Managing online customer reviews

Customer opinions have always had the potential to influence other people's attitudes towards a business. In the past, these opinions were communicated mostly by word of mouth.

But the internet has given customer opinions mass exposure. Millions of customers now post reviews of goods and services on websites, blogs and other social media. And millions of people read them. Research shows that positive online reviews increase the likelihood of customers using your business, while negative reviews reduce it.

Customer reviews are posted on:

  • general review sites (e.g. Yelp, Product Review)
  • specialised review sites (e.g. Zomato, TripAdvisor)
  • retailers' websites (e.g. Amazon)
  • personal blogs
  • other social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook).

This guide explains who reads and writes online reviews, their potential impact on your business, and how reviews can work for you — even when they're negative.