Each year a company in the US publishes the results of an annual survey examining online reviews and consumer behaviour. It’s always a fascinating read and it continues to affirm how essential reviews are to consumers making online purchasing decisions. This year’s “Local Consumer Review Survey 2023” published by BrightLocal got me thinking about what motivates us to take the few minutes to leave feedback for a product or a service we have used. Is it generosity? Altruism? Self-interest?
Well, it’s a lot of factors apparently but they all signal an effort to reward, to promote, or to be helpful – either for fellow consumers or for the businesses themselves. But the most important elements are the initial motivations and, as is expected, they are concerned with customer service and the manner in which companies or traders conduct business. 44% of respondents said that they left a good review when “the business went above and beyond to ensure you had an exceptional experience.” Positive experience is the dominant factor in encouraging a consumer to review – and just as thought provoking – 36% said they left feedback after an initially negative experience was resolved and turned into “a positive experience”.
When you think about it, positive experience being key makes total sense. As consumers we generally have expectations before we purchase or we hire and having those expectations surpassed is a huge plus. Most of us have no idea how certain things can be done and that’s the reason we commission others to do it for us. We may imagine how something might end up be but having a job done by a professional can often surprise us. In that moment we would of course want to let others know of that positive experience because sharing it continues that feeling and increases the goodwill.
Those are not the only reasons we are motivated to write feedback because oftentimes we are invited to – when we purchase or after a job is completed. Reviews are of huge benefit to businesses because they are a valuable deciding factor for future consumers. Great businesses thrive on the worth of their online reputations. So how do consumers respond when asked to review and what methods work best for us?
- “80% of consumers were prompted by local businesses to leave a review in 2022.
- 65% of consumers left reviews in response to requests from a business.
- 19% of consumers did not leave a review after being prompted to do so by a business.” (Source: “Local Consumer Review Survey 2023”, www.brightlocal.com).
That confirms that a large percentage will leave feedback when asked and of the 19% of respondents who said they didn’t, that doesn’t suggest that they didn’t want to, only that they didn’t in the end. Those figures support what we experience at NoCowboys – a large number of consumers willing to take the few minutes it takes to share their experiences.
When asked what methods work to motivate them to review when asked to, well, the results are split – 34% via email, 33% when asked in person, and 32% when the request is made with a link in a receipt or invoice.
This year’s BrightLocal “Local Consumer Review Survey 2023” also revealed these significant figures:
- “98% of consumers used the internet to find information about local businesses in 2022, up from 90% in 2019.
- 6% of consumers only leave negative reviews
- 4% of consumers never leave reviews” (Source: “Local Consumer Review Survey 2023”, www.brightlocal.com).
So, yet again, the evidence affirms what we see and what we have known for a while. Online reviews are not just useful, they are not merely important. They are essential!