The internet has brought a big impact on people’s lives. From the convenience of buying necessities at home to researching business ideas in Thailand are now all at individuals’ fingertips. With the emergence of online platforms, customers can easily share their experiences with the brand in just a few clicks – from social media to blogs and forums. In short, online reviews are the new word-of-mouth since it persuades potential customers with their purchasing decisions. Not only that, reviews can help entrepreneurs develop their brand and attract potential customers while educating themselves on the strategies on how to grow and improve their businesses.
Who Reads Online Reviews?
Every consumer is reading online reviews. In fact, according to the Local Consumer Review Survey, in the year 2020, 91% of consumers read online reviews regularly or occasionally, and 84% of consumers trust reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Especially when the COVID-19 pandemic has shut many local and international startup businesses, customers were forced to choose a business in different ways – they have become more skeptical when it comes to purchasing habits. So, do online reviews matter?
The answer is a strong YES!
However, some business owners aren’t paying much attention to online reviews. To them, customers can think whatever they want to think about their business, and that’s it. Other entrepreneurs are well-aware that reviews can attract potential customers but disregarding their importance in sales & marketing tactics and not being concerned about any negative reviews or even any suspicion about their credibility – and these are all a recipe for disaster. One of the biggest mistakes an entrepreneur can make is neglecting the vital element which is the online reviews. In today’s competitive digital world, reviews can make or break a company’s online presence, and entrepreneurs can’t afford to neglect them. When managing a business, apart from hiring a business consultant, every owner should learn and understand why online reviews matter in business. Here’s why:
Costumers Read Online Reviews Before Any Purchasing Decisions
One of the reasons why entrepreneurs, especially those who are setting up a business in Thailand, should never ignore online reviews is the fact that so many people around the world read them. Since people are skeptical when it comes to online purchases and want assurance before committing to a particular brand, they rely on online review sites to learn all they can about a certain product or service. By reading online reviews, it gives them more confidence in their purchasing decisions. Good online reviews can also help strengthen a brand’s credibility and reliability, resulting in more sales which come from an increase in conversion rate.
Online Reviews Build Trust
In business, it always boils down to the fact that people choose brands they trust. A consumer will naturally engage with a brand if they know that other people have already made the purchase or experience the service and been extensively reviewed, as opposed to those that have not. Costumers need to trust that the product or service they are about to buy will deliver everything they expected. Trust that their money is secure with the company. Trust that the product will be delivered on time and in one piece. And if purchasing a service, trust that everything will be carried out as described. Online reviews are one of those ways a business startup can use to build their brand’s trust scores.
Online Reviews Create Reputation
An online reputation can make or break a business. If a brand lacks a positive reputation, it’s easy for potential buyers to go to its competitor that has gained a positive reputation by earning its consumers’ trust. Regardless of the type of business in Thailand entrepreneurs have, they should know that creating and maintaining a good reputation isn’t an overnight achievement. To achieve a good brand reputation that leads to referrals, they need to amplify the voice of their customers and build a culture where reviews are considered valuable. Whatever people say about a brand can create a massive impact on digital marketing strategies. That means positive online reviews and high ratings will make their business look more attractive, while negative comments can drive potential customers away.
Online Reviews Can Help Fix Problems
Every business startup aims to have positive reviews, but entrepreneurs should also acknowledge that having negative reviews is inevitable. Although bad reviews can be devastating, it is always not the case. Entrepreneurs can use them in their favor and take it as a chance to know about their problems with their business and fix them. Some businesses wouldn’t know a problem exist until a negative review comes in. Whenever there is a problem, it is better to know about it as soon as possible or seek help from a business startup advisor before it turns away other customers. Studies have shown that customers with negative reviews return to a business after their complaints were resolved. Fortunately, entrepreneurs can respond to a negative review and tell their customers that the issue was fixed.
Online Reviews Boost Visibility
Every online review is an opportunity to surge a startup business’s visibility. The more online reviews a business has, the more it can maximize its online presence. High-quality, positive reviews from customers will improve the business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a new customer will also engage with the business. Keep in mind that businesses with the most reviews are going to get more attention both digitally and physically than those with brands with very few reviews.
However, although online reviews can get a couple of views and conversions, entrepreneurs should aim for more consistent visibility. One way they can do this is to proactively reach out to their customers and ask for reviews, which will also be a big help in improving their sales & marketing strategy. And to achieve sustainable online reviews, the best habit they can adopt is by engaging with their reviewers. Entrepreneurs should take the time to read and respond to as many reviews as possible. They can thank those customers who leave positive remarks and respond to even negative reviews in a patient and conciliatory manner. The more they engage the more visible they become to their repeat buyers as well as their new potential customers.
Online reviews are potentially one of the most powerful tools any business startup can employ and any consumer can support. Remember that customers talk and listen. With everyone reading and making decisions based upon reviews from other customers, it is important to consider that online reviews play a significant role in growing a business, creating new opportunities for businesses to develop relationships with customers.
Every business cannot please everyone, resulting in negative reviews – and that’s okay! While it is easy to be worried about customers quickly becoming critics, entrepreneurs have to recognize that online reviews are generally good for business. Having negative and positive reviews makes a business look legitimate, and having quality responses to reviews shows that a business cares about its customers. They are also a great source of learning that helps every entrepreneur deliver experiences that delight customers and keep them coming back for more.