In the age of all things digital, let’s break down the importance of online reviews for businesses like ours.
Dr. Heingtes is by far the best doctor I have ever had! Her nurse is also so kind, responsive, and patient with my thousands of questions. I would highly recommend this practice! – Julie
Before the internet, “business reviews” consisted of friends discussing their favorite hair dressers and grocery stores over coffee or around the water cooler. In those pre-plugged-in days, if someone needed a plumber or electrician, they might ask a few friends for recommendations. But, more than likely, they’d open the phone book and start calling phone numbers, hoping for the best.
But, now that everyone’s got a computer in their pockets, business reviews are much more used and in demand, and they’re much more impactful to businesses of all kinds. A good business review might be seen by thousands of people, boosting sales and earning new customers. A bad review, however, can easily spiral out of control and cause costly damage to a business.
People Love to Give Their Opinions
We love telling friends and family how much we enjoyed a certain restaurant. And we love talking about how messy and unprofessional the cable guy was. And the lawnmower your cousin’s neighbor hired? He did a terrible job, and nobody should ever call him!
Words are powerful!
At AWH-Dallas, we love that many of our patients write glowing reviews of our doctors, staff and services. Kind words like these make us excited to get up and go to work each day.
But the negative reviews? While they’re rare, we take them extremely seriously, and we always respond to them and do our best to make the situation better.. Reviews are important to our business, as they tell us what we’re doing right and where we can improve.
Dr. Reyes is amazing and so is her assistant. They treat you really good and they also help you with any questions regarding your pregnancy, after care and as well if you have specific job requirements. They’re an amazing healthcare group would highly recommend. – Carla
Why Online Reviews Are Important to Businesses
In the United States, about 244 million people use social media, and more than one billion people use Google. Through these tools and others, online reviews have become crucial to the success and exposure of businesses. There are several popular apps specifically created for leaving reviews, such as Yelp.
Why do businesses push hard for you to positively review them? Here’s why:
- 63 percent of consumers are likely to check Google before visiting a business.
- Google reviews are usually the first thing a possible consumer sees when searching for a product.
- Positive reviews are on the rise.
- Customers are more likely to spend more money when the reviews are better.
- Reviews are virtual word of mouth rather than business advertising, and they appear trustworthy to the consumer.
Where Can Customers Leave Business Reviews?
The Internet offers a variety of platforms on which to leave reviews, including social media, Yelp and Google. Each is important for different reasons. Let’s break down the three most-common business review choices, in order of popularity:
- Google is the review site of choice for consumers.
- Google reviews show up quickly and easily when searching for businesses.
- Google has the shortest reviews – 4,000 character maximum – offering a quick experience.
- Facebook Reviews is the second most popular choice for reviews, but it’s seeing more growth than most options.
- This social network is at most people’s fingertips, easily available via app on many devices. So, it’s a popular place for reviews of all kinds of businesses.
- 45.18 percent of consumers will check Yelp before buying a product or visiting a business.
- Even with a decline in the length of reviews, Yelp can accommodate the longest reviews.
- Yelp requires an account to write a review, which makes people less likely to leave a review. However, negative experiences make people more likely to leave reviews and go through the work to do so. This makes Yelp’s reviews overall more negative.
The Impact of Negative Business Reviews
People who leave negative reviews of a business have more of an impact than some would realize. For example, 94 percent of consumers reported that a negative review convinced them to avoid a business. That is an extremely large number of people, enough to severely impact a business’s ability to gain new customers. Also, people are more likely to leave a negative review than a positive one, so oftentimes a business’s reviews don’t give a well-rounded view.
Therefore, AWH-Dallas asks customers to take a moment to consider a phone call before posting a negative review.
Things to Consider Before Leaving a Negative Review for a Business
- Would a phone call be more appropriate and effective? Perhaps management can quickly and easily resolve your issue.
- Would you make this complaint in person? It’s easy for people to find extra courage through the safety of a computer screen and keyboard. If you wouldn’t express your concern to management directly, please consider refraining from posting on a review platform. As we’ve explained, a complaint can easily and unfairly spiral out of proportion.
- Are you being driven by emotion? Before you leave a scathing online business review, walk away for 30 minutes. Take some deep breaths, take a walk, get something to drink and take time to really check your emotions. You might find that a quick phone call to the manager is a better course of action.
If customers do feel warranted in leaving a negative review, we urge them to keep another thing in mind: If the business rights the wrong, fixes the problem and does its best to satisfy the customer, it’s best practice for the customer to remove the negative review. At the very least, we hope the customer would leave a comment on the review stating that the issue was satisfactorily resolved. Again, words matter! A successfully mediated issue, seen by curious readers, might be the difference between new customers and missed opportunities.
Staying informed through business reviews is an important part of life, and it’s a valuable rating tool for businesses. So, the next time you have a wonderful experience at a business of any kind, take the time to leave a review. It makes more of an impact that you realize.
We’d love your positive review of your AWH-Dallas family!
Dr. Sigman is amazing. I wouldn’t want anyone else seeing me through my first pregnancy. All of the doctors of this practice are nice and professional. – Kristin