Over two-thirds of online reviewers only post feedback after a positive experience with a business, new research from TrueLocal suggests.
Ruth Trewhella, Group Manager of TrueLocal, says, “Australians are more inclined to give positive feedback, with 67 per cent of respondents revealing they only write reviews after a positive experience.”
“Our findings debunk a belief among many businesses that reviews are used by the public to vent about their experiences. In reality, just 6 per cent of reviewers admitted to doing so.”
TrueLocal, a trusted local business directory and review platform, surveyed just under 950 Australians about their online reviewing habits to uncover the findings.
“While you’d imagine that Aussies would draw on negative reviews to help them choose a business, the opposite is true. Our research found 82 per cent of those surveyed say glowing reviews, not negative ones, made their purchasing decisions easier,” Ms Trewhella adds.
Meanwhile, more than half of reviewers need to be ‘furious’ before reviewing a business negatively online. Most respondents admitted that negative emotions would need to run extremely high to motivate them to post a negative write-up. Fifty-six per cent said an experience would need to leave them ‘furious’ before they’d review negatively, and a further 16 per cent would need to be ‘annoyed’.
For positive reviews, 36 per cent would need to be ‘happy’ and a further 30 per cent ‘satisfied’ with an experience before giving positive feedback.
Proving that emotions are high when people tap out a negative write-up, further TrueLocal research found that reviewers use nearly twice as many words when penning negative reviews. Highly positive (five-star) write-ups were short and sweet, averaging 55 words; while negative reviews were verbose at 83 and 95 words for two- and one-star ratings, respectively.
Ms Trewhella adds, “While the public finds positive feedback more relevant, businesses should not ignore negative reviews, as they offer a window into the areas of their product or service that may need improvement. It’s really important to respond to negative reviews as doing so demonstrates to consumers that the business is committed to improving customer service.”
Check out TrueLocal’s tips for customers seeking to give constructive feedback to businesses:
1. Call first – If you feel dissatisfied, call the business first to see if the issue can be resolved. Write down a list of what you expected in a job or service and where it fell short.
2. Be perfectly polite – While you may feel upset, when you contact the business, stay calm and stick to the facts. Adding embellishments can muddy the issues and get the business person off side.
3. Venting is rare – If you feel like venting, you are in a minority. Only 6 per cent of survey respondents said they would use a review to vent. If you are really upset, calling or emailing first is more likely to get your issue resolved.
4. Email if calling is galling – If calling a business makes you uncomfortable, email a note about your experience with a list of your expectations and where the service fell short. Offer a solution to the problem that will resolve it for you. This will make calling easier if you have to follow up by phone, particularly if don’t get a swift response.
5. Act quickly – Small businesses are time poor and often move quickly from one job to the next. Raise issues quickly – on the same day the unsatisfactory work was completed, if possible. This way, the job is still fresh in the service provider’s mind.