Last Updated on March 14, 2023 by Allen
Before review websites and social media took the internet by storm, the only way people heard about new businesses was through traditional radio and TV advertising or word of mouth. Now, thanks to online reviews, everything from how a business treats its customers to the quality of their service is discoverable with a few clicks and taps on the keyboard.
Any reputation management strategy is incomplete without factoring in online reviews. They tell you how your business is faring and what you need to work on to improve your products and services. To illustrate just how important reviews are, consider the following stats:
- Online reviews have been a dominant factor for marketing success throughout 2017 and will continue to be a crucial one in the coming years – Source
- 48% of consumers need to see around 10 reviews before trusting a star rating – Source
On that note, here are some reasons why reviews are important for every reputation management strategy:
Reviews Keep You Visible
Reviews are an important part of the customer journey, as they help people find you online. Stats show that around 97% of consumers read reviews about local businesses.
This isn’t surprising when you think about it. In this digital age, reviews are useful in helping people find out everything, from eateries that are worth their money to travel agencies that offer the best packages to popular tourist destinations. Anything that can get them closer to getting what they want is worth its weight in gold.
Reviews are also a major factor in ranking for search engine results. A survey, titled 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors, from MOZ shows that online reviews make up 10% of how search engines rank online businesses.
Gauging Customer Experience
To illustrate how effective reviews are in gauging customer experiences, consider this: In a survey, 33.3% of respondents said that they would refuse to eat in a restaurant that had a 3-star rating on a 5-star scale on platforms like TripAdvisor, Google, and Yelp.
The fact of the matter is, reviews matter – a lot. They help you figure out what people think about your business and what they expect from you, not to mention that other consumers also judge your business based on these reviews. If they like what they see, they will explore further. If not, they will simply leave.
For example, negative reviews on websites, like Yelp and TripAdvisor, can cause businesses to lose customers overnight.
Gaining Customer Trust
Which business would you trust more?
- A business that has a 5-star rating on its Yelp business page?
- A business that has a 4-star rating and a negative review right at the top?
The answer is obvious. You would choose the business with great reviews and a stellar rating.
Keep in mind that consumers already know what they are looking for before they search for businesses that can potentially fulfill their wants and needs. Online reviews are what seal the deal for them. They might even come to trust a business that has a habit of responding to positive reviews, as well as, negative reviews.
A business’s reputation depends on how satisfied its customers are. And their satisfaction, or lack of, is reflected in online reviews. Businesses that hope to expand their reach should, therefore, consider making online reviews a part of their reputation management strategy.
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