Reviews used to be a nice-to-have. Having an online presence was helpful, but perhaps unnecessary. Word-of-mouth support was more important than collecting online reviews. But with the onset of COVID-19 and a catalysed digital transformation, the way auto services get found and chosen has changed significantly.
According to a recent State of Reviews report specific to Australian consumers, reviews have become a crucial gateway in the auto service customer journey. The report indicates that reviews influence 84% of Australian customers in discovering a local business. They’re 2.5x more likely to be an important factor in choosing a local business than popularity, and 4.5x more likely to be an important factor than traditional marketing. Most customers look for review recency, frequency, quantity, and quality, and nearly half are willing to pay more and travel farther to engage with businesses that have higher reviews.
The report also indicates that customers are consuming more reviews, more consistently, than ever.
- 62% of Australian consumers have read a review in the last week
- 81% of Australian consumers say reviews must be recent and relevant to care about them
- Almost a third of Australian consumers have read a business’s reviews right outside the business to decide if they should go in or not
However, while the majority of Australian consumers clearly read reviews regularly, the report suggests that getting customers to leave reviews is quite a different story. The vast majority of Australian consumers leave a review once a quarter, or less. And over a fourth say they’ve never left one.
The report suggests that local auto services need to rethink how they ask for and manage their reviews. It indicates that the most successful way to overcome common barriers that prevent customers from leaving reviews—such as inconvenience and friction—is through text
- 41% of consumers say that text is their preferred way to communicate vs 18% who prefer email.
- 43% of Australian consumers say they have received a text from a business asking them to leave a review.
- 35% of those consumers have left a review based on the text request they received.
Text is helping thousands of businesses around the world collect millions of high-quality reviews. Using text review invites, Von Bibra Motor Group went from 633 to 1,876 reviews in just one year. Text is the key to making leaving a review as convenient and frictionless as possible—to making it a no-brainer.
According to the State of Reviews, Australia’s customers are ready to patronize auto services that will provide the modern customer experience they want and earn their trust. With text and stellar reviews, you’ll be the first one they message.Download the full 2021 State of Australian Reviews report . here