Reputation management statistics show that a customer is 2.7 times more likely to purchase a product with five reviews than a product with none — meaning your online reviews directly influence your sales. As a business owner in any industry, you would never miss an opportunity to win new customers.
However, a robust review generation strategy benefits some industries more than others. For instance, customer-facing businesses such as restaurants and hotels and service-oriented businesses such as medical practices or repair services work with high volumes of clients and naturally have more reviews. If you own or manage a business in an industry that is customer-centric such as these, you need a specialized approach to online reviews to ensure your brand is represented accurately and positively.
The internet has quickly become a tool the majority of people rely on for their daily needs, news and communication. While the comfort and convenience of purchasing goods and services online steadily grows in appeal, the risk factor remains a valid concern among consumers.
And this is where online reputation management for business can help. You establish your brand credibility and offer social proof to your prospects and customers with improved customer reviews acquired through professional online reputation management for business.
In this blog, we identify 10 industries that need reputation management for business the most and the overall impact of online reviews. Read on to learn more about:
• Why businesses need online customer reviews
• Five online review statistics you need to know
• Top 10 industries most affected by online reviews
• Utilizing online reputation management for business success
Why Businesses Need Online Customer Reviews
Review platforms and social channels such as Google, Yelp, Facebook and TripAdvisor aggregate public customer reviews that consumers rely on for honest and impartial opinions to guide their purchase decisions.
Your business needs stellar online reviews to showcase your brand in the best light and positively influence your target audience to engage with you. Online reviews enable your prospects to experience your brand value through the testimonials of your customers.
Reputation management statistics show that 82 percent of consumers will read online reviews about a local business. Because looking for a review is the first step most of your target audience will take, you need an exceptional online reputation to convert searchers into leads and ultimately sales.
A customized approach to online reputation management for small business review acquisition is 100 percent necessary, and the following statistics do a great job of explaining why.
5 Online Review Statistics You Need to Know
Expertise in online reputation management for small business owners helps you build consumer trust, convince your target audience to engage and boost your rankings on local search engine results pages (SERPs). Research shows that review signals make up 15 percent of the Google Local 3-Pack ranking factors. Generating and responding to your reviews factor into making your brand more visible online.
BrightLocal shares five key online review statistics to prove it:
1. Ninety-three percent of people aged 35 to 54 read local business reviews.
2. Consumers read 10 reviews before beginning to trust a brand.
3. Ninety-seven percent read how businesses respond to reviews.
4. Only 53 percent would consider a brand with a less-than-4-star rating.
5. Eighty-seven percent of marketers say a positive reputation is critical to their success.
Top 10 Industries Most Affected by Online Reviews
According to recent studies, the number of digital buyers globally is expected to skyrocket to 2.14 billion people in 2021. Several reputation management statistics reflect the increasing impact of online reviews in generating sales. You need an industry-specific review generation and review monitoring strategy to keep up.
Here are the 10 industries most affected by online reviews:
Restaurants entertain customers non-stop. Restaurants require special attention and a hands-on management approach to maintain the best food quality and top-notch customer service. But restaurant owners must accept that it’s nearly impossible to prevent negative feedback — you can only manage it.
Because of how many people you serve, getting a bad review is as easy as getting a good review. But the right reputation management strategy can keep your negative feedback to a minimum and highlight your positive restaurant reviews. Research shows that a 1-star increase in Yelp rating leads to an increase in your restaurant’s revenue by up to nine percent.
Traditionally, potential diners would look to reviews to make up their minds about whether or not a restaurant has good food and service. But advances in technology and the restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic compelled restaurants to excel in a new area — food delivery services. And this has become a new aspect customers consider when choosing a restaurant.
The availability of delivery makes 67 percent of millennials more likely to choose your restaurant, and this same group makes up the majority that trusts online reviews.
You can impress your next generation of diners, capture a broader market and improve your restaurant reviews if you consider professional restaurant reputation management.
