The other day, I was reading a post on a travel blog that talked about the way Google influences our purchases. In this case, they explained how they searched for an airline and saw that, even before clicking the first result, Google gave the following info:

  • Three stars out of five on TripAdvisor and two stars out of five (4/10) on Skytrax (a really bad first impression)
  • After clicking a few links and reading some reviews, they also visited Kayak (the travel search engine) and noticed that the airline had been assigned a score of 6.2.

They decided to check out a different airline and compare. This is what Google had to say:

  • 4.5 stars out of 5 on TripAdvisor and 4 stars out of five (8/10) on Skytrax

That was all they needed to at least consider paying 30% extra for a ticket with the second airline.

Online reputation… and Google

Online reputation is definitely key when we’re talking about companies, brands, and products. That’s why we have to be very careful when handling customer complaints because -unless they love your product or worship your brand- it’s really hard to get a 5 star review, even from a happy customer!

Also, you may think you’re doing a great job handling them face to face or even on social media but as you can see, Google doesn’t care: it will bury you from the start with those dreaded reviews from well-known sites like TripAdvisor even before a potential customer can click a link.

It’s interesting to consider how they influence our decisions and purchases because, after all, we’re all customers, and I bet you feel the same way when you’re searching for info on a particular brand or product. So remember not only to keep your customers happy (sometimes, you can’t help getting a few bad reviews from people who just want to hurt your brand) but also to keep an eye on your online reputation so you don’t miss any potential customers or purchases.

For more advice, check out How to make clients happy (and not die trying)