Despite reports that its traffic could decline for the first time ever, online review site Yelp is still the top choice for consumers looking for doctors, lawyers, and home service providers.
In three separate studies by software research firm Software Advice, Yelp came out on top of the list of preferred resources for Internet users looking for reviews of local service-based businesses. Here are some highlights from those studies:
Patient Use of Online Reviews
- Yelp is used more often than Healthgrades, RateMDs, Vitals and ZocDoc, but is tied with Healthgrades for most trusted aggregator of reviews and patient feedback.
- Majority of patients (61 percent) use online review sites prior to choosing a doctor; additionally, 20 percent check reviews to evaluate their current doctor.
- “Online patient-generated content is here to stay,” said Tara Lagu of Baystate Medical Center. “We might as well use it to make ourselves better doctors. I recommend physicians encourage their patients to leave reviews and regularly examine their ‘digital footprint’ as part of maintaining their online reputation.”
How Clients Use Online Legal Reviews
- 70 percent of potential clients will travel further to see an attorney with better, more positive online reviews.
- When it comes to lawyer reviews, Yelp is the most popular site, followed by Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, and Avvo.
- Majority of prospective clients (83 percent) say they use online review sites as the first step to finding an attorney.
Use of Online Reviews to Select Residential Service Providers
- Yelp is the most used online review site for home service providers, followed by Google+ Local, Angie’s List, Better Business Bureau (BBB), and Thumbtack.
- 86 percent of potential customers would pay more for a residential service provider with better ratings, reviews, and customer feedback.
- 96 percent find online reviews of home service providers moderately to extremely valuable.
Service-based businesses should prioritize review management
Beyond identifying Yelp as a leader in gathering customer feedback, the three Software Advice studies highlight the importance of review management for all kinds of service-based businesses.
“Consumers highly value their dollars spent, and are typically willing to pay a higher price for what they believe is a better service or product,” said Marathon Data Systems CEO Chris Sullens. “Word of mouth… is (now) digitized, and they trust what other consumers have to say more than any marketing material they might see.”
For more info, check out these related graphics created by Yelp:
(Infographic credit: Yelp Official Blog)