Respond quickly to poor online reviews, survey urges

Posted on December 8, 2021

 

A study has found that the vast majority of customers will overlook a negative online review for a company if the business responds to it in a quick and satisfactory manner.

Research carried out by Kelton and commissioned by reviews website Yelp reveals the value of online reviews in 2021, with 7 out of 10 survey respondents saying they normally check a new business’ reviews before using it. However, the survey, which polled 1,500 American adults, also sheds light on some steps businesses should and should not take when seeking and managing their reviews.

Perhaps the main point for businesses to note is that an overwhelming 88% of respondents said a negative review would not stop them using a business if they could see that the business had been proactive in dealing with it. This shows that receiving a one-star or two-star review is not the end of the world, but that a timely, fair and visible response to it is crucial.

Ideally, a good response to a disappointing review may prompt the reviewer to revise their opinion of you and replace their review with a better one, but even if it doesn’t, it shows that you take dissatisfaction seriously and are making an effort to address the issue. We’ve written on how you can respond to bad reviews in a previous blog.

One of Yelp’s features that distinguishes it from other review sites is that it doesn’t allow businesses to ask for reviews, so it’s perhaps not surprising that Yelp wants to highlight that 50% of respondents said they don’t trust reviews when the business asks customers to leave one, while 64% think this tactic may lead to biased reviews. George Nguyen, writing for Search Engine Land, concludes that it’s “best to avoid” asking for reviews, noting that while Google does not forbid the practice in the same way as Yelp, it does have rules against discouraging users from leaving negative reviews.

Another interesting finding is that customers find written reviews more helpful and trustworthy than star reviews with no words, and 59% said that they trust reviews of 16 to 50 words the most. Reviews of over 50 words are deemed to be “long” by the study’s co-ordinators and were only favoured by 14% of respondents.

Of course, the best way to avoid negative reviews is to give your followers nothing to complain about. Online, that starts with a website that offers a great user experience, so speak to us at Engage Web for all your website and online marketing needs.

Content Team Leader at Engage Web
John works for Engage Web as a Content Team Leader and regularly contributes to the website and programmes of his beloved Chester F.C.
John Murray
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