Poll: Bad Experiences More Likely to Inspire Reviews

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Consumers are slightly more likely to write a business review after a negative experience than a positive one, according to a Street Fight poll conducted late last month.

The poll of 1,000 U.S. respondents found that 19.1 percent of respondents are more likely to write a review after a poor experience, and 16.8 percent after a pleasant one. Another 42.5 percent said they’re equally likely to write a review regardless of the experience, and 21.6 percent said they’re not likely to write a review at all. The poll was conducted on behalf of Street Fight by third-party opinions site Toluna.

Breaking the results down even further, consumers aged 18-54 are about as likely to review a business after a positive or negative experience, but respondents over 55 are approximately 50 percent more likely to review negatively.

Yelp is an increasingly important player in the reviews space, with year-over-year revenue growth at 67 percent and mobile app usage growth at 70 percent. Bigger players such as Yahoo and Google, with its Zagat-powered Google+ Local, and the publicly traded Angie’s List, also host millions of local business reviews.

But as Yelp continues to assume the lion’s share of the reviews market — Apple is expected to integrate Yelp reviews into iOS 6’s new mapping application on the iPhone and iPad — it will be interesting to keep an eye on the feedback pulse.

Kristen Whisenand, Yelp’s PR manager, told Street Fight in an email she couldn’t specifically comment on the poll since the reviews site has not conducted similar research. But she did share company data that, as of Q2, 80 percent of the site’s reviews were those with three stars or more, with 38 percent of reviews encompassing five stars and only 12 percent one star.

The reviews space is inherently consumer-driven. However, businesses do have strategies at their disposal. Read more on why online marketers are rethinking their Yelp strategy.

Patrick Duprey is an intern at Street Fight.