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The mantra of businesses with demonstrated success is simple: “You are only as awesome as your reputation”.

It is not how you package your goods. It is not how you price your goods. The bottom line rests in the ability of your organization to create a perception of value, validated by consistent experiences among all customers.

In short, you can’t put lipstick on a bulldog and expect to succeed and grow. According to a study conducted by ShareThis, a positive recommendation is more important to consumers than price and brand combined, with a relative importance of 57 percent for a recommendation, compared to 28 percent for price and 16 percent for brand.

According to Kurt Abrahamson, CEO of ShareThis, “There’s no question consumers are actively looking online for recommendations and content to help them decide what to buy”.

A Shared Positive Recommendation Gives Your Price up to 9.5% Upward Elasticity

Consumers seldom welcome random price increases not aligned with inflationary trends. On the other hand, a product or service with a high volume of endorsements, recommendations, and online reviews acquires an inherent increase in desirability, allowing the merchant to push the price up and increase their margin.

Finding ways to generate more reviews just might be the thing to do in order to increase your margin, without reducing the quality of your goods or services or looking for other means to control the expenses associated with delivering a high quality product or customer experience.

Your Review Website Presence

When optimizing your review management strategy, you need to make sure you are including opportunities for engagement in community-driven recommendation-based review sites such as Yelp, Google, and Facebook. A customer’s likelihood of purchasing your goods or services increases exponentially if the positive feedback is pushed via a relational share. A relational positive review is the equivalent of a word-of-mouth recommendation.

A Significant Advantage for High Engagement Urban Businesses

If your business happens to be in a densely populated urban area, you are likely to have an advantage in terms of online engagement, shares, and recommendations on most review websites that allow for social interaction. While it is tempting to abhor Yelpers, these individuals have the potential of becoming your best brand advocates if handled well.

Don’t miss out, and make it a point to engage with them via personable review responses that take into account their influence as movers and shakers of review sites, without overdoing it or conveying a lesser level of engagement with other reviewers.  

If you are not yet on board in establishing an intentional review monitoring and reputation management program, you are missing out on significant opportunities for increased profitability. Establishing disciplined cycles of product and service delivery, in tandem with a strong online engagement strategy, is a must. Your online business reputation strategy should take into account review sites, social media websites and the crux where both types of platforms meet. As features are added and integrations take place, it is likely that every single review site will eventually have enhanced sharing capabilities, and in it there is a superior opportunity for your organization to prosper.

Crystal Shuller

Crystal is the Director of Customer Happiness for ReviewTrackers. She's known around the office for E-mails that make everyone smile, and she has a bag of tricks and tips to help businesses solve their problems and delight their customers.

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