Reviewing the Reviewers: Older Women Tend to Be Positively Pleased

Reviewing the Reviewers: Older Women Tend to Be Positively Pleased

150 150 Rob Lovitt

online review, realself, womenMirror, mirror, on the exam room wall, who are the happiest patients of them all?

Given the glowing images of young people in advertising and the curmudgeonly ones of seniors on TV and movie screens, the answer might surprise you. When it comes to the sentiments expressed in online reviews, it turns out that older people, and older women in particular, are among the most satisfied and most likely to post the highest reviews.

For anyone whose clientele skews older and female — sound familiar? — that’s just another reason not to fear, but rather, to embrace online reviews.

Compiled by the sentiment analysis experts at Bazaarvoice.com, the data show that the average rating for female-written reviews was 4.43 stars out of 5, compared to the male average of 4.32 stars.

Likewise, when the company looked at online reviews of beauty products, they found that not only were the most negative reviews posted by people ages 25–34 but that the reviews got steadily more positive the higher up the age charts.

According to the company, the trend held true across multiple industries and while they didn’t include healthcare, the results still provide insights for doctors navigating the world of online reviews:

Women like to share good news: In addition to being more generally positive in their reviews, women are also more active in social media, sharing more content with more peers than their male counterparts. Considering that women also dominate the ranks of aesthetic consumers – they accounted for more than 90% of all procedures last year – the combination is worth facilitating by encouraging patients to chronicle their experiences.

Older people tend to be happier: Contrary to the cranky stereotypes, research has shown that people are at their unhappiest in their 40s and 50s and get progressively happier after that. Economists call the phenomenon the U-bend and as more older people turn to cosmetic surgery — 26% of all procedures were performed on patients ages 55 and over last year, says ASPS, an increase of 6% — the potential for positive reviews may also increase.

Those younger people are still worth listening to: While the Bazaarvoice data notes that those ages 25-34 and 35-44 were the most negative, their reviews are still valuable for two crucial reasons. Even negative reviews can be a net-positive when they expose practice issues that need attention. And let’s face it, today’s younger reviewers may be new to aesthetic products and procedures today but they’re the ones who are going to be thinking about it more — and thinking about it more positively if you resolve their concerns — going forward.

Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including NBCnews.com, Expedia.com and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.

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