The survey, which polled over 1,000 Americans of varying ages, looked at what percentage of consumer left reviews, read reviews, and let reviews influence them. While the results shouldn’t be surprising to anyone in the marketing industry, they certainly help to prove the point that reviews are vital for the success of a business, especially with Google My Business’ new carousel review feature.
How Consumers Read Reviews
Over 80% of consumers read reviews for local businesses, with younger generations being more likely to consult online reviews. They spend an average of about 13 minutes reading reviews before making a decision, with 18-34 year-olds taking upwards of 18 minutes and 55+ year-olds taking under 10 minutes.
As expected, good reviews are good. 91% of consumers responded that positive reviews make them more likely to use a business. Similarly, 82% said that negative reviews make them less likely to use a business.
This is especially telling, considering 76% of total consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from family and friends. The level of trust increases with younger audiences, with 41% of 18-34 year olds saying they always trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Of course, consumers don’t always trust every review they see. Some factors they pay attention to beyond the content include:
- Star rating
- Number of reviews
- Business responses
The general consensus is that reviews over three months old are no longer relevant.
Consumers are particularly worried about fake reviews, with 82% claiming to have read at least one fake review in the past year. The increased number from 2018 suggests that there are either more fake reviews online than before or consumers are simply becoming savvier to them. Either way, you want to keep them off your platforms.
Responding to Reviews
Responding as a business owner may seem unnecessary and time-consuming, but is worth it. 71% of consumers responded that they were more likely to use a business if they had seen that the business had responded to reviews. This is an easy way to maintain control of your reviews and your image while still allowing your customer’s voice to be heard.
One of the best ways to control your online presence is by asking your clients to leave reviews. Of the 67% of consumers asked to leave a review, 76% left a review. 33% of consumers were never asked to leave a review. That 33% is a huge missed opportunity for businesses, especially with so many options for reaching out to consumers.
Businesses reached out to customers in a number of ways, including:
- During the sale;
- In a follow-up email;
- Over the phone;
- On a receipt;
- In an SMS message;
- In exchange for a discount; and
- On a business card
Managing Your Reviews
Reviews are your opportunity to build your community around your clients. By responding to their comments, asking them to write reviews, and making accounts on multiple platforms you are setting yourself up for success.
If you feel like your law firm could use some help with your reviews, contact Mockingbird. Reputation management is just one of our specialized services.