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According to Forbes, Old customer service advice warns a happy customer will only tell a couple of people about their pleasant experience with your company, but an angry customer will tell nearly a dozen.

This adage is still true but, from my perspective, the internet has upped the ante. Now, while happy customers might leave a review, unhappy customers will almost definitely leave a bad review on any number of online review sites — potentially reaching thousands of buyers.

When customers are faced with a decision between one company and another, those reviews often play a big role in their decision making.

The Case For Customer Reviews

study published in the European Journal of Marketing found both negative and positive emotions were contagious by studying 95 consumers’ perceptions of a brand after exposure to reviews. The participants were college students who received extra credit for their participation, and they identified as individuals who used social media regularly and were familiar with consumer-created content.

The conclusions imply that a company can benefit or fail by online reviews, and enough bad reviews can result in the death of a business by a thousand tiny cuts. More importantly, the study states, “Consumer-to-consumer opinions tend to be perceived as more credible, influential and objective than company-sponsored messages, which means they are playing a critical role in marketing practice.”

Reviews matter to your customers and to the future of your business.