Research shows power of online reviews – how to leave a helpful recommendation
Leaving an online review can help future customers make the correct choice with many not putting their hands in their pockets until they have sort out what is said by others.
New research from Checkatrade reveals the power of reviews with half of adults (46%) admitting they never purchase anything online without checking reviews first.
The study of 2,000 adults found quality of service (54%), reliability (47%) and value for money (46%) are amongst the key elements that people look for in a review.
Yet, despite this trust in reviews, 17% of people admit to never leaving an online review after experiencing a product or service. While a further one fifth (22%) do not think about the potential impact their review – whether positive or negative – can have on a business.
As a result, Checkatrade has teamed up with the UK’s leading etiquette expert, William Hanson to create ‘Reviews in Review’, a guide to help educate the nation on online review etiquette.
“There is an etiquette for everything in life, and online testimonials and reviews are no exception. They enable us to check if that hotel bedroom really is a quiet as the hotel’s marketing says it is, or if the plumber we’re about to hire will turn up on time or keep us waiting,” said Mr Hanson.
“Information and knowledge is power, but users of these sites must use the review function properly and courteously if it is to be effective.”
The research also found that people will read at least seven reviews before deciding whether to book a hotel, six reviews for a tradesperson and only four reviews for hairdressers/barbers – with quality of service (54%), reliability (47%) and value for money (46%) amongst some of the key elements they look for within a review before deciding.
Most popular services reviewed around the nation include hotels (respondents leave a review, on average, 27% of the time), restaurants (25%) and trade businesses (24%).
Mr Hanson shared a few of the key factors that make an ideal online review:
- Share Anecdotes – Bring a bit of colour to your review to really paint a picture – rather than keeping it to a simple ‘this service was good, I’d recommend them’, share an anecdote to illustrate why
- Pace Yourself – Don’t write a review straight away while you’re in the moment – your feelings may change once you’ve had time to think about it. But make sure you leave the review within one week so you still remember all the details that will make it a helpful review for others.
- The Fairness Test – Before leaving a review, always ask yourself ‘is this fair?’ and ‘were my expectations realistic?’ Your handyman is not a babysitter, and neither are they a concierge – so don’t expect them to sign for your packages or offer day care while you’re out.
Mike Fairman, chief executive of Checkatrade, said: ‘’With 90% of people relying on reviews to help them make an informed decision, we hope this guide will arm them with the elements that make up an insightful review so that they continue to share their experiences in a way that is useful to others.”
Read tips on how to leave a useful online review, here.
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