10 Stats Every SME Needs to Know about Online Reviews

Posted 5 years ago in Small Business Tips
by Tim Chaves

What was good ole fashioned word of mouth is now the online review.  A critical part of the modern small business owner’s marketing strategy needs to be maintaining online review profiles and actively collecting feedback.

Let’s look at a few stats that prove this shift in consumer behavior.

10 Stats Every Small Business Owner Needs to Know about Online Reviews:

1. 97% of consumers look online for local businesses (Source: BrightLocal)

2. 73% of customers say that positive reviews make them trust a business more (Source: Statista)

3. Businesses can see revenue jump as much as 9% with each star increase in their rating (Source: BrightLocal)

4. 49% of people will skip over businesses with anything lower than four stars (Source: Forbes)

5. 91% of customers (aged 18-34) trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation (Source: BrightLocal)

6. 68% of millennials trust reviews more than any other form of marketing (Source: WebsiteBuilder)

7. 55% of consumers said that the number of reviews available on a product or service is important (Source: Statista)

8. 78% of respondents trusted a business more after seeing them respond to feedback (Source: ModernComment)

9. Only 12% of people say that they don’t pay much attention to online reviews (Source: Statista)

10. Consumers are likely to spend 31% more on products and services from businesses that have excellent reviews (Source: BrightLocal)

What does this mean for my small business?

As a small business owner, you are not a household brand, not yet at least.  Reviews are a great way to legitimize your business and get out of your own head.  Collecting and managing online reviews will allow you to get organic feedback about your product, helping you to track and drive growth simultaneously.  

Maintaining Review Profiles

If you haven’t already, make sure you have review profiles set up on each of the major feedback sites.  Google, Yelp and Facebook are still the top three, though some review sites vary by industry.  

Make sure your profiles are polished and accurate with a uniform logo.  Hours of operation, product descriptions and location addresses should all be up-to-date.  You’re unlikely to get a positive review if your customer can’t find you.

Respond to Negative Reviews

You can’t please everyone—and you really shouldn’t try to—but you can spin the negative to a positive.

Take the time to respond to negative feedback, always in a professional manner.  If you need to take some time to cool off before drafting your response, err on the side of caution.  Prioritize which comments need immediate feedback and resolve the issue as quickly as you can (ideally before you post your response).  Say “I’m sorry,” offer a refund and never blame the customer.

If you can do it right, it’s actually better to respond to complaints on your public review profile than in a private email.  

And while you’re at it, take a minute to respond to your positive reviewers!  A quick “Thank You” or “Hope to see you again soon!” will show potential customers that you’re not only focused on putting out fires, but you’re attentive to loyal customers as well.  

Read this blog post for more tips on responding to reviews–as well as some helpful templates.

Make it Easy

If you can make the review process as quick and painless as possible, you are more likely to get good reviews.  Consider purchasing software products (like Vendasta or ZipBooks) that collect reviews for you and track your progress.

Additionally, you can track feedback and engagement on social media and encourage loyal customers to share their reviews on yelp or google.  You could also try adding a button to your email signatures or website. Keep it neutral, “How was your experience?” or “Leave a review here”—this should be a one-click method.  Another option is the in-store review station or tablet.

Whatever you choose, keep it simple.  Don’t let the process of giving feedback leave your customer more frustrated with your service.

Let ZipBooks Help

Whether or not you are currently using our accounting software, ZipBooks Reviews and Growth platform will help you build online presence and word of mouth.  Our growth plans start at $49/month and are separate from our accounting subscription.

We monitor all stages of the review process and make it easy for your business to grow:

  • Track Feedback: Monitor your average ratings on popular review platforms and analyze changes over time
  • Generate Reviews: Simplify feedback collection by automatically sending text or email invites
  • Improve Your Rankings: Track keyword ranking and follow your upward movement
  • Local Listings: Make it easy for customers to find you by keeping listings up-to-date and in the right places
  • Share Your Success: Show off testimonials and overall star-rating on your site with a handy widget
  • Follow Up On Leads: Connect your listing to ZipBooks Pros in order to generate leads directly

You are passionate about your business and we are passionate about your success!  We want to get you more customers—and we can help you do that by mobilizing your online reviews.

About Tim

Tim is Founder and CEO of ZipBooks. He keeps his desk really nice and neat.

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