Do you know how much your online reviews are positively or negatively impacting your business? It turns out what people say about you online matters.
So in this article, we’re going to break down a few online review statistics and see how they affect your business. We’ll be looking at:
- How many customers actually read online reviews
- Online review statistics for positive reviews
- Online review statistics for negative reviews
- Why responding to reviews is so important for your company’s reputation
- 3 tools to monitor online review about your site
By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of how reviews impact your brand. You’ll also have more insight on how to manage your online reputation by responding to online reviews.
That way, you can make sure others are seeing your company in the best light.
Let’s dive in!
Do Consumers Really Read Online Reviews?
Way back before the internet, it was a lot easier for companies to produce and sell inferior products.
That’s because a few decades ago, companies controlled all the communication about whatever they were selling. They could advertise on television or in magazines to reach a wide audience.
But that same audience couldn’t speak up about their experience with a product outside a company’s support team.
If someone didn’t like your product 30 years ago, they could tell their friends and family. But beyond that, customers couldn’t share their thoughts about your product to a wider audience than their personal network.
Now, everything is different.
Customers can easily go online to talk about their experiences with your product. They can tell thousands of people about your business in a single Tweet.
Or they can hit any other social media platform and visit review sites like Yelp to tell other consumers how much they love (or hate) your business.
And what’s even more important, consumers are totally basing decisions about your company on these reviews. Hosting Tribunal sourced the following online review statistics:
- 72% of customers won’t take action until they read reviews
- 15% of users don’t trust businesses without reviews
- Local businesses have an average of 39 Google reviews
- A single business review can lift its conversions by 10%
- Online product reviews about a product can increase its conversion rate by more than 270%
What businesses are seeing is that online reviews are having a huge impact on how well you’re able to grow their audience. So here’s the question:
How much are you tracking these crucial reviews?
If you’re not monitoring how people are talking about you online, you should be. And if you don’t know how to start, no worries. We’ll give you some tools to monitor your brand’s reputation online.
But first, you need to be informed as to how online reviews are affecting your business. Let’s turn our attention to how positive reviews are helping companies bring in more clients.
Positive Online Review Statistics
Getting a good review online is always a nice confidence booster. If you own a business, you’ve likely been working incredibly hard to add value to your customer’s lives.
Reading about actual customer success with your product lets you know that you’re doing something right. But a good online review is more than just something to make you feel good.
It can actually bring in lots more profit.
Some online review statistics found via Qualtrics XM show that:
- A 1-star increase in Yelp rating leads to a 5-9% increase in revenue
- Customers are willing to spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews
- 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to purchase after reading a trusted review
And according to ReputationX:
- Positive reviews make 73% of consumers trust a local business more
- 49% of consumers need at least a four-star rating before they choose to use a business
The link between positive reviews and bringing in more clients is undeniable. And it makes sense.
Think about the last time you purchased something from Amazon or tried out a local restaurant. When you choose between two nearly identical products (or businesses) and one has a 3-star rating, but the other has a 5-star rating, which are you more likely to choose?
Chances are you’ll go for the higher-rated product every time. We naturally have a fear of missing out, so when we see loads of other people enjoying a product, we want in on the action.
At the end of the day, the more positive online reviews your company receives, the more likely you are to attract new customers to your business.
Getting a negative review about your company or product can be tough. You’ve spent so many hours trying to create something to help people, that any negative response feels like a personal attack.
But remember, there are tons of reasons why you may get a negative review.
Sometimes, we can be so close to our own product that we fail to see or acknowledge some of its flaws. In those cases, a negative review can be a good way to make improvements to your product.
Other times, we get customers who purchased something from our company with unrealistic expectations about its functionality. They either hadn’t researched what the product specifically does, or they had inaccurate information from a 3rd party.
And another possibility is the unfortunate reality of running a business: you simply can’t please everyone.
Some of your customers are just negative people, and there’s not much you can do about that. The real downside comes with how their negative reviews can actually harm your business.
Consider these negative online review statistics to see how negative reviews can keep you from growing:
- Only 13% of consumers will consider a business with 1 or 2 stars
- More than four negative reviews about a company or product may decrease sales by 70%
- Small businesses with a 1–1.5 rating on Google generate 33% less revenue than the average business
The bottom line? Bad reviews don’t just feel like a personal attack. They are a personal attack because they have a tangibly negative impact on your ability to generate revenue.
But there is a silver lining. Surprisingly, getting negative reviews isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, some negative reviews can actually have a positive impact on your sales:
- 52% of consumers trust a software product more if it has negative reviews as well
- Negative reviews can increase conversion by up to 85%
Marketing expert Neil Patel speculates as to why these negative reviews might encourage other consumers to use your product:
“Bad reviews give customers a sense of the worst-case scenario. They want to know what can go wrong to understand just how much it will matter to them.”
