Reviews have become an integral part of any business’ online presence. From Yelp to eCommerce, the way past customers have rated your company, facilities, and products will have a powerful impact on how your future customers and even un-converted leads will make decisions. Whether you are a brand-new startup or a well-established industry giant, online ratings can now make or break any modern company. Here are the top three reasons why:

#1. Clearly Displayed Value

In the era of social media and smart phones, almost anything can be rated using either the stars or ‘thumbs’ systems, and the results of these ratings are prominently displayed. Potential customers, even those who might love your products or services, will instinctively veer away from anything with too many negative reviews in favor of something highly rated. It doesn’t matter how many comparative reviews there are, higher stars almost always win.

#2. Customers Trust Each Other

After years of intrusive promotions, customers have come to trust each other more than the companies they are choosing between. Ratings and reviews are how they can double-confirm if a company or venue is enjoyable and provides a reasonable value. But, is also a medium where they warn away others after having a bad experience in order to save future readers from the similar unpleasantness.

#3. Reviews Are Now Expected

Ratings and reviews are vitally important to lead and customer responses and negative reviews will undeniably damage your customer base and public relations. Rather than hide from the risks, the best way to deal with the reality of reviews is to embrace it. Integrate product reviews into your own website and work hard to provide high-quality products, services, and customer relations. Even if you’re not yet the top of your industry, reviewing customers often give bonus points for genuine effort.
Now that reviews are absolutely everywhere and provided for everything from dog toys to SaaS services, a complete lack of reviews is often more suspicious than a mixed bag of ratings. In the customer’s eye, this usually means that a company previously received bad reviews and has simply wiped the records rather than face the consequences of low stars.