The Greek geographer Pausanias is said to have authored the first travel guide in the second century A.D. when he wrote about the stories of his native land. This is similar to TripAdvisor’s model today — aggregating crowd-sourced content primarily on travel destinations and serving as the go-to site for trusted hotel reviews.
Travelers generally want to know more about a place before deciding to reserve and book a trip. Your potential hotel guests want to hear about your past guest experiences to see if you’re the right fit to be their home away from home.
Take it from TripAdvisor’s statistics: 85 percent of its users agree the hotel reviews they read reflect their experience accurately and 52 percent would never book a hotel with no reviews.
During the recent pandemic, hotels needed to adapt to strict health protocols and it quickly became a standard of service. Travelers need assurance that health measures are in place and that they will be safe in your hotel. Your hotel reviews can prove exactly this if you employ a proactive hotel reputation management strategy.
For both in-store purchases and your eCommerce site, you need to win your customers’ trust and make sure they feel confident about choosing to buy your products. Retail product reviews provide an unbiased perspective that your customers appreciate. In fact, they could spend up to 31 percent more when you have positive reviews.
However, with the eCommerce space being highly accessible to anyone, scammers and dishonest sellers have invaded the online marketplace. One significant reason you need genuine online reviews is to prove your products are legitimate and worth the money.
A study by Spiegel Research Center found that reviews affect purchase likelihood for higher-priced products. When people consider spending a sizable amount, the decision is made with more thought. Displaying reviews increases the conversion rate of cheaper products by 190 percent, and this number jumps to 380 percent for more expensive products.
Online reviews benefit product sales in all categories, but you need a holistic retail companies reputation management strategy to sell your products at higher price points.
Finding a doctor in the past was limited to personal referrals, but nowadays most people are more likely to trust online medical reviews. In fact, 76 percent of people trust online doctor reviews as much as recommendations from family and friends. One of the many reasons you need comprehensive healthcare reputation management solutions.
A 2020 survey found that 90 percent of patients use online reviews to evaluate physicians. Google and Healthgrades are some of the top sites for online doctor reviews. Here’s the best news — patients generally leave positive medical reviews and favorable ratings. But no matter how few, negative reviews can result in a one-third drop in visits and calls. You need healthcare review management to maintain a positive reputation.
In the medical field, responding to negative feedback is extremely tricky because of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Its regulations prohibit patient information disclosure in any form — you cannot give any confirmation that your reviewer was your patient, nor any details about their visit.
When searching for a nearby dentist on Google, the one with the best dentist reviews is the top choice for 43.3 percent of people. The next-highest considerations are the proximity of the clinic and its ranking on search results. Positive dental reviews are vital to earning the trust of more patients.
As technology continues to advance, your potential patients’ requirements and preferences evolve. An emerging trend in the dental industry is in-house 3D printing that speeds up dental product production; another is the growing demand for all-natural and chemical-free oral hygiene products.
From the perspective of basic dental services, there is little that sets you apart from other dental practices. But recent and consistent dentist reviews can spotlight what makes you different. Dentist reputation management improves your dental reviews, makes you more visible locally and helps you meet your new patient goals.
Your potential clients rely on attorney reviews to decide on a lawyer. While your website might feature your biggest wins and high-profile clients, lawyer reviews give the most transparent and recent feedback on your services. Because legal matters can be highly sensitive, online reviews make for an easy and confidential way for potential clients to explore their options.
In your legal practice, no one can predict the outcome of your client engagements in and outside of the courtroom. So, your client relationships are mostly anchored on trust. Your past or current clients’ attorney reviews give your potential clients the most authentic testimonies on what it would be like to be represented by your firm.
It’s crucial to know that 70 percent of prospective clients would travel further to see an attorney with better lawyer reviews. Unlike many industries, proximity is not a top consideration. Forty-three percent of prospects say they use online reviews to research attorneys before choosing the law firm to legally represent them. If you have law firm reputation management you can beat your competitors and retain your existing clients.
Commiting to undergoing plastic surgery is a major life decision because of the obvious risks involved. Some cosmetic procedures are irreversible and there is no guarantee of a procedure being 100 percent successful. Your potential patients can’t test out the procedure, so reading up on plastic surgery reviews can give them the most accurate insights to manage their expectations.
