Why Are Online Reviews Important To A Business?

In the age of information, millions of businesses are competing on the internet in order to be seen, and even then that’s not enough. Gone are the days when a business directly advertising to it’s target audience and the most visible was chosen. A web presence for a business only promises that customers have a viable way to read your mission statements, what you can do for them, and ultimately who you are. So what exactly is making customers so hesitant?

Well for one thing, with so many competing businesses, customers are using the internet as a tool to compare prices, location, and most importantly what other people who have used your business are saying about you; yes , you heard that right, customers are writing detailed (and sometimes not so detailed) reviews about the quality of your business services, good or bad, and many are not afraid to voice their opinion. Websites such as Yelp.com and Google.com have now implemented strategies to have the business with the most projected quality be the most visible on the front page. The higher the visibility of the business and the higher the review, the more likely a customer is to use that  business’ services. How likely? According to Gallup around 82% percent of consumers are reading reviews in order to make a final decision–that is a pretty hefty margin when you consider that 8 out of 10 businesses will pass over your services if the reviews are unfavorable or your rating is mediocre.

Just having a website and bidding for keywords are no longer enough. Ratings and reviews have literally become deal breakers and it’s the difference between whether your business is rewarded for quality, or passively glanced over and heading over to your competition.

If you are having issues with customers leaving negative reviews or deeming your business “mediocre”, all hope is not lost, it will just take more attention and awareness to fix the problem. Once your reviews have become favorable (4.5 stars or higher), you will notice a drastic change in the amount of traffic you are getting and you will eventually have potential customers banging on your virtual door for your business. Remember, the best form of marketing is “word-of-mouth”, and with products and services being purchased every day, as a business owner in 2013 it’s absolutely crucial to have favorable ratings and reviews, or they will take their business elsewhere.

That being said, what are customers saying about your business?

Stay tuned for the next article on how to improve your ratings and reviews.