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When it comes to your online business reputation, there are many factors that come into play and shape how people perceive you. Like customer service. Or pricing. Or search engine performance. Or your visibility on social media sites. Or the weather.

The weather?!?

We’re not kidding. A new study that’s about to be released has found that weather – among many other things, of course – can skew the quantity and quality of your business’ online reviews.

(Check out: “Reputation and Review Management for Restaurateurs: Your Questions Answered”)

Written by Georgia Institute of Technology’s (GT) Saeideh Bakhshi, Yahoo Labs’ Partha Kanuparthy, and GT assistant professor Eric Gilbert, the study analyzed close to 1.1 million reviews of over 840,000 restaurants – including reviews from sites like TripAdvisor, Foursquare, and Citysearch. (According to reports, Yelp was not included, since the data that they were willing to release was not sufficient for the researchers.)

The findings will surprise you. According to the study, the most negative reviews were written when it was colder than 40 degrees or hotter than 100 degrees, or whenever it was raining or snowing.

Well, there’s really nothing restaurateurs and business owners can do about that. But the new study does offer some important insights about what goes on in consumers’ minds whenever they’re writing online reviews of local businesses.

Like what, for example? Here’s one: the review-writing tendencies of consumers today could be determined by a locale. “Restaurants in the Northeast and on the West Coast were reviewed more than those in the South or the Midwest,” reported Kim Severson for the New York Times. 

Also: “People who waited a long time for a table in busy cities were more forgiving than those who waited in smaller communities…. (Moreover), the (research) team found that Seattle, as a whole, tended to offer lower reviews than many other cities. Sunny San Diego had the most five-star reviews.”

Looking for a platform to track business reviews and manage your online reputation? Sign up for a free trial of ReviewTrackers, which is powered by proprietary data collection technology, and tracks online reviews from sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, OpenTable, Citysearch, Google, and more.

Migs Bassig

Migs is the Content Manager for ReviewTrackers. He's a creative writer who has helped numerous companies communicate more effectively online, and he loves sharing his local marketing knowledge to help brands and business succeed.

Discussion

  1. Heinrich Sture

    My friend who owns a cafe was almost ruined last February because of low income and slippery floor. A girl who worked there is always fast, neat and polite to the guests, but no mater she cleans the floor, during those snowy days it was seldom wet and dirty. One day a few old hags were yelling at her and threaten her with negative Yelp review and even lawsuit. It’s February, the snow is outside and the cafe’s staff are not magicians. Deal with it.

    Reply
  2. Fiona Wong

    Weather have strong influence on your mood, no matter in what position you are, stuff or customer. Sun and warm days gives you joy, happiness and smile on face. That is, also, in your hand, your minds are clear and positive. With that kind of mood you provide your feedback and review. Everything is great, and super cool. But, if the weather is cloudy, rainy,fogy … you are heavy, sleepy,irritable…so as your thoughts. And how can you write good and positive feedback…no way Pedro. Your comments are like your mood. Influence of weather is strong, and you can’t do anything to change it. Wait and be patient…you will change your emotions with first sight of nice weather and …don’t worry, be happy…and write remarkable reviews.

    Reply
  3. Mark Mead

    This is interesting information to keep in mind. Perhaps it would be beneficial to train employees to exert an extra measure of excellent customer service on days with inclement or swealtering weather.

    Reply

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