These statistics are for the US market but the sentiment can be equally applied here in Australia. More and more consumers search online when looking for businesses, and the most trusted information they seek is customer reviews. They’re having a huge impact on thousands of businesss on Word Of Mouth Online. See the comments from Australian businesses using online reviews as a core part of their marketing here.
By connect hereon June 20, 2012,
We typically think of customer feedback with that old wives tale in mind – “a happy customer might tell 1 or 2 people but an unhappy customer will tell 5 or more”. But actual experience with over 200,000 online reviews shows us that reviewer behaviour is quite different. In fact, on WOMO.com.au, 79% of reviews are positive with only 7% being negative and the remaining 14% being neutral.
Many businesses are afraid to seek customer feedback, despite the well-known SEO benefits and the huge impact that a strong online reputation has on businesses. The reason? They are afraid that a vocal minority of hard-to-please customers will be the only ones to review them. But this simply is not true.
If anything, it seems that happy customers are much more likely to be vocal online and share their positive experiences with others. Customers seem quite aware that their ratings and comments are public and permanent. They respect the fact that their review becomes are key part of what others know about the business and therefore are far more likely to review the businesses they love.
We’ve seen over and over again the difference that as few as 5-10 positive reviews can have on small businesses and often the results are phenomenal. Negative reviews are extremely rare and once a business has accumulated a bank of positive reviews, their impact is minimal (see also our tips for dealing with negative reviews). Customers are smart and when choosing a business, they look for the overall feedback – not the one or two rogue reviews.