How Consumers Evaluate Reviews and What They Do Next
November 29, 2022
We have been emphasizing the importance of reviews for auto repair shops for years, most recently in our blog How Google Reviews Win You Business. We now know even more about how consumers process reviews and what they do after reading them thanks to a recent survey that comes from the very well respected SEO firm Moz. The survey was conducted in September 2022 with 1,300 consumers.
Here are some of the key points of the survey that reinforce previous findings:
- 96% of consumers read online reviews
- 56% of consumers read online reviews at least weekly
- 36% of consumers say the star rating matters most to them when looking at reviews
- 28% of consumers say the written content of the review matters most to them
- 17% of consumers say recency of the review matters most to them
With that information confirming what we’ve seen in other surveys, it’s safe to say that almost all of your customers and potential customers are reading online reviews for your shop. What’s most interesting to me about these five data points is that 28 percent said the written content of the reviews matters most to them. That serves as further proof that when you ask for reviews you should ask your happy customers to include the services you provided and the customer service they experienced.
The rest of the questions we’ll cover in this blog are very valuable questions about how people look at reviews that I’ve either never seen asked or haven’t seen asked in this specific way.
How many positive reviews do you normally read before deciding a business is worth a try?
This one really surprised me! I would never have thought that in our short attention span society 57 percent of people want to read 10 or more positive reviews for a business before they are willing to give it a try.
Seeing this number should cause you to further assess the reviews that your shop has. Can your potential customers easily read 20 positive reviews about your shop? If not you should definitely put some urgency into your efforts to ask happy customers for reviews.
Who do you trust more, the business or customers?
While the outcome is not surprising, I include this question because I have not seen this asked so directly in such a high-quality survey before. As you consider the answer, think of it this way – 1 in 3 potential customers are going to trust what you say about your shop while the other 2 are going to put much more stock in what your customers say. And of course, where do they most often go to find that information – reviews.
After reading enough positive reviews to be interested in a business, what do you most often do next?
The majority of consumers are going to visit the website first after they’ve read enough positive reviews to be interested in a business. This is an important point. Potential customers want to see additional proof of your shop’s credibility and having a website that looks great and shows them what they would want to see can play a significant role in providing the proof.
It’s also important to note that 40 percent of consumers are going to stop in at your shop or call you. All the work you’ve done to deliver great service and get excellent reviews will go down the drain if you don’t have somebody that greets them warmly at the desk or on the phone. You want to make sure that experience is excellent for all potential and returning customers.
Apart from visiting review sites, what else do you do to understand a business’ reputation?
Of course consumers are going to ask their friends and family about a business. But I would expect that number to be higher, probably in the 75 to 80 percent area. I think it’s also notable how close the second and third most popular choices are to the first choice. Looking on social media for feedback about the business is only 12 points lower than asking friends and family. Looking at reviews/testimonials on a business’s own website is a little further behind than asking family and friends but it’s still relatively close to 50 percent.
So, while people are still turning to friends and family, they are also looking for additional social proof on social media and your website. This further drives home the point that it is important for you to have a presence in all of the places potential customers will go to confirm your credibility.
If you are not currently asking consistently for reviews from happy customers, I hope seeing this data will convince you that it is really important to do so. In most markets there are quite a few auto repair shops competing for consumers and the more you can set your shop above the competition by having great reviews, the more likely your shop is to get chosen.
Our Integrated Reviews platform helps our customers get more online reviews. To learn how we can help do that for your auto repair shop, call us at 855-294-6397 or schedule a meeting with us at a time that’s convenient for you!