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Companies fight bad online reviews

Companies fight bad online reviews

By Andre Senior. CREATED Jul 12, 2012 - UPDATED: Jul 12, 2012

NAPLES, Fla. - Before spending money anywhere, many shoppers are first consulting online reviews. 

"I read reviews and other people read reviews," said Ft. Myers resident Wanda Batista.
It is an important step for Batista before doing business with any company, just like a recent experience.
"I looked up their beauty product. I ended up buying some brushes."
But the problems started several weeks after purchasing the product.
"The package came late. I was annoyed, really annoyed," she said. "I had a mindful to give them in my review."
Moments after posting the review, she received an email from the company asking her to remove the bad review and they would do something for her in exchange.
"I got an email from the company saying if I could take my review off I can get half of what I paid as a refund like as a bribe."
She ended up taking down her review, but says in hindsight she would not have done so because she thought every shopper should know about her experience.
Online reviews can have a big impact on a company's bottom line.
A Harvard study found that each ratings star on the website Yelp translated to a 5% to 9% effect on business.
"I had people come in and tell me about bad comments," said Nardo Foglia, owner of Taste of the Town Cheesesteaks in Cape Coral. "(They) come in and walk right back out."
Foglia reaches out to those customers and offers them incentives to come back.
"(I) talk to them to see that I’m genuine person to come back and I'll make it right."
But he says he has never asked a customer to take down their opinion...
The owner of Brooks Burgers in Naples says he takes the good with the bad and has this to say about unhappy customers.
"If you have a problem in a restaurant, we like to hear about it at the time that it happens."
For Wanda Batista, it continues to be the comments that will make or break her buying decision.
"I always try to pay more attention to the negative ones to see if there's anything there that applies to me."