Consumer Survey: 80% Say They Trust Online Reviews As Much As Personal Recommendations
A survey of 2,100 North American adults (90% from the U.S.) conducted earlier this year found that 80% said they trust online customer reviews as much as personal recommendations.
The Local Consumer Review Survey 2013 by SEO firm BrightLocal.com is an annual study into how consumer behavior is affected – or not – by online reviews. Other findings from the study:
95% searched online for a local business in the past month
85% read online reviews for local businesses
73% said positive reviews make them trust a business more
65% said they are more likely to use a business that has positive online reviews
The most important traits they look for in online reviews of a business are reliability, value, expertise and professionalism.
72% of consumers reported having recommended a local business by word of mouth (down from 78% last year), while 37% did so on Facebook (up from 32%).
Lee Rosen recently had a good post on his Divorce Discourse site about Helping Your Happy Clients Review You Online. It mentions a Canadian SEO company’s website that helps you generate a customized PDF that you can hand out to your happy clients to help them provide you with an online review (make sure this is permissible under your local ethics rules).
With the growing prevalence and popularity of online reviews, you would be doing your practice a grave disservice by not encouraging satisfied clients to provide you with a review online.