How does a consumer decide which business they will use? Well, people have always, and will continue to, buy goods and services from companies they trust and believe will do a great job for them… makes sense, right?

The big shift now is HOW THEY ARE FINDING those local businesses in Wichita and throughout Kansas.

They’re looking for the most reputable company, and more and more, they’re doing research online to determine it.  According to recent studies by Nielsen and Bright Local, more than 72% of consumers state positive customer reviews make them trust a business more and 65% say they are MORE LIKELY to use a business with positive reviews.

Due to that rising trust of online reviews and using them to form opinions (positive & negative) about a local business, Bright Local states bigstock-Tick-placed-in-a-new-hand-writ-51568750that small businesses “can’t afford to let their online reputation lie idle or unmanaged as a negative reputation will directly impact customer acquisition and ultimately revenue.”  And, positive reviews have a “real, actual impact on purchasing decisions.”

A business’s reputation is more public and more accessible than ever. Consumers are able determine much from the experiences of others and can judge a business before ever setting foot in the door or picking up the phone to call.

Even if a Kansas business owner has hundreds, or even thousands, of happy customers, unless they “voice” their positive experiences online through feedback and reviews, the “silence” could be costing the business big time.  Potential clients and customers will migrate to a competitor, who has more social proof about their goods and services.

Whether it’s a Wichita business, or elsewhere in Kansas, or even throughout the USA, how a company responds to public complaints and praise is immensely importance. Businesses need to act quickly and positively to show they listen and care about what their customers think about them.

Businesses make mistakes; bad experiences happen. That’s life. But, how a business handles those perceived negative issues is what determines the what type of business they are and gives consumers either concern or comfort about using them.

Making sure potential consumers know a local business is a market leader, through the online sharing of experiences by satisfied customers, can be extremely important and can have a huge impact on it’s bottom line.

How do you get your happy customers to share their feedback and help create social proof for your business? We’ll cover that in Part 2!

 

Clark Schafer is Chief Marketing Strategist at Strategic QB, a marketing consulting agency for local business. [fake-likebooster]

So what does your online reputation look like for your business? Find out by clicking HERE and downloading a FREE personalized report!