Some of you may know that I have an online review management service that I offer small and mid-sized businesses, by which I allow them to get feedback from customers after a recent experience. If it’s positive, the system encourages them to post something online, but if not, be able to give organizations an opportunity to right the wrong before that individual decides to go and tell the world about their dissatisfaction.

I’ve been targeting veterinarians specifically and I got a really nasty response from a voicemail and an email I had left a clinic in the South Bay from the owner who basically told me how much the reviews were a scam and I shouldn’t be manipulating the system…yada, yada, yada. It was really entertaining. I get the idea that the guy is ticked off because a lot of people feel the same way, and maybe they’re right to some degree that some of them tend to be pay for plays and seem to manipulate the system, but whether you like it or not, consumers really do value the online reviews.

There’s a company called Invesp that posted a really good infographic. In it, the graphic cites that nine out of 10 consumers value online reviews as much as they do personal referrals. Consumers will likely to spend 31 percent, almost a third, more with an organization if they have positive reviews online. Moreover, 72 percent of consumers won’t actually take action to engage a company unless they have positive reviews.

Now here’s the flip side. A whopping 86 percent of consumers are actually going to hesitate if engaging an organization if they have a negative review. An increase of a Yelp review rating by one star can increase an organization’s business by between five and nine percent. Conversely, a negative review stands to lose that company an average of about 30 customers,

So, take heed. Get your customers to give you feedback about their recent experience and if positive, offer them an opportunity to post it online. If it wasn’t, try to do your best to fix that and remedy the problem so they don’t give you a negative review online. There are turnkey systems in place that can help you do that and there are people like me that can certainly support that, but whether you go with somebody or not, the point is that it doesn’t really matter whether you like or dislike the online review system. You’re going to have to deal with it.