Infographic: Customer Reviews: Friend or Foe?


Warren Buffett illustrated the importance of reputation in one oft-quoted statement: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

A solid reputation is as crucial to a business as its customers are – in fact, they go hand-in-hand. Online customer reviews are essential to the reputation of both small and large companies. When asked about the impact of customer reviews, MIT marketing expert Dr. Duncan Simester asserted that, “negative reviews do drive purchasing decisions and can reduce sales.” It’s no wonder then, that 80 percent of consumers have changed their minds about purchases based on negative information found online.

Surveys indicate 67 percent of consumers read an average of 6 reviews or less, versus the 22 percent of consumers who are reading more than 7 reviews. Only 11 percent of consumers said they take no notice of online reviews.

So what is everybody reading, you may ask? Social media shares are an important way to convey information to a mass audience via the wonders of the Web. Overall, 40 percent of personal travelers and 46 percent of business travelers have used social networking to share travel-related experiences. An estimated 83 percent of consumers also say that it’s important to read user-generated content before making a decision about banking or other financial services.

Furthermore, 7 out of 10 customers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. An additional 79 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and just 21 percent report they do not trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

As of January 2013, 85 percent of surveyed North American consumers read online reviews for local businesses, and 50 percent of U.S. consumers were more likely to use a local business after reading positive online reviews. On average, 75 percent of reviews posted on review websites are positive, and 71 percent of consumers agreed that reviews make them more comfortable that they are purchasing the right product or service.

Just how important are customer reviews for repeat business? Consider this fact: 95 percent of unhappy customers will return to a business if an issue is resolved quickly and efficiently. On the opposite spectrum, 90 percent of unhappy customers will not do business with the same company again if the reviews are negative!


Five percent of negative product reviews are written by customers who show no record of actually purchasing the item.


Customer Reviews

Reputation Advocate offers a comprehensive suite of services to protect and defend the online reputations of individuals, professionals, and businesses. If you or someone you know is a victim of online slander, contact at 888-229-0746 to learn how we can help.



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