Survey: 63% of SMBs Now ‘Encourage’ Customer Reviews
July 11, 2019 | Contributed by: Greg Sterling
There are lots of surveys about the importance of local business reviews. The latest (registration required) comes from Uberall (n=300 SMBs) and is focused on business owner attitudes about reviews and review acquisition.
According to the findings, “more than 90% of SMBs think online reviews are important.” Here’s the distribution:
- Very important — 54%
- Moderately important — 28%
- Slightly important — 9%
- Not important — 9%
The survey also found that 63% of SMBs encourage customers to post reviews online, while 37% don’t do anything to generate reviews.
The survey discovered that a striking 86% percent of SMBs respond to consumer reviews:
- Always — 36%
- Frequently — 24%
- Sometimes — 26%
- Never — 14%
It also found that among SMBs who respond, 81% do so for both positive and critical reviews; 12% only respond to positive reviews and 6% only respond to negative reviews. (The 86% is a very high number vs. other surveys.)
Asked about what motivates them to respond to negative reviews, these SMBs said:
- To implement solutions to issues that are being clearly cited by customers as problematic — 32%
- To show other/potential future customers that we are attentive and care — 29%
- To discovery quality control failures in your place of business — 20%
- To win back an unhappy customer — 20%
- Other — 1%
A 2018 LSA survey for SOCi found that 50% of SMBs (n=315) didn’t have a review acquisition strategy and 40% infrequently or never responded to reviews. Further, 39% of businesses had either no opinion or disagreed with idea that online reputation “strongly influences” consumer decision-making. This stands in marked contrast to the 90% of SMBs in the Uberall survey who considered online reviews “important.”
Overall, the Uberall survey suggests a pretty digital-savvy SMB population. As with all surveys, however, respondents may present a more idealized picture of their behavior than the reality (e.g., “we always respond to reviews”). It would also be interesting to know what the 63% of SMBs who encourage customers to post reviews online actually do in the way of “encouragement.”
Sorry. No data so far.