SOURCE: Reputation Changer LLC
NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Sep 19, 2012) - Online review sites are constantly gaining in prominence and prestige, with Yelp.com leading the way; according to a recent report, the second quarter of 2012 found 78 million unique users consulting Yelp, searching a database of more than 30 million reviews of local businesses. Given how popular Yelp is, it makes sense that the site, and others like it, would be tremendously important in shaping consumer purchasing habits. The same report notes a recent study, which found that, for restaurants, online reviews can be make-or-break, and that even half a star can have a major impact on a business' fortune. This study has garnered the attention of Reputation Changer, a leading agency in the reputation management industry.
Reputation Changer has weighed in on the study with a new statement to the press. "What this article makes clear is that online reviews are not just a matter of ego or of vanity; for business owners, they are the difference between life and death," says Reputation Changer CEO Cliff Stein. "And that is true not only for restaurants, but for businesses of all kinds. Online review sites are the new word of mouth, and they have the power to either crush a business or propel it to success."
Stein explains why these online review sites have such tremendous impact. "Times are tough, and budgets are tight," he explains. "Consumers are looking for ways to save money, or at the very least to make sure they are using their money on goods and services that they will actually like. As such, they are more than willing to do their due diligence and check out products, companies, restaurants, and brands online."
If a consumer consults Google or an online review site and finds only positive information about a given business, that is obviously good news for the business, Stein says. Not all businesses are so lucky, and the consequences of bad reviews can be utterly devastating. "Reputation Changer has offered its reputation management services to a wide array of companies, many of them struggling against negative online reviews," he remarks. "These companies have been devastated by this bad press. They have experienced declining sales, they have lost customers, and they have even seen huge increases in chargebacks and refund requests."
Stein also cautions that no business can assume it is safe from negative reviews. "That might be the biggest mistake a business owner could make," he offers. "Just because your business is reputable and your products stellar, that does not mean that bad online reviews cannot happen to you. They may be fake reviews, planted by a business rival or even by an embittered ex-employee. It does not matter whether they are truthful; all that matters is the damage done."
Companies may not be able to prevent people from writing negative reviews, but they can work to minimize the damage by consulting a professional reputation management firm. "Reputation Changer has provided services to a wide range of companies, including Fortune 500 brands, small businesses, and everything in between," says Stein. "We have even helped legal firms and medical practices that have been afflicted with negative reviews."
Stein says that reputation management is a matter of presenting a client in the best possible light. "Our passion is for giving businesses control over how they are portrayed online, and for giving them the tools they need to strike back against dishonest or damaging reviews," he explains. "Ultimately, the goal is to suppress the negative listings and highlight content that is positive, and that helps our client to appeal to consumers."
Reputation Changer is widely heralded as the industry-leading reputation management firm. Founded in 2009, Reputation Changer's vision is for giving individuals and businesses control over how they are portrayed on the Internet. Reputation Changer's services include reputation monitoring, review suppression, brand enhancement, and more. Its client list includes Fortune 500 brands, small businesses, private citizens, and public figures, including elected officials.