Customer reviews are an important aspect of any small business. In today’s world, they are more important than ever before. Technology and the Internet have made online reviews both easier and more popular.
We all experience the power of reviews in one way or another. Personally, I know they weigh heavily on my buying decisions. Every time I go to make a purchase online or look up a restaurant I look at the reviews first. I have also left my fair share of Yelp reviews, both positive and negative.
Below are some online review statistics from this infographic by Khusbu Shrestha and what they mean for your small business:
92% of consumers now read online reviews
This stat shows just how popular online reviews are. It also portrays how influential they are on consumers. If 92% of consumers are reading online reviews, it means they trust them. What they read about your business can make or break the buying decision. With such a large percentage reading reviews, it is extremely important that your small business has good ones.
88% trust reviews as much as personal recommendations
This shows once more how powerful reviews can be. Personal recommendations about a product or business are extremely influential. I know that whenever a friend or colleague recommends something to me I trust it more. The fact that 88% of people have the same amount of trust for online reviews shows just how important they are.
68% say positive reviews make them trust a local business more
Positive reviews are obviously very important for small business. They help generate more business. This large percentage means that you want to make sure customers are leaving positive reviews. To do that you need to ensure that customers have a positive experience. Make sure to deliver both quality products and customer service.
68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores
Just as positive reviews are important, so are negative reviews. It allows a potential customer to see both sides of the spectrum. We all make mistakes so seeing some negative reviews can make your business seem more relatable. While negative reviews are important, you want to make sure the positives outweigh the negatives. An Entrepreneur article discusses rules for influencing how customers will review your brand.
95% of consumers suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see bad scores
Negative reviews are inevitable. So having zero bad reviews means that potential clients are less likely to trust you. Personally, if I see no bad reviews I get suspicious and think the business probably deleted them. Bad reviews are also important because they can be used to a business’ advantage. They highlight issues that the business might be unaware of so they can fix them. Further, negative reviews give businesses a chance to show their customer service skills. How you handle a bad review can show potential customers that you truly care and lead them to trust you more.
26% of consumers say it’s important that a local business responds to its reviews
As mentioned above, responding to reviews is important. While 26% is not a very large percentage, it shows that some customers do pay attention to it. The way you handle a bad review can result in customers seeing it as a positive. When they look at your responses they get a sense of how your business will treat them. Whenever you get a positive review try to acknowledge and thank the customer. When you get a bad review, make sure to be very professional and try to resolve the issue entirely.
51% of consumers will select a local business if it has positive reviews
This is a very important stat for small business. Many small businesses rely on local customers. Positive reviews will help drive more local customers into your business. Try to get to know your regular customers. Making sure they have a great experience every time means they are more likely to recommend your business.
48% will visit a company’s website after reading positive reviews
This stat is key for online businesses. Being an online business means that driving traffic to your site is important. Positive reviews are a great way to do that. In order to get positive reviews, make sure you are delivering the quality products that your customers expect. Also, be sure to deliver high quality customer service to all customers.
40% of consumers form an opinion by reading just one to three reviews
Businesses need to keep this stat in mind when thinking about reviews. Sometimes a customer might just go look for one good and one bad review to weigh the difference. Other times, the consumer might just look at the last one to three reviews. While negative reviews are necessary, you wouldn’t want that customer to just see three of them in a row. It would most likely result in losing the customer. This is another reason why responding to customers is important. If they see that all three negative reviews were resolved in a kind and timely matter, they will be more likely to become a customer.
The above statistics show just how important online reviews have become. They paint a picture of your company through the customer’s eyes. Reviews can have a big effect on the success or failure of your small business. While it may seem difficult to handle online reviews, it is something that needs to be done. Handling reviews effectively can work wonders for your small business.
Feel free to let us know your strategies when it comes to online reviews in the comments below!