As marketers, it is important to understand consumer usage and attitudes towards online reviews. The latest statistics and trends, which have been compressed into an infographic by Invesp, show that 90% of consumers read online reviews and 88% of them trust the online reviews as much as personal recommendations. In other words, more people read reviews as part of their pre-purchase research before buying a product or service.

The Importance Of Online Customer ReviewsInfographic source

It is also interesting to note that excellent reviews on your website can influence customers to spend more. According to Marketing land, customers say that they are likely to spend 31% more if they read excellent reviews. Moreover, 72% of customers say they trust a business more if they read positive reviews about the business.

86% of consumers will decide against buying from you if they read negative reviews about you online. Thus, any negative reviews are likely to adversely affect the business and in turn, this will cause a dip in revenue. This just shows just how critical positive reviews are for a business and it is clear reputational management is something businesses need to take very seriously.

The infographic furthers shows that reliability (27%), expertise 21%), and professionalism (18%) are the top 3 important traits customers look for when making a buying decision.

However, it must be noted that an average consumer will not just read one review and make a buying decision. 89% of consumers say they read more than 2 reviews. If we may break it down a bit, 24% read between 2-3 reviews, 32% read 4-6 reviews and 18% read 7-10 reviews. Those who read more than 11 reviews constitute 15%. Thus trust is largely dependent on the number of reviews being read. The more positive reviews you have accumulated online, the better your chances of converting more customers are.

A research conducted on yelp shows that 98% of users have made a purchase at a business they found on Yelp simply because Yelp contains customer reviews. Another interesting piece of information for marketers is that a negative review can cost you an average of 30 customers if Yelp reviews trends are anything to go by. Likewise, a one-star increase in positive reviews will result in 5-9% increase in business revenue.

Now that it is clear negative reviews are detrimental to your business, it is important that you device ways of dealing with them. Here are few tips on how to deal with negative reviews:

  • Respond promptly to negative reviews. Your response should be polite and not defensive.
  • Genuinely admitting your mistakes and promising to correct them will earn you trust and respect from users. Don’t make the mistake of denying.
  • If there are inaccuracies in customer review, point them out and correct them. You can also call the customer to offer further explanation.
  • Encourage your most loyal and satisfied customers to make reviews. More positive reviews will neutralize unwarranted reviews, which are sometimes inevitable.