Online reviews are an assessment of your business, whether from a customer, another outside resource, or even yourself.
Reviews are such an important part of your business and can literally make or break you.
A recent survey from the online department at Gallup stated that 82% of all consumers purchase after they’ve gone online and researched what other people are saying about that particular product or business.
That means 82% of people place a high weight in what other people are saying about a business.
Increased Sales – The biggest reason why online reviews are important to businesses is that ultimately it increases sales by giving consumers the information they need to make the decision to purchase a product or service from a business.
Online reviews allow you to better understand your consumers and can tell you whether you are doing a good job or what you are doing wrong and how to improve your service.
These reviews do more than just create a better relationships between your business and your consumers, they work towards improving your websites ranking on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and increase the trust and authority of your website. If you have a local service business, yelp.com may be your best source of customer referrals.
Consumers who take the time to leave you an online review are far more likely to feel a certain loyalty to your business, refer their friends and keep coming back year after year.
Many times the review pages can become active social communities where your customers will leave reviews and keep coming back to see if their friends have made comments on their reviews or added their own opinion. Reviews are social, and people love to read unbiased feedback about a company.
Having negative reviews does not matter, as long as you quickly respond to them and make sure any problem is resolved. No company is perfect and if a potential customer can see you respond positively and proactively to criticism and difficult situations this will increase their trust in you.
Copious reviews do your marketing for you and can become micro marketing campaigns that keep working long after the online review has been posted. Reviews on a well trafficked website like Yelp are a constant positive image to potential consumers and create a continual brand awareness that works for you and requires no effort.
Reviews breed more reviews, and if people see you have a page with active feedback they are much more likely to jump in to the conversation, which has a compound effect to increase your credibility.
Your need reviews to rise above your competition and drive those customers back to your website.