Video: The Impact Of Online Reviews

COLUMBUS,Miss.(WCBI)—Things like finding a new restaurant or a decent hotel when out of town, would be a lot harder without online review sites.

Price and selection are no longer the deciding factors when making a purchase. In this age of technology, we also rely on the opinions of perfect strangers.

“With the change in the internet and the opportunity for so many people even that we don’t know to leave reviews, now we’re not only relying on a close circle of friends we are relying on a large gathering of people every time we make a decision,” said owner of Neon Frog Karen Stanley.

“I have gotten bad service at places that’s the main thing, that if I got bad service, I want other people to know you can get bad service there,”said consumer Carol Smith.

“Like over Christmas I buy things from Amazon and you read all the reviews and you get a better opinion of if the prices and performance is as advertised,”said consumer Roger Snyder.

Research shows that 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

“A lot of times you want to see if your getting your moneys worth for one thing. If I’m looking at a resort or something or a hotel places like that and people have negative reviews about it then I’m probably not going to check into that hotel,”said consumer Jonathan James.

In December 2016 there was a major breakthrough for consumers. President Obama signed the Consumer Fairness Review Act preventing businesses from using gag clauses or imposing fines.

Karen Stanley Owner of the marketing firm Neon Frog says this Act gives customers their voice back.

“In the past some consumers felt concerned or scared to leave a bad review because they weren’t sure how the company would retaliate against them. This new act has actually protected them and said you know you can’t threaten to sue someone for leaving a bad review because they truly had a bad experience.”

Tim Nolen owns Columbus Paper and Chemical. He says a swift response to a negative review can turn it into a positive experience.

“IF we have any negative comments we try to as soon as possible address them. We’ve got 10 salesmen that cover 150 mile radius of Columbus and we try to get to each customer and see why their upset did our delivery is it price or is it product,” said Columbus Paper and Chemical owner Tim Nolen

According to Google, Yelp and TripAdvisor are among the top 5 most popular review Websites.

Categories: Local News

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