Business reviews have a huge influence on people’s purchasing decisions and are one of the most important marketing considerations for Manly and Northern Beaches businesses.

And if you are a customer wanting to support a local business, giving them a positive review on their preferred review platform is one of the most powerful things you can do to help them succeed.

The Data on Reviews

Seventy six per cent of consumers regularly read online reviews when browsing for local businesses, with Google being the most widespread and trusted review platform across all industries, according to 2023 published research from Brightlocal,

While positive reviews can encourage a prospective purchase, even a few negative reviews can be enough to harm a business’s reputation and dissuade potential new customers, particularly among female audiences.

Research in 2022 on the impact of online reviews on consumers’ purchasing decisions used eye-tracking technology as a key measure and found that “consumers’ attention to negative comments was significantly greater than that to positive comments, especially for female consumers.”.

Ways to Get Positive Reviews

While some consumers may leave a review if they have a particularly positive (or negative) experience, the best way to drive positive reviews in your business is to actively ask for them.

This can be done at point of sale, through email automation, on social media, or even in printed communications.

You can also encourage reviews by offering discounts on future purchases, or with a competition.

Proactively asking for reviews can also help identify disgruntled customers and stop a negative review altogether. For example, your request for a review could read:

We hope you had a wonderful experience when buying “X” product/service. If you are happy with your purchase, we would greatly appreciate a 5-star Google Review here. If for any reason you do not feel our service warrants a 5-star review, please help us resolve it by contacting 

How to Handle Negative Reviews

Despite your best efforts, negative reviews may still occur, however you can minimise their impact.

Firstly, promptly, politely and publicly respond to the negative review, no matter how unreasonable it may be. This shows that your business takes customer feedback seriously and is willing to address the issue.

Ensure you present the reviewer with direct communication channels to try and resolve their issue and take correspondence out of the public eye.

Also consider offering a refund or replacement. Even if you feel the negative review is not warranted, this approach may turn a negative experience into a positive one and potentially retain the customer’s loyalty. Also consider what it is worth for that negative review to potentially be removed.

Monitor and Respond to All Reviews and Comments

Businesses should regularly monitor all relevant review sites, social media, and other communication channels, and respond to all reviews and comments.

Most popular review sites:

  • Google My Business: the most trusted review platform across all industries – 87 per cent of consumers used Google to evaluate local businesses in 2022.
  • Facebook: carry less weight than Google, however page activity and customer interaction on posts is a relevant and widely used measure.
  • TripAdvisor: Travel, hospitality and experience-based business reviews.
  • Product Review: Widely used all-purpose review site.

There are many other industry-specific review sites that may be relevant to your business and industry. Outside of standard review platforms: 35 per cent of consumers use YouTube to find information about local businesses, 32 per cent use Instagram, 20 per cent use TikTok, and 35 per cent of consumers consult their local news, according to the BrightLocal research.