84% of Americans say online reviews have an influence on their decision to purchase a product or service. This is an important statistic that all businesses should be aware of. With the explosion of sites like Yelp and Angie's List, product reviews are everywhere for anyone to read. As business owners start to realize this, the need for reputation management services will grow. As the demand for these services rises, there will be “fly by night” companies that will emerge. These companies will guarantee that they can get “rid of” or “bury” negative reviews, but this is not something that is easily accomplished. Legitimate reputation management companies will help improve online reputation over time and will explore various tactics to be able to respond to negative reviews.
This article in Inc. Magazine dives into more detail about why investing in reputation management services will double over the next coming years.