For all small to medium sized businesses, your reputation is your brand. You do not have control over your brand image. your customers do. They can either take your brand down or lift it up, and they do it with what they say about you online.
With the advent of the internet and businesses adopting it as a platform to reach their market, control moved from the company to the consumer. No longer could companies baffle the customer with BS. In many cases, the customer, with the ability to research online, approaches the company knowing more about his product or service than he does.
Google’s decision to feature reviews and review scores has further strengthen the consumer’s hand and challenged businesses to commit to providing better products and services. Those who fail to do this will be punished with negative reviews that adversely affect their ability to attract customers.
“What about those negative reviews that are not truthful” you ask.
“What about those companies manufacturing reviews?”
There is no doubt that reviews are going to become more and more prevalent and have a significant effect on a whether a business can use the power of the internet to attract customers and increase market share, or not.
As a business owner you can either take review marketing seriously now or allow your competition to establish a dominant presence on the internet and play catch-up later.