Reading Reviews Online – How Do They Impact Your Purchasing Decisions?
When was the last time you read a review of a product or business online? Did this review influence your final purchasing decision in any way?
Coming up ranked #1 in a local business Google search is great. It can mean more phone calls and more online leads resulting in more business. Or it can work against you.
Still being relatively new to the Fishers area I was searching online for a local medical doctor to visit. I will not mention any names or the particular type of doctor I was seeking. The first place I went, as always, was to Google. I did a Google search for this type of doctor – local search results and the continued #1 organic listing underneath both turned the same doctor’s office. I checked out the Web site, determined this would be a good place to start…but wait…I went back to the results page and noticed there were also 6 reviews of this particular doctor/medical practice. I went on to read all 6 reviews. They were horrible. 6 different people provided “one star” reviews and stated they would NEVER visit that particular doctor again. In their reviews, they cited everything from waiting hours to get in to see the actual doctor, to the doctor making them feel so bad that they left in tears.
Now it’s hard to say if all of these negative reviews were 100% authentic, but the fact that there were 6 of them with descriptive encounters was enough to influence my decision to continue looking for someone else. The sad thing is that this same turn of events is happening for a lot of businesses that are spending money and working so hard to rank high in Google search. What is even more sad is that most have them have no idea, or if they do, they are doing nothing about it.
Kevin Hood wrote a great blog post about the impact of a review he saw online while searching for a place to purchase a tailored suit in The Internet Reflects Your Business. While he stated that the likelihood of someone leaving a negative review is probably higher than someone leaving a positive review…the bottom line is the negative reviews still influenced his purchasing decision.
Think if this particular doctor’s offered a free service or 25% discount to 50 of its best patients just for doing an online review. By targeting your best patients, most of the reviews would be positive. 50 positive reviews vs. only 6 negative reviews certainly makes coming up #1 in Google even more powerful.
What do you think of this idea? How much do you weigh online reviews into your purchasing decisions?