Digital information is available with a few taps or swipes of a smartphone. Because of that, it’s easy to see we live in a digital world. People often use social media, search engines, or similar online sources to find out about companies. When they do, the results often go well for a company with positive reviews.

You know it’s good when your business receives a positive review. But why are reviews beneficial? Here is a closer look at why reviews matter. You’ll also learn what they can do for your business.

1. Boosting Your Online Presence and Rankings

Whether your company’s target audience is local, around the nation, or worldwide, reviews are beneficial. That's because Google and other search engines use ratings (among other things) when determining what companies to list in their search results or local directories.

When potential customers search for help from a company, search engine companies don’t want to show results featuring negatively reviewed businesses. For instance, someone searching for retractable reviews likely wants to learn what products or companies have positive online feedback. So, search engines provide results that meet a searcher’s criteria.

Getting online reviews isn’t only beneficial for web traffic. Social media websites like Facebook, Instagram, and others use algorithms designed to display relevant results to users. When someone needs a product or service, these platforms want to show highly-rated companies first.

Best of all, showing up in the top spot for these searches means more potential traffic. And more traffic could mean more sales and revenue.

2. Increasing Your Credibility

A potential risk associated with online shopping is identity theft. Since identity theft rates are up 300% since 2013, it’s easy to see why people are so cautious! No matter how safe a shopping experience you offer, some may not be ready to buy.

So, what could make these people change their minds? As you probably guessed, the answer is seeing reviews. Whether negative or positive, reviews are evidence that a business is legitimate. As more positive reviews appear, your business could build a continually growing customer base.

Another advantage of gaining online reviews is appearing more credible. If someone sees positive reviews when Googling your business, this person views your company as having a positive reputation. Reading negative reviews can cause someone to imagine a bad experience with your company.

For example, imagine that your company competes against two other local businesses. Let’s say your two competitors have over 100 Google reviews, and your business has zero reviews. Regardless of whether it’s true, most will feel companies with many reviews are more credible than those with none.

3. Encouraging Purchasing Decisions

It makes sense that people want the best product or service for their hard-earned money. Most people check reviews before they decide what to buy or who to buy from. Research from 2021 found that 98% of people consider reviews essential before buying a product or service online.

Whether you check Rotten Tomatoes before seeing a movie or reading an automotive blog before buying a new vehicle, it’s human nature to want a second opinion. People read reviews to learn what to expect from a company and what it offers.

4. Learning What’s Going Right or Wrong

Many business owners sometimes wish they had psychic abilities. Wouldn’t knowing what customers like or dislike about your business be incredible? Some savvy business leaders view reviews as the next best thing to reading customer’s minds.

Your company doesn’t need to spend thousands of dollars on expensive research partnerships. Whether someone had a good or bad experience with your business, the ones leaving reviews can provide valuable feedback. If you haven’t, closely read any online reviews of your business. Chances are, you’ll uncover valuable insights.

5. Getting a Chance to Talk to Customers

Online reviews are also great ways to interact with your customers. Thanking a customer for leaving a review can go a long way towards strengthening the customer-company bond. Being responsive to reviews also shows your company values its customers' opinions.

But what about those not-so-positive reviews mentioned earlier? As tempting as it can feel to respond negatively to bad reviews, that’s rarely a good move. Remembering that anyone can see a company’s review-related responses, being mean to an unhappy customer can lead to online blowback.

Instead, it’s best to respond kindly to most bad reviews. You could use this opportunity to win over an unhappy customer. But there’s nothing wrong with politely defending yourself if the subject of a negative review wasn’t your company’s fault.

Continue offering great customer service, and you should gain many positive reviews. If you’re not getting enough reviews or none at all, send a short email asking for customer reviews. A steady stream of positive reviews can take your business to new heights in time!

Author's Bio: 

Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about business, home, health and wellness.