According to a survey conducted by Dimensional Research, an overwhelming 90 percent of respondents who recalled reading online reviews claimed that positive online reviews influenced buying decisions. 90 percent! If that isn’t enough to convince you to encourage online customer reviews, let’s talk about how BBB customer reviews compare to other review and rating sites such as Yelp, Trip Advisor, Manta, Merchant Circle, Angie’s List, Expedia, Google, and the list goes on.
More and more, the system of online reviews is being manipulated and that’s a problem for innocent people looking to get real, accurate information before they buy. BBB provides guidelines to help identify real reviews from fake or paid comments. Reviews are vetted by BBB team members (yes, a real person) before they are published online and reviewers, upon request, must be able to provide substantiation of the marketplace interactions.
So, what exactly happens when someone submits a customer review?
- BBB team members verify each customer review to determine that real marketplace interactions have occurred.
- The review is forwarded to the business, which is allowed the opportunity to confirm the reviewer as an actual customer.
- Both the business and reviewer have the opportunity to submit comments on the review.
- Inappropriate language and personal information like names, addresses and phone numbers are redacted to protect the privacy of the parties involved.
- The review is posted to the company’s BBB Business Review.
What are the options for businesses?
A business has three follow-up options once a review is received:
Accept without comment: If the business chooses to ignore the review, BBB will automatically publish it within three days.
Respond: If the business responds to the review, the response will be forwarded to the customer and both parties’ comments will be published.
Challenge: If the business challenges the review, BBB will alert the customer and request substantiation of the marketplace interaction.
The bottom line is that BBB customer reviews are vetted. Most other review sites cannot say the same. So, with over 2.3 million requests for BBB reports (business reviews) last year in Wisconsin alone, why aren’t you encouraging your customers to leave a positive review?