been making pie for over 8 years and the recipe is passed down from a long line of professional pie makers.  Having two locations one in Chicago and the other in Evanston we are just a hop skip and jump away.  Visit us online for some free recipe’s and maybe just to say hi.

Apple Pie

Apple Pie was always my favorite as a kid.  I remember my grandma’s apple pie and then my mothers same recipe much later in life.  There’s nothing better than a slice of warm Apple Pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Our second review goes across the country to a Spokane Heating Company we accidentally ran into.  I was visiting my parents and their furnace went out.  It was in the middle of winter and very cold out.  My parents are both elderly so there was some concern on how this would effect their health.  Thinking to go put them up in a hotel until someone could get over and fix it we called a company.  The owner answered the phone and ensured me he could come right now.  He showed up within an hour and diagnosed it.

The news wasn’t good, one of the main boards had gone out and it would require a $600 repair.  I was very surprised when he said he understood with the cold weather this would need to be done right away, if he could run back to the office and grab the necessary parts he would fix it that day.  Astonished over his nice personality and great customer service, it didn’t end there.  He was back within another hour then had it fixed within a total of 3 hours.  Did I mention this all took place on a Sunday.  He joked about how if he hurried he would make it back to catch the last five minutes of the football game.  What a sweetheart!!…