Online reviews are more important than ever.
In fact, new research from the 2020 State of Reviews report by Podium confirms consumers are analyzing and reading reviews more than EVER before.
This makes sense.
We trust real people more than ever. And consumers trust companies and organizations less.
The pandemic has brought great uncertainty, and online reviews are the deciding factor when making the decision of whether to go to a local business, make a purchase online, or select a competitor.
The message is clear: if you’re selling to consumers, you need to encourage and manage your customer reviews.
I want you to download the entire report and see for yourself. Need to get your boss or colleagues on board with your customer review strategy? Please send it to them too. This is the most important research you will read this year.
Here are my favorite customer review statistics from Podium’s fantastic 2020 State of Reviews report.
31% of consumers say they are more likely to look at a local business’s Google listing before visiting it than they were pre-COVID.
Encouraging and replying to reviews is an incredible opportunity to grow your business NOW.
Half of consumers are reading reviews to validate local businesses’ safety practices.
Most businesses have communicated safety practices via email and on their website. But as you are probably aware, the safety practices are not always followed or enforced, so customers are confirming the safety of businesses by checking reviews and photos in advance. Pandemic time is the best time to get your review strategy in place.
Approximately half of consumers are willing to travel farther and pay more in order to patronize a business with higher reviews.
Consumers are willing to pay more if a business has positive reviews. Incredible. Customer reviews can make price irrelevant.
Most consumers have read a review in the past week.
In fact, 23% of consumers have read an online review in the LAST DAY. Reviews are here to stay, and this number will only continue to increase.
28% of consumers say they have looked up a business’s reviews while standing or being parked right outside to decide if they should go in or not.
Yes, checks out. I do this all the time.
Whether you’re a small business owner or enterprise managing multiple locations, encouraging and managing local reviews is NOT optional. How sad would it be to scare a customer away when they’re 20 feet away from your business?
92% of consumers say they will not consider buying from a business with a 1 or 2-star rating.
As if local businesses don’t have it hard enough these days, not having a customer review strategy can spell disaster.
Only 24% of businesses respond to negative reviews all the time.
The premise of my book, Hug Your Haters, is that responding to your most vocal, negative customers can turn them into your most vocal, happy customers. I’d wager to say responding to negative reviews is more important than responding to positive reviews. Make THAT your priority.
Encourage your customers to leave online reviews by texting them.
The state of online reviews paints a clear picture: reviews are more important than ever. Make it super easy for customers to leave a review on the websites that matter most. The best way to do this is by texting them with a local messaging platform like Podium.
And make sure to reply and engage with those customers. They’re relying on reviews to make decisions about your business — you should use customer reviews to grow yours.
If you haven’t already, download the full 2020 State of Reviews Report now. It’s the best piece of content on customer reviews you’ll read all year.
Podium is a Convince & Convert partner and client.