Plastic surgery is still taboo for some people and they would prefer confidentiality in making this decision. Rather than showing up in multiple clinics to inquire, online plastic surgery reviews are best for those who want to keep a low profile. Displaying aggregated plastic surgeon reviews about your practice and the work you do can become a valuable marketing tool.
Dr. Kim of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) says online reviews are the new word-of-mouth marketing in the rapidly changing marketplace of plastic surgery. His study found that almost 40 percent of people left negative plastic surgeon reviews only based on interactions during the consultation (and did not go on to have the surgery).
Many of these reviews can cross the line into being invalid or unfair and should not cost you potential business. Plastic surgeon reputation management services help get invalid reviews removed and ensure you are fairly represented online and in the best way.
8. Assisted Living and Nursing Homes
Assisted living and nursing homes are in a unique position where the care facility has almost complete control over your members’ experience. What’s more, the people you directly serve are not always the people you need to impress.
It’s often other family members who decide the right time to move an aging or senior family member to an assisted living facility or nursing home. The family members need to discover your facility first through assisted living reviews and nursing home reviews.
Every family situation is different and senior care requirements can vary significantly — some aging family members need assisted living for minimal supervision, while others need 24/7 nursing home care. Assisted living reviews and nursing home reviews give the family a first-hand account of other families’ experiences to aid their decision making.
Caring.com, a trusted resource on senior care, recommends online research as the first step in finding an assisted living community. This means you have to make use of assisted living facility reputation management to ensure your prospects are aware of your facility and standard of care.
9. Auto Repair
Customers would naturally prefer to employ the services of an auto repair shop nearby. Especially for people with only one car, traveling the shortest possible distance is the most convenient. As an auto repair business owner you should be investing in local search engine optimization (SEO) strategies so your potential customers can find you quickly and easily. Auto repair reviews are effective search engine ranking signals and the biggest driver of clicks in local search results.
You become more visible locally and attract more customers through auto repair shops reviews. A 2018 study found that 67.1 percent of consumers believe auto repair reviews are the most influential in choosing a new auto repair shop.
You need to make sure your auto repair shops reviews captivate and positively influence your potential customers because you’re bound to keep them long-term. Consumer Reports’ chief mechanic John Ibbotson recommends customers build a relationship with and become loyal to a local car repair shop to get the best service.
10. Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
The spring and fall off-seasons for HVAC companies totals to about four months out of the year — contrary to the tendency to cut costs, this downtime is when to invest in your marketing efforts with a reasonable budget and well-planned strategy.
The slow demand for HVAC services during the off-season can give you more time to improve and acquire more HVAC reviews, proven to bring in more business. Studies show that a 1.5 improvement in your star rating could equal 13,000 more leads for your HVAC company.
Donna Pratt of AC Systems, Inc. shares that 90 percent of customers call only when they encounter an issue, making it tougher to ensure year-round business. But view this as an opportunity — because your job is focused on fixing your customer’s problems, it places them in the perfect mood for granting HVAC reviews right there and then.
According to Transparency Market Research, competition in the global HVAC is growing fiercer and pushing market players to innovate and expand their product portfolios. A robust HVAC reputation management strategy showcases your HVAC company’s efforts and makes you stand out from your competitors.
Utilizing Online Reputation Management for Business Success
We’ve talked about industry information and best practices, but billion-dollar franchises down to the smallest businesses face different realities and unique challenges. To reap the benefits of consistent and comprehensive online reputation management services, you need a tailor-made strategy.
Rize Reviews’ reputation management software streamlines your review acquisition by automating your online review requests and aggregating your feedback in a single dashboard. We specialize in online reputation repair services for businesses needing to recover from low review ratings.
Our experts conduct a brand reputation audit to assess your current review position and customize a strategy to boost your brand image. We helped a multi-location restaurant generate 15,901 reviews in five months.
Contact Rize Reviews today to find out how our reputation management expertise boosts your online visibility, conversions and sales.