- Survey finds that customers are increasingly likely to check reviews before deciding whether to patronize a new business
- Nine out of 10 were more likely to trust a written review than a star rating with no write-up
- However, the survey also identified risks in urging customers to leave a review
Summary by Dirk Langeveld
Online reviews have become increasingly important in helping consumers decide whether or not to patronize a business for the first time, according to a recent survey. The poll also finds that people are more likely to trust written reviews rather than simple star ratings.
The survey of 1,500 Americans, commissioned for Yelp, found that seven out of 10 rarely decided to check out a new business without checking the reviews first. Three out of four said they are reading more reviews now than they have in the past.
Nearly all – 97 percent – considered a written review alongside a star rating as the best type of review. Nine out of 10 were more likely to trust a written review than a star review with no write-up.
One factor influencing these perceptions is a business’s ability to respond to complaints brought up in negative reviews. Eighty-eight percent said they would be likely to forgive a negative review if the business addressed the customer’s complaint.
- The average respondent looked at five reviews before deciding whether to patronize a business
- Both customers and business owners favored written reviews of between 16 and 50 words
- The survey also identified risks in urging customers to leave a review; 64 percent said they thought reviews contributed at the request of the business were biased, and half did not trust a review if they knew that the business asked the customer to leave it
- 71 percent agreed that they would still leave a review of a business if it compensated them with a discount or other perk, and 21 percent agreed that they would be more likely to leave positive feedback if the business asked for a review