Customer reviews and testimonials have a significant influence over the purchasing decisions of potential customers. On average, potential customers look at up to ten online reviews before making a purchasing decision. Nearly 88 percent of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 72 percent of customers trust a business more if it has positive online reviews.
The facts are clear: Online customer reviews are a form of social proof that make your products or services stand apart from your competitors’.
Now the question is, why do most customers write reviews? Sure, you can get customers to post reviews and testimonials by offering discounts and freebies, but there are plenty of customers who write unsolicited reviews. Ever wonder what encourages or motivates your customers to post reviews on social media and other third-party review sites? It is useful to understand this behavior because online reviews help your business in a number of ways.
- Sharing is caring: Probably the most selfless reason for posting an online review is that existing customers want to help potential customers in making a purchasing decision. In fact, this is the most common reason customers post reviews. If a customer had a positive experience with your brand, they want to let others know about it in order to help them have the same satisfying experience. Such customers feel that the brand should be rewarded with a positive review for the excellent service it provided.
- Showing gratitude: A lot of customers leave online reviews because they are pleased with the service they received and they want the world to know about it. That is their way of expressing gratitude. Often, this gratitude will appear on social media sites and third-party review sites as a hearty shout-out to the brand in the form of positive customer reviews.
- Helping businesses improve their offerings: Every business wants to give its customers the best products or services possible. However, if a customer points out a problem with your offerings or suggests a way to improve your service, this can help you deliver even better services in the future. Mostly, the criticism or the improvement areas highlighted in these reviews are supported by positive accolades for your services, but even the occasional negative feedback is beneficial.
- Customers want to be heard: Almost every customer will have an opinion about the way you package your products to the way you sell your services, and the majority of them will want their opinions heard. It is very likely that your customers have formed their opinions about your offerings and are willing to share their opinion and experiences with their family and friends. Such customers feel motivated by the thought that other people are listening to what they have to say. So, welcome their feedback and engage with them in order to make them feel heard and respected.
There are, of course, customers who write for less genuine reasons. Some customers will post online reviews because they are attracted by freebies or high status on a review site after completing a certain level of feedback. There are customers who get paid to write reviews. Such customers, along with their feedback, are usually fake.
Now that you understand the motivations behind why customers write reviews, you can take the following steps to help encourage them to leave more reviews by:
- Providing great customer service.
- Providing the actual product or service that you advertised and promised. Customers do not like to be cheated.
- Allowing customers to rate reviews, which will generate better-quality reviews.
- Asking the customer for reviews. Most customers will be happy to oblige. Just make it simple for them to share feedback.
Reviews are valuable. They help you expand customer base, improve reputation and have a positive effect on your bottom line. Customers want to write reviews. They do not intend to ruin your business. Most of them are genuinely looking for exceptional service or to save potential customers the pain of terrible service. Make it easy for your customers to post feedback, ask often, measure your performance and strive to go beyond the average regarding your offerings and customer service.