NetReputation Harris Poll Reveals the Importance of a Positive Online Reputation

The NetReputation Harris Poll survey shows how online reputations are critical in decision-making processes for consumers, businesses, and individuals. 

If you have ever wondered what effect your online reputation has on other people, a new survey has revealed critical findings. 

In January and March 2022, NetReputation commissioned an online survey conducted by the Harris Poll. The survey asked participants for their thoughts about digital reputations and how the quality of a given online reputation may influence their decision-making processes. 

What survey participants said about online dating and consumer purchases reinforces the understanding that online reputations can help – or hinder – your ability to achieve personal and professional goals.

Online Dating and Negative Reputations

The Harris Poll survey commissioned by NetReputation asked survey participants about their likelihood of dating someone after finding online mugshots, criminal records, or arrest reports in search results. The survey revealed the following statistics:

  • Nearly three-quarters of survey participants – 73% – indicated that they would not date someone if they found that person’s criminal record or mugshot online. 
  • Two-thirds of participants, or just over 64% of participants, responding to the NetReputation Harris Poll survey stated that they use the internet for social networking.
  • 16% of survey participants use the internet to meet and connect with others for relationship building. 

It is likely that many people who visit dating sites may conduct informal background checks on the people they meet online. Negative information, including unflattering mugshots, arrest reports, criminal records, and negative news articles can all influence a person’s online reputation. 

If you are looking to start a relationship with someone else in the digital environment, having a positive online reputation can help to establish trust right off the bat. Can you afford to miss out on a new relationship because your mugshots or criminal reports are found in online search results?

How Bad Online Reviews Can Influence Purchasing Decisions

The NetReputation Harris Poll survey also asked participants about their buying habits, specifically how a company’s reviews or star ratings influence purchasing decisions.

The survey uncovered surprising findings that point to the value of a positive online review profile in building trust between companies and their customers. Consider the following results from the survey:

  • 76% (3 of every 4 survey participants) say they would not be likely to purchase a product or hire a company for service if that business had an online review rating of one star or less. 
  • Only 24% of Americans, on average, would make a purchase with a company with bad online reviews or ratings (one star or less). 

The results of this portion of the Harris Poll survey support findings from other consumer surveys. In a data study conducted by a leading customer experience firm, consumer purchasing habits indicated that the quality and quantity of online reviews had a major impact on whether or not a customer would do business with a given company. 

That 2022 consumer experience study showed:

  • A business risks the loss of as many as 22% of customers if just one negative review is found in online search results.
  • Three or more negative reviews about a business increase the potential for lost customers to nearly 60%.
  • A one-star decrease in online ratings, such as on review platforms like Yelp, can lead to a 5-9% decrease in revenue. 

It is clear from these studies that consumers evaluate a company’s online reputation before making purchasing decisions. With more and more people turning to the web to learn about businesses before making purchases, how is your company’s own reputation? 

Most Americans Not Concerned About Their Online Reputations

Despite the findings that show online reputations have an important influence on dating and shopping behaviors, the NetReputation Harris Poll survey offered an alarming look at the average American’s thoughts about digital reputations.

The survey’s participants indicated that a majority (71%) of Americans would not be concerned about their online reputations when looking for work. 

54% of the survey participants said they strongly disagreed with the idea that they should be concerned about the information that could be found in online searches when applying for new jobs.

Why are these statistics so alarming? Just as consumers use the web to learn about businesses, businesses use search engines like Google to learn about job applicants, loan applicants, and other companies they wish to do business with. In fact, many companies use Google to conduct informal background checks before making hiring decisions.

What those search results reveal can have powerful effects on whether or not you get the dream job you applied for. A positive reputation can open new doors of opportunity, while a negative online reputation can keep you from:

  • Being accepted into the school of your choice
  • Getting accepted to receive a home or vehicle loan
  • Securing a small business loan
  • Entering into a relationship with someone new

Time and again, studies have shown that your online reputation matters. People are searching for information about you online whether you like it or not; what they find can have positive – or negative – influences on their next actions.  Read more:

You can also read this: NetReputation Recognized among the Top 100 Companies on Clutch That Showcased Sustained Growth

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