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Local Consumer Review Survey 2010, Part 3

About Survey Findings

The following findings are the 3rd part in a series of surveys into consumer attitudes & consumption of local business reviews and ratings.

The survey polled 2,012 online consumers in the US (1,138) and UK (874). The poll was conducted between 30th September & 10th October 2010.

The findings for Parts 1 and 2 of the survey can be viewed here –

Online reviews, ratings and opinions left by consumers are playing an ever increasing role in helping other, anonymous consumers asses the quality & trustworthiness of businesses, products and services. In part 1 of the survey we revealed that 70% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and in Part 2 we learned that Reliability is the no 1 trait that potential customers look for when selecting a local business.

In part 3 of the survey we examine the methods and motivations that local consumers have for personally recommending a business how local businesses owners can motivate their customers to actively promote their business to the friends and colleagues.

Survey Questions


Question 1:

Which of these local business types have you/would you recommend to someone you know if you had a good or bad experience?

Chart: Men vs Women

Recommending business by types

Key Findings:

  • Restaurants (56%), Doctors/Dentists (49%) and Garages/Car Dealerships (38%) are the local business types that customers are likely to recommend to people they know*.
  • All types of local businesses can gain from personal recommendation.

*Note – our hypothesis was that Hotels would be the most recommended business type given the vast quantity of Hotel reviews & ratings found online. The results proved otherwise and we concluded that friends/colleagues are likely to have more frequent chats about their daily lives and interactions – which bring them into daily contact with restaurants, dentists, garages, shops and tradesmen – and have less regular conversations about vacations and hotels/B&Bs they’ve stayed in.


Question 2:

In the last 12 months have you recommended a local business to people you know by any of the following methods?

Chart: Men vs Women

Methods of recommending business by gender

Key Findings:

  • Word of Mouth remains the most popular method for recommending a business – 79% of consumers have done so in the last 12 months
  • Facebook is the 2nd most popular – 27% of consumers have recommended a local business on Facebook
  • 11% have written a review on an online directory, but only 6% of users have recommended via twitter

In the last 12 months have you recommended a local business to people you know by any of the following methods?

Chart: Age

Methods of recommending business by age

Key Findings:

Younger consumers are more likely to recommend a local business via Facebook, online directories and Twitter

  • 32% of 16-34 year old consumers have recommended a local business on Facebook
  • 22% of 16-34 year old consumers have recommended a local business on Online Directories

Question 3:

Which of these factors would make you more likely to recommend a local business to people you know?

Chart: Men vs Women

Factors in recommending business by gender

Key Findings:

Old fashioned values remain the key traits that lead customers to recommending local businesses –

  • Reliability & Professionalism are the traits that lead most consumers to recommend a local business -60%
  • Having a Friendly & Welcoming Service is the 2nd most important trait – 49%
  • Offering good value at the price is also an important trait to get customers recommending a business – 46%

But…

Simply asking your customers to recommend you without good reason is a not good motivating factor –

  • Just 13% of consumers would recommend a business because they were asked to

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Which of these factors would make you more likely to recommend a local business to people you know?

Chart: Age

Factors in recommending business by age

Key Findings:

Older customers are more likely to recommend a local business than young consumers

>>Customers aged 55+ are particularly impressed with Professionalism & Reliability


Question 4:

Would you be more likely to recommend a local business to people you know if they had a good value offer or discount?

Chart: Gender

Recommending good value business by gender

Key Findings:

Having a good special offer is a great motivator in getting customers to recommend a local business.

  • 52% of customers would more likely to recommend a business if it had a good special offer and a further 37% might be more likely to do so.

Would you be more likely to recommend a local business to people you know if they had a good value offer or discount?

Chart: Age

Recommending good value business by age

Key Findings:

Older customers are more deal conscious than younger consumers

  • 61% of 55+ customers would be more likely to recommend a business that has a good offer

Question 5:

Would you be more likely to promote a local business to people you know if you could benefit personally from doing so?

Chart: Gender

Promoting business by gender

Key Findings:

  • 40% of customers would be more likely to recommend a local business if they benefited directly
  • Up to 75% of customers would or might be more likely to recommend a local business if they benefited directly

Would you be more likely to promote a local business to people you know if you could benefit personally from doing so?

Chart: Age

Promoting business by age

Key Findings:

  • Customers aged 35-55 are the most open to recommending a local business if they benefited directly

Summary of Survey Findings:

  • Restaurants, Doctors/Dentists and Garages/Car Dealerships are the local business types that customers are likely to recommend to people they know
  • Word of Mouth is by far the most popular way to recommend a business but Facebook is growing fast
  • 32% of 16-34 year old consumers have recommended a local business on Facebook
  • Reliability, Professionalism & Friendliness are the most important traits that lead to a customer recommending a business
  • 52% of customers would more likely to recommend a business if it had a good special offer.
  • Older customers are more likely to recommend a local business than young consumers
  • 40% of customers would be more likely to recommend a local business if they benefited directly
  • Simply asking your customers to recommend you without good reason does not encourage customers to spread the word

The findings for Parts 1 and 2 of the survey can be viewed here –


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