BUT … The food was fantastic … BUT …. You’ll wait an hour to get your car back … BUT …Staff was very friendly … BUT … 

What do these reviews tell us? Even satisfied customers emphasize the only negative aspect by exaggerating it.

How does the word ‘BUT’ attribute to average reviews?

As an official TripAdvisor Partner, INTUITION Brand Marketing works a lot with TripAdvisor Reviews, tracking and analyzing the Customer Experience for our clients.

We’ve pulled a report of the most recent 40,000 TripAdvisor Reviews across all our clients to find out how ‘BUT’ effects their ratings. The findings?

Out of 40,000 reviews, over 15,000 of them included the word “BUT”, nearly 40%. BUT they weren’t a result of negative reviews, with 50% of the 15,000 associated with 5-star reviews and 30% with 4-star reviews.

As the ratings decreased the number of BUTs decreased, right down to the worst rating reviews having the least amount of BUTs.

This is because when someone complains they are straight to the point, as opposed to having a pretty good experience with a BUT dragging down the score or taking away from a perfect review.

Out of the total 40,000 reviews analyzed, 68% of all 5-star reviews did not include the word BUT, showing that 5-star reviews, for the most part, are an accurate representation of what we think of when we see such a high rating.

When it came to 4-star reviews, however, over half (51%) included the word BUT in them and 49% did not. Half of all 4-star reviews saw a 20% drop in satisfaction ratings due to a BUT. The BUT exaggerates the negative overall experience and can make the difference between being in the Top 10 on TripAdvisor for an area and being almost invisible, which dramatically affects consumer interest, and therefore costing a business significant revenue.

Beyond the top 5 and 4-star reviews, 55% of 3-star reviews had the word BUT in them, 45% did not. Similarities in 2-star ratings show that the same principles apply, with approximately half = marked down even further due to a BUT. Whereas 1-star ratings produced comments with 40% including BUT, with 60% not – almost the polar opposite of 5-star reviews.

By embracing technology businesses will continue to become perpetually more efficient in strategically implementing plans to determine what comes after the BUTs. To engage a customer effectively you need to understand them, their experience and manage every possible touch point.

What companies need to look at is “What comes after the BUT?

The minute you really start asking yourself that, is the minute you become 100% customer-centric. Once this is put into place, we start to understand what needs to change.