STUDY: Majority of Consumers Feel Leveraging Online Reviews Is Key to Brand Image

Don't fear bad reviews; utilize them!

It’s no surprise that consumers often take online reviews into account when making purchasing decisions, but a new study reveals that taking proactive measures to leverage information gleaned from online reviews (rather than a more reactionary approach) can positively impact brand image, customer satisfaction, and even employee morale.

According to the survey from “enterprise diagnostic solutions” firm Goodsnitch, the vast majority of consumers (nearly nine in 10 Americans, or 89 percent) believe companies should use both negative and positive customer feedback to enhance/refine products and services.

Some other key takeaways from the survey include:

  • 85 percent say that knowing a business has received positive feedback makes them more likely to purchase that company’s products or services.
  • Of 51 percent who have ever written online reviews for businesses, products or services, the vast majority (82 percent) wrote both negative and positive reviews.
  • More than seven in 10 Americans (73 percent) believe it is important to write online reviews for local businesses.

Further, 86 percent of those polled feel that companies should regularly do more to publicly recognize individual employees for their outstanding performance. Not only would this boost employee morale and reward good work, but it shows customers that their feedback matters, not only when it’s negative, but also what it’s positive.

“It is encouraging to see that recognizing good employees is top of mind for the vast majority of consumers,” said Rob Pace, founder of Goodsnitch, in a news release. “Businesses have the opportunity to use consumer feedback and recognition to improve products and services as well as strengthen employee morale and organizational cultures.”

So, while brands’ reacting to online reviews with either grateful or apologetic comments is certainly a good start, it’s time for companies to think bigger; by using online feedback to better serve customers and cultivate stronger cultures, brands no longer need to live in fear of a bad review.

It’s like that old adage says: when they throw rocks at you, use them as stepping stones.