Make Online Reviews Work for You

Prof. Capizzani studies the impact of customers’ comments

11/04/2014 Barcelona

Make Online Reviews Work for You

"One of the worst experiences of my life." What would you do if a customer posted such a comment online about your business product or service? Ignore it? Admit fault? Challenge it as unfair and demand that the customer take it down?

For a business, reputation is everything, especially in an online world. Here, word of mouth spreads like wildfire; with just one click, a rant or rave reaches an audience of thousands or even millions.

While it takes more than one review to launch a business to success or trash it to oblivion, the impact of customer reviews cannot be shrugged off as irrelevant.

In the latest IESE Insight review, IESE’s Mario Capizzani – writing with Ravi Shanmugam, Edward F. McQuarrie and Shelby H. McIntyre of Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business – delves into the reviewsphere, and in particular the review site, Yelp, to build up a picture of who online reviewers are and what motivates them to write.

The authors observe certain status-seeking behavior on the part of some online reviewers, which they say represents an emergent property of consumer behavior in an online world, and one that is bound to become more pervasive.

Their article "How to Make Online Reviews Work for You" offers practical tips for engaging with this new breed of not-so-ordinary consumer. It deconstructs an online review to give readers pointers on how to convert the reviewsphere into a goldmine of consumer information and action.

Armed with this understanding of how the reviewsphere works, businesses will be in a much better position not only to engage with these sites, but to reap the benefits of what is undoubtedly a growing global phenomenon that is here to stay.

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If you are interested in having a deeper understanding of the role of customers in digital channels you should not miss the 1st E-commerce Meeting which IESE is organizing in Barcelona, on May 14th.