Why Are Online Reviews Important?

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March 27, 2017

Posted By: Alyssa Serres

It doesn’t take a business degree to know that what your customers think about you matters and this concept has never been more tangible than it is today. In a world where word-of-mouth travels from Melbourne to Miami, Minneapolis, and Mumbai with the swipe of a finger, the power of the review is insurmountable. It directs nearly every buyer decision and can spell big trouble for your business if you’re not paying attention.

The Power Of a Review
Reviews are not new to business; they’ve been a sounding board for success since the first day of opening. Before the internet, most reviews were performed by professionals and published in various publications. These valued opinions guided hungry people to new restaurants, wary patients to the best doctors, and choosy consumers to new stores. Reviews were also provided interpersonally through friends and family. Today, instead of just listening to what Anthony Bourdain or your Aunt Lucille has to say about a certain eatery, we pull out our phones to see what hundreds of other people experienced before we make our decision.

According to Yext, an award-winning location cloud service, 90% of all customers are impacted by the reviews they see. This means that many of your customers have already done their homework before they even walk into your place of business. More important than seeing what hours you operate is what other people think of your business in the form of reviews. From reviews they can see if your shop/practice/restaurant is worth their time or if they should stick to shopping on Amazon, their same old doctor, or their tried and true hole-in-the-wall pizzeria. You’re up against some stiff competition, but by utilizing the power of the review you can turn the tables in your favor and boost the success of your business.

If you are not managing your reviews or treating them with a, “haters gonna hate” attitude you could be costing yourself precious business. With 87% of consumers refusing to patron a business with low reviews and 44% paying close attention to the quality of reviews the prosperity of your business could depend on those borderline anonymous opinions.

Where Digital Reviews Come From
Customers, clients, and patients have two outlets for posting their reviews. The best reviews will be posted on your business’s website. These are known as first party reviews. They are the best because they are aggregated by you. You can ask your clients or customers to provide reviews, which you then vet and place on your website. These flattering reviews keep viewers on your website for longer, but most consumers will go looking for more.

Reviews can also be posted on third party sites like Yelp, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and the list goes on and on. These third-party reviews are factored into your search ranking, and can do some serious damage to your visibility on sites like Google if mismanaged or are nonexistent. The difficult part about these reviews is that they may not always be favorable. However, how you manage and respond to bad reviews can say much more about your company than the review itself ever could.

Reviews and Your Business
If you’re seeing a dip in business and can’t figure out where it stems from, go take a look at your online reviews. If you don’t have any, you may not be visible to your customers. Both in terms of actual website visibility and by the 87% of customers who won’t even look at businesses without reviews. World wide word-of-mouth communication is influencing every sector of business and how you treat this important customer interaction can have an immense impact on your searchability and success.