Understanding why people write reviews is the first step towards getting more reviews for your business.
People write reviews for all kinds of reasons
Every business needs reviews, and it’s not acceptable just to have one or two — you need as many as you can get. But, it’s also not enough to have hundreds of reviews if none of them are recent.
A five-star review holds a lot of weight, but that weight becomes diminished the older the review is. Many consumers don’t even look at the reviews that are more than a few months old, because they no longer see those reviews as relevant.
Your business’s online reputation can make or break your success both online and offline, and it depends on your ability to get multiple positive reviews on a regular basis.
In order to do that, you need to have a good understanding of why people leave reviews in the first place. When you understand people’s motivations for writing reviews, you can fine-tune your strategy for getting lots of reviews
Seven reasons people write reviews
#1. To help other consumers
A lot of people write reviews because they genuinely want to share their experiences with other consumers when making purchasing decisions.
Whether that experience is positive or negative, these reviewers want to be able to guide other people to make, what they see as, the right decisions.
You can generally spot these types of reviewers by looking for more detailed, story-driven reviews.
If someone really and truly is motivated by helping other people make better buying decisions, they’ll probably give the entire 411 about their experience — sometimes right down to the name of the person who helped them and the time of day they were helped.
#2. To have their opinions heard
These days, it’s not always easy to get noticed or feel heard. There are so many people out there with opinions, thoughts and feelings, and if social media is any indication, people want to express themselves!
It can be difficult to break through the noise under normal circumstances, and one of the best ways to ensure that people are actually heard is to speak directly to a business via reviews.
When someone writes a review, they’re not another anonymous person complaining to customer service, and they don’t have to rely on a tech or customer service rep to relay their message to management.
Reviews allow people to communicate directly to the business in a way that ensures that they will be listened to and can’t be ignored.
#3. To be a part of the group
People find camaraderie in all kinds of places. You see it in fandoms all over the internet.
If you’ve ever stepped foot in a midnight showing of a movie or at your local comic con, then you know what we mean.
People love to connect with other like-minded people, but that doesn’t stop with dressing up as their favorite superhero or writing fan fiction.
Reviews are a great way to make a connection with other people who share your likes and dislikes.
You see this most often in reviews for movies, television shows and books, but some businesses invoke the same kind of response in their customers, particularly businesses that have a strong brand or offer unique products or services.
#4. To vent about a bad experience
One of the most common reasons anyone writes a review is in response to what they perceive as a bad situation.
Maybe they had to wait longer than they expected. Maybe the person who helped them was late or didn’t provide them with the level of service that fit their expectations. Or, maybe they simply don’t accept that mistakes happen.
Whatever the situation, people are more likely to spread the word after a bad experience than a good one.
Perception is reality, and even if you’ve done everything in your power to provide the best possible customer service and meet all of their needs, sometimes, you just don’t live up to expectations.
Unfortunately, people are more likely to write a review when they’re upset than when they’re happy,
#5. To give feedback about products or services
Some people genuinely want to help businesses get better!
There’s no such thing as a perfect product or service, but businesses often don’t see the flaws in what they’re offering because they only see one side of the equation.
You can’t possibly know about every potential flaw or downside of your product or service unless you are the ones using it on a regular basis. That’s why insight from your customers is very valuable!
These kinds of reviews are incredible because they give you the ability to make changes to your products or services that can help you attract more future customers, make your current customers happier and keep them coming back for more.
#6. To say thank you for a job well done
Going above and beyond in order to provide the best possible service for your customers is a surefire way to get great reviews for your business.
Let’s face it, these days, customer service can be lackluster, and a lot of people are simply accustomed to service that’s less-than-ideal.
One of the best ways to actually make an impact on your customers is to provide the kind of service they can’t ignore and that they’ll want to shout about from the rooftops.
These kinds of reviews are some of the best any business can hope for.
When prospective customers read them, they’ll be able to tell exactly how hard you work to please your customers, and about how much your customers appreciate that hard work.
#7. Because they were asked to!
There are many reasons why people write reviews on their own, as we’ve discussed in the points so far, but unfortunately, the vast majority of people don’t write reviews by themselves, at least not at this point in time.
And, as I mentioned, people are more inclined to write a review without being prompted after a negative experience than a positive one.
More and more people are writing reviews on their own, but until the day comes when it becomes second nature to consumers, your best course of action is simply to ask!
Very few people will write a review unprompted, but when asked, 70% of consumers will write a review!
Asking for reviews is one of the easiest ways to ensure that you actually get them, and no, you don’t have to bribe people with discounts or gift cards.
All you have to do is let them know how much a review will mean to you and request that they write one for you.
Every business needs reviews!
Understanding what motivates people to leave reviews will help you gain more for your business, which will help you build the kind of online reputation you want.
However, gaining more reviews is just the first step in the process of building and maintaining a solid online reputation for your business. Learn how to build and manage your reputation like a pro with the Marketing 360® Reputation app. See our plans and pricing.
Originally published 9/21/19