Customer review websites are both the friend and foe of small business.
One one hand, easily accessible online reviews can spur a customer to buy a product, utilise a service, or try a new venue. On the other – negative reviews are there for all to see, and can be a sure-fire turnoff for otherwise green customers.
A new survey conducted by review platform WOMO.com.au identified ten key industries which are currently receiving the best and worst online reviews when it comes to customer satisfaction.
Based on which businesses received the most and least ‘stars’ across quality, service and value, WOMO mined data from 350,000 reviews published during the past six months across hundreds of industries.
Notably B2B professional services ranked the worst for overall consumer satisfaction – and advertising and marketing services was identified as the most negatively reviewed industry. This was followed by real estate agencies, employment and recruitment agencies, and website developers and hosting sites.
‘Dodgy tradies’ also ranked poorly in the customer satisfaction stakes, with bathroom renovators, and fencing/ gate suppliers singled out as the worst of the trades.
“Where it goes wrong within these industries is that many owners tend to think of their business as a series of one-off transactions. They push hard for the sale and forget that the customer’s experience matters,” Fiona Adler from WOMO said. “No-one likes the hard-sales approach, even if the business is offering a great deal, consumers become discouraged to the point of frustration and that’s when they turn online to voice negative opinions.”
Worst rated industries for consumer satisfaction:
- Advertising and marketing services
- Real-estate agencies
- Employment and recruitment agencies
- Website developers and hosting
- Bathroom renovators
- Fencing and gate suppliers
- New car dealers
- House cleaners
On the other side of the customer satisfaction scale, it was the veterinary and animal treatment industries which garnered the most positive reviews. Interesting, cake services also ranked highly.
Australian healthcare services was commended for their high-level service, with osteopathy clinics and hospitals featuring third and fourth on the list respectively.
Top rated industries for consumer satisfaction:
- Vets and animal treatments
- Cake services
- Butchers and fish shops
- Chocolate shop
- Wedding florists
- Civil celebrants
- Wineries, wine bars and breweries
- Lingerie and sleepwear
Adler commented that consumers are likely to positively comment on a product or service when a genuine emotional connection has been established.
“This is illustrated by the fact that we’re more likely to positively review the health services for our pets than that of our own. It’s also apparent in that five out of the 10 industries are associated with special occasions – most likely the service provider has created excitement around the event rather than just handing over a product – that’s what makes them special.”