At the end of the day, the bad review gets rid of any “too good to be true” doubts. When every online review about your brand is a gushingly over the top 5-star rating, it can come off as fake social proof.
A bad review can bring a certain level of authenticity to your brand or product. But does that mean you should be happy about or encouraging bad reviews?
Instead, you simply need to learn how to respond to negative reviews in a tactful way.
Why It’s Crucial to Respond to Negative Online Reviews
It’s unfortunate that a lot of companies don’t really worry about their online reviews. Their logic is that everyone gets some good reviews and, of course, some bad reviews.
So when a company sees the good, they celebrate it by sharing with their team. When they get a bad review, they either ignore it, forget it, or attack it.
But the companies that make the most out of their online reviews will address it by responding to the client.
And companies who respond to those reviews in a tactful way often reap the rewards. Just check out these online review statistics for companies that respond to positive or negative reviews:
- Consumers find that businesses that respond to reviews are 1.7x more trustworthy than those who don’t
- Not responding to reviews can increase your customer churn by 15%
- 53% of customers expect their reviews to be responded to within an hour
- 57% of customers believe brands should respond to reviews on the weekends
Plus, Bryan Caplan suggests that over half of all consumers expect businesses to respond to negative online reviews within 7 days, but 63 percent say that a business has never responded to their review.
That’s 63% too much.
Especially since responding to negative reviews is so easy. We’ve already written extensively on how to respond to negative reviews. If you haven’t read the article, click here to check it out.
But if you’re in a rush, here’s the TL;DR:
- Don’t take it personally and acknowledge everyone gets negative reviews
- Respond as the business owner, even if you’re not
- Always respond, even if you’re super busy
- Make your response authentic and personal, as if you were talking with a grumpy friend
- Take the issue offline by offering to move the conversation to a private chat
- Take immediate action once you’ve told the visitor how you’ll fix their problem
- Follow up with the customer to ask for feedback or a testimonial on how well you handled their problem
The goal is to open the lines of communication and let the user know you are listening to them. That shows your clients that they aren’t just another metric in your customer relationship management system (CRM).
Instead, they’ll see that you treat them like a real human being.
And who knows? Maybe that one negative review will lead to a killer testimonial that drives even more traffic.
Ok, but now comes the real question: how on earth can you monitor all those online reviews. After all, you already have your hands full trying to run the day-to-day of your business without scouring Yelp and Google for new reviews.
Fortunately, there are some awesome reputation management tools you can use to help you out. Here are 3 tools we recommend you look into:
3 Tools to Monitor Your Online Reviews
One of the best tools for tracking any reviews online is Google Alerts. This is a free tool that lets you create daily alerts for any mentions of your brand online.
Simply enter the name of your brand in the search bar to see who is talking about you:
Then you can create a consistent alert to get those results emailed to you. The online downside is that it’s tough to filter the information out in an intelligent way.
Instead, it takes a bit of digging to find specific reviews about your site (rather than just mentions).
That said, it’s a free, easy tool to work with. If you’re a small business on a budget, Google Alerts is worth checking out.
ReviewPush is an excellent tool for companies with a budget for monitoring their online reputation. You can create alerts for over 20 different review sites and have them sent straight to your inbox.
You can also respond to those reviews directly from within your email alerts. That can help you avoid putting off the task and respond immediately. Finally, you can set up teamwide reports and give teamwide access to the online dashboard.
That helps when you have multiple people responsible for monitoring and responding to your online reviews.
The only downside is that it can get expensive. Their pricing does include a free trial, but after that, it’s $89 per month ($79 per month if you pay annually).
ChatMeter is another great tool for monitoring your online reviews. They have a cool Pulse feature that quickly analyzes what people are saying about your brand and makes all that information more approachable.
You can also monitor what people are saying about you on social media. So rather than only responding to comments on review sites like Yelp or Google, you can address what people are saying about you Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms as well.
Unfortunately, the pricing is only available through a consultation. That’s usually an indication that you’re looking at a pricier software. You can book a call to get a demo but, on the plus side, that comes with a free brand audit.
Today we’ve seen some online review statistics that show why you need to be taking your online reviews more seriously.
At the end of the day, these online reviews can positively or negatively impact your business. The result depends on how well you hand the reviews themselves.
And remember, even a negative review can have a positive effect on your revenue!
The goal of addressing and improving your online reviews is to harness the power of social proof. By showing that many other customers have loved your company enough to be vocal about it, you’ll be more likely to get even more business to follow.
At TrustPulse, we’re huge believers in the power of social proof. Why? Because we’ve seen how well it works.
Our positive action notification popups, for example, show your website’s visitors when people have purchased or signed up with your business. This small notification popup looks something like this:
And it’s been proven to increase sales by up to 15%.
So once you’ve nailed down your brand’s online reputation and are seeing those 5-star reviews pour in, check out other strategies for improving social proof. When you do, don’t be shy about your success.
Interested in exploring our positive action notification popups? Join the TrustPulse community today!