As our society becomes more digital and the crippling fear of actual face to face human interaction becomes more pervasive, online reviews are becoming more prevalent to a business’s success. In the good old days, you might work up the courage to ask a coworker for a restaurant recommendation, but now there’s way too much social anxiety involved with that, so people rely on reviews.
All social commentary aside, online reviews really do have a huge impact on a business and consumers place a massive value on reviews. BrightLocal recently did an in-depth case study on how consumers view reviews and they best way for businesses to get reviews.
The seven biggest takeaways from this study are:
- 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
- 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review for a business if they’re asked to
- 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business
- 54% of people will visit the website after reading positive reviews
- 73% of consumers think that reviews older than 3 months are no longer relevant
- 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more
- 58% of consumers say that the star rating of a business is most important
Numbers 1, 2, and 5 seemed the most interesting to us, so we dived a little deeper into the case study to get more info.
1- This is great news for anyone with 4 stars and up review. The majority people seem to accept reviews as the gospel truth. However, consumers are savvy to fake reviews. So if you only have six five star reviews, people might be a bit skeptical.
2- Possibly the most encouraging takeaway. This is great evidence that you should be asking for reviews when you know you satisfied a customer. It’s best to directly, without asking or saying anything else. For example: if you send a follow up email with the purpose of getting reviews, don’t ask the customer to schedule their next appointment or try to sell another product, just ask for the review, include the link and end the email.
5- When I first read the report, this one surprised me the most. I typically don’t even look at the date of a review, but clearly I’ in the minority on that one. It goes to show that gathering reviews has to be an ongoing process. You can’t just get 100 reviews and then stop.
Reviews have power, both positive and negative, so don’t underestimate them and make sure you have a plan to gather as many as possible.