Get ready – some of the statistics I’m about to hit you with are likely to boggle your mind. If I didn’t read so many of these types of statistics – by different reputable sources – I’d have a hard time believing them too. The fact is, times are changing. If you don’t already focus on generating a large number of great reviews on Facebook, Google, and Yelp, you should start working on it today!!

Need a little push in the right direction? Here you go…

86% of consumers read the reviews of local businesses (95% of people between the ages of 18 and 34)

Okay, so this means that “reading reviews” isn’t a small fad that you can ignore until it goes away. You will actively be losing business if you have no (or bad!) online reviews. 

Consumers need to read approximately 10 online reviews before they feel able to trust a local business

Hmmm, so you can’t get a couple of people to write you reviews and then forget about this project. You need at least 10 in each venue. There’s also research that says that people only give weight to recent reviews… so that review from your mother in 2015 isn’t helping you very much (if at all).

Nearly 60% of consumers will only use a business that has 4 or more stars average in their online reviews

Oh dear! So, 3 stars is average. 4 stars is good. 5 stars is amazing! You have to position your business between Good and Amazing. You also need to get closer to Amazing because inevitably you’ll have a bummer customer (or more!) that gives you a 1 or 2 star review, so you need several 5 stars to cancel those out.

Is this easy? Nope. Does it take time? You bet!!

I believe that almost every 4+ star business puts effort into getting and keeping their ratings that high. You have a very high chance of getting a 1 or 2 star rater to change their rating to 4 or 5 stars if you acknowledge their issue, express your apologies, and invite them to return (for free). You can do this publicly or privately.

Speaking of that…

89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews. 

You should respond with excitement and gratitude to every 5 star review. You should response with horror and promises to fix for every 1 or 2 star review. Potential customers care that you care. They will see that management gives a hoot and this gives them trust and confidence that they’re dealing with a business with integrity.

Excited about these stats and want to learn more? Great, click here to see the survey (and you can see previous year surveys as well).