The survey looked at the current state of local consumer purchasing habits, and compared them against the survey results from 2010.
According to Search Engine land, what the survey revealed is that consumers are prepared to recommend any local business they use as long the experience warrants it.
Some business types are more likely to be shared than others due to their nature –- i.e. people go to restaurants every week and so there are more dining experiences to share, along with dentists who provide such a critical service that patients don’t want to pick one at random from yellow pages so ask their friends for recommendations.
49% of the 2,862 respondents have recommended a physician or a dentist.
Based on the data collected Search Engine Land advises local business owners to use special offers to keep existing customers returning and also as a tool to generate recommendations and ‘talkability’ about their service in the community at large.
Word-of-mouth recommendations still dominated the results other channels, but dropped from 79% to 77%, while Facebook grew 5% as a platform for sharing recommendations of local businesses. 13% share recommendations via Google Maps/Google Places.
With the recent changes to Google Places to Google Local, it looks like Google is working hard to grow this percentage.
Women were more likely than men to share their experiences via word-of-mouth with 78% of women reporting sharing verses 74% of Men. However, 20% of men use Google Places to recommend a local business – nearly 3 times more than women.
Women clearly were the bargain hunters with 46% stating that they are more likely to recommend a business if they have a special offer over 27% of the men. But of the men who went for special offers, 98% would recommend that business.
Customer service is still the big winner with consumers.
65% of the survey respondents said that they would recommend a local business that provides professional and reliable service over recommending that business because they were asked to do so.
The results of this survey point to how much consumers like incentives and how much they play a role in whether a consumer will or will not promote a business.
Being liberal with incentives could create a powerful new patient acquisition tool for dentists.
For more on this survey see: 66% Of Consumers Would Recommend A Local Business Based On Special Offers