Three Quarters of Consumers Are Willing to Change Negative Reviews — But Only if Your Business Responds 

review response

If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you might have caught our recent post covering the 2023 edition of BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey, where we went over some key statistics the research revealed about online reviews. For example, BrightLocal’s team discovered that 88% of people “are likely to use a business if they can see the business owner responds to all reviews,” which has huge implications for brands across industries. 

This week, we’re looking at another recent survey about consumer attitudes toward online reviews, delivering even more insights to your business. This time, the data comes from local SEO platform Chatmeter, which studied more than 1,350 consumers for its survey, Top Ways Consumers Show Brand Love in 2023: Insights Into the Modern Online Dialogue. As Chatmeter summarized the findings, “Customers see online reviews as a two-way dialogue and want brands to participate.” 

We encourage you to check out the full survey here. Let’s look at some of the findings in detail and break down what they might mean for your business. 

How Monitoring and Responding to Reviews Drives More Revenue to Your Business 

The survey was conducted in January 2023 and included a total of 1,369 participants. All of the survey respondents had “used a review to help in the decision-making process” about a business, and the vast majority — more than 94% — had written their own review during the previous 12 months. 

According to the survey findings, “Over 89% of respondents use online reviews to evaluate quality, and over 67% see it as an important part of deciding what to buy.” That’s roughly on track with BrightLocal’s research, which found that “98% of consumers used the internet to find information about local businesses in 2022” — higher than 89%, but in both cases, representative of the overwhelming majority of respondents. Chatmeter’s survey also found that “81.7% of respondents are frequent readers of online reviews,” while “35.6% reported that they are frequent posters”: more than a third of consumers. 

When it came to factors that reviewers cared most about, both the quantity and recency of reviews scored high marks. 

A total of 25% of the survey’s participants said they “want[ed] to see more than 20 reviews in the last two months in order to build trust and [for that brand to] have influence,” which underscores the importance of ensuring your business is actively requesting and gathering reviews. Having recent reviews is also crucial, with more than half of the survey respondents (56%) indicating that “reviews need to be posted within the past month to be trusted as relevant.” By comparison, only a tiny sliver of the respondents — 6% — felt that “when a review is posted doesn’t matter.” 

review reply

The survey also looked at consumer attitudes toward review responsesarguably the most important data for business owners, who, after all, have significantly more control over the responses they write than the reviews they receive

For example, the survey found that “76% [of consumers] would update their negative review to a neutral or positive if a company acknowledged and fixed the complaint,” suggesting that, in as many as three quarters of all cases, a well-managed response could make the difference between 1 or 2 stars and 3, 4, or potentially even 5 stars — not to mention the night-and-day difference in the sentiment or tone of the review, which Yelp’s data shows is actually more important to people than a star rating. In roughly 11% of cases, Chatmeter found, the reviewer would even be willing to “go back and delete that negative review entirely.” 

Interestingly, in BrightLocal’s survey, the number two most likely reason why a customer would leave a review was that they “initially had a negative experience that was turned into a very positive experience” later. This was surpassed only by situations where “the business went above and beyond” to make sure that the customer enjoyed “an exceptional experience.” 

Statistics like these demonstrate how businesses can leverage negative reviews to their benefit — and why even bad reviews should be embraced as opportunities for connecting with customers and inspiring trust in your brand

Build Trust and Boost Visibility with Our Online Review Management Platform 

As the researchers emphasized, “[Online] reviews greatly influence a consumer’s decision-making process — and ultimately a brand’s success.” 

That’s a financial reality we’ve seen reflected time and time again in countless ways, whether it’s the impacts that reviews have on your local rankings and web traffic, to your ability to attract and convert customers, to your likelihood of standing out from competitors or scoring repeat business

Brands can achieve better business outcomes in all of these areas by actively collecting, managing, and responding to their reviews. As the data increasingly shows us with each passing year and survey, online review management is an effective strategy for improving customer satisfaction, boosting the visibility and growth of your company, and ultimately, increasing your bottom-line revenue. 

Discover why more than 10,000 brands trust our powerful dashboard and expert response scribes to monitor, manage, and respond to their online ratings and reviews across 125+ platforms, including Yelp, Google, and Facebook.  Book your demo today. 

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