The era of word-of-mouth marketing or mouth referrals is almost over, which is advantageous for businesses because these can be difficult to control. It is now solely up to companies to shape the information about their online reputation that will appear to the public. Actively managing their online reputation is necessary because it builds trust with their customers and acquires new prospects.

Consumers nowadays usually turn to digital when making a purchasing decision instead of getting a referral from a companion. It is why customer ratings and reviews are more important than ever. A customer’s purchasing decision changes when he/she looks at the online reputation of a business. Customers will most likely choose to buy from a company with higher ratings and better reviews than a business with a mediocre online reputation.

Before we proceed with the discussion, let us first define customer ratings and customer reviews. Customer ratings are scores in stars, one star being the lowest and five stars being the highest. In contrast, customer reviews are ratings with text-written opinions about their experiences with a company or its products and services. These are usually seen together, but sometimes, customers only leave star ratings. Setting aside their differences, both are still highly important because these are elements of reputation management with a high impact. These dictate the online reputation of a company. Therefore, customer reviews should be positive and plentiful.

Let us now move on to the benefits of customer reviews:

Positive customer reviews help businesses rank higher in search engines, which increases their online visibility. If so, potential customers will most likely click on your website or web page before a competitor’s.

Plentiful customer reviews help prospects make an informed and confident buying decision because it gives a brand credibility and social proof. Potential customers get to weigh out the pros and cons of a product or service before purchasing from a brand.

Customer reviews also help with customer engagement because viewers or prospects can build an emotional connection with a brand when they get information about experiences from a brand and opinions about a brand. Allowing customers to write their reviews can also create customer loyalty because they feel a sense of acknowledgment from your company.

Feedback from customer reviews helps improve the customer service system and quality of products and services because companies can better understand what a customer truly wants and how customers feel about the overall experience from making a purchase.

The online reputation of a brand is an essential part of achieving success in a competitive market. Therefore, the need to have a space for customer reviews is rising. If you are not currently generating customer reviews, what are your waiting for?