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Written by
Katy Ratican
17 May 2021
4 minutes
What makes a customer WANT to leave a review?
Get ready to dive into the psychology behind customer reviews and what encourages people to leave them...
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Customer reviews are a crucial part of growing your business. But while 95% of customers read reviews before making a purchase, getting a customer to actually leave a review isn’t always easy.

Sure, you can send out review requests, but you still might not get the results you’re looking for — not without an understanding of what motivates a customer to respond.

If you want your customers to leave a review, you need to know what buttons to push to make that happen. So what are those buttons, exactly, and how can you push them?

The psychology behind customer reviews: why do customers leave reviews?

As you might expect, there’s no one answer to a question of that size and importance. Instead, there’s a whole host of reasons why customers leave reviews, including:

To help others find good products and services

We’ve all been stung by businesses that just aren’t up to scratch, and leaving a review can be a great way to alleviate (or confirm) the concerns of others. Think of it as altruistic reviewing or reviewing for the greater good.

To say thank you to a business

If a consumer has had a great experience with a business, they’re likely to leave a positive review to say thank you. This is especially the case with local and/or independent businesses where customers know their review will be appreciated and have impact.

Check out these truly heartwarming examples of reviews left online.

To help a business improve

Sometimes customers genuinely want to let businesses know where they’re going wrong and how they can put it right. A review is a great way to deliver that feedback, as it’s more likely to lead to change.

To get their voice heard

Public reviews can certainly tap into the ego of some customers. Whether they’ve had a negative or positive experience, more and more customers just want to get their voices heard — and that could be a great thing for those businesses who get it right.

How to harness this psychology and encourage more reviews

Now you know the psychology behind customer reviews, it’s time to use that knowledge to your advantage. Here’s how…

Tell customers how their review will be shared

Customers want their opinions to be seen. Tell them where their review is going to be shared and you’ll tap into that deep, dark desire for attention (something we all have, to some degree!)

Do you have a page on your website dedicated to reviews? Do you share recent reviews on Facebook or Instagram Stories? However you highlight your reviews, make sure your customers know about it.

Be vocal about how much you appreciate reviews

Some customers will be more motivated to leave a review if they know you’ll genuinely appreciate it. Make sure that’s the case by publicly responding to your reviews, sharing them on social media and individually thanking every customer that leaves a review.

That way, your customers will never be left doubting if a review is worth their effort.

Show customers the impact of reviews

By showing how important reviews are to your business, your customers will be more likely to leave them — especially if they want to say thanks.

If you’ve noticed that reviews can directly increase your sales, share that with your customers (in person, on social media or in your review requests) and give them the opportunity to add to that if they want to.

Tap into ‘altruistic’ reviewing

Do you sell a product that outperforms the competition? Tell your customers that and encourage them to spread the word by sharing a review.

This will work especially well if you sell a niche product for a specific community who want the best for like-minded people.

Remind customers how much their feedback matters

For customers that want to help you improve your business, you should be clear that their feedback genuinely matters and actually leads to change.

Always respond to constructive criticism, thank them for their feedback and tell them how you’re going to grow and improve from it in practical terms. That’s essential even if the feedback riles you to begin with.

Respond to as many reviews as you possibly can

Positive or negative, you should try to respond to every review that comes your way. That’ll show your customers that a review is guaranteed to get their voice heard, which can be one of the biggest motivators for leaving one.

Time to push those buttons…

Follow the advice above and we’re confident you’ll be able to encourage customer reviews more effectively than ever.

Let us know how you get on and don’t forget to head over to Chalkboard’s ‘local business hub' for more top tips on how to crack your customer review strategy.

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