Online reviews are vital to the success of every business in 2023. Not only do reviews educate consumers about your product or service, they also establish social proof, increase brand visibility, and drive consumers’ decisions about which businesses to support.
Despite the advantages that businesses can gain by acquiring more reviews, data suggests that many brands may be overlooking opportunities to ask consumers for feedback. If your business is struggling to get feedback from customers, leveraging a review generation service can help you gain the visibility you need to grow.
Survey Shows 20% of Consumers Never Asked to Leave a Review
The SEO platform BrightLocal releases an annual survey that provides data about consumer attitudes toward online reviews. For example, we recently wrote about the statistic that 88% of consumers were either “highly likely” or “fairly likely” to shop at a business that responded to all of its reviews — more than twice the amount (42%) who were “highly likely” or “fairly likely” to use a business that never responded to reviews.
The survey also looks at consumer attitudes and experiences involving requests for reviews — for instance, how they prefer to be asked for feedback, or whether they’ve ever been offered incentives to leave positive reviews.
According to the data, 98% of consumers read online reviews of local businesses, and just over three quarters (76%) say they read reviews “regularly.” Large percentages of consumers also reported writing reviews in 2022, with 95% saying they either wrote a review or would consider doing so in the future.
In fact, the number of consumers who wrote positive reviews increased in 2022, climbing from to 37% from 34% in 2021. At the same time, the percentage who wrote negative reviews decreased, dropping from 7% to 6% during that period. The percentage of consumers who wrote reviews “for both positive and negative experiences” also dropped slightly, dipping from 33% to 29%.
Not only are huge numbers of consumers reading and writing reviews, but reviews as a whole are shifting toward expressing more positive sentiments. These are trends that businesses should be leveraging to their advantage — but in fact, the data shows that brands are missing crucial opportunities to connect with consumers and get their feedback.
Participants in the survey were asked to answer the question, “In the last 12 months, have you been prompted to leave a review for a business by the business itself?” In 2021, 17% replied, “No, I’ve never been prompted.” In 2022, that percentage increased to 20%, suggesting that businesses are overlooking as many as one in five opportunities to ask their customers for reviews.
Here’s how the other responses to that question broke down:
- 12% of respondents said, “Yes, and I always left a review”
- 22% said, “Yes, and I left a review more than half the time”
- 26% said, “Yes, and I left a review less than half the time”
- 19% said, “Yes, but I never left a review”
As these percentages show, the majority of consumers are willing to leave a review at least part of the time — assuming they’re asked to do so, that is.
But why is collecting reviews so important, and how does your business benefit?
Why Does Your Business Need Reviews and Ratings?
So why should your business care about this data, and why is getting reviewed so important? The most obvious answer is, of course, that customer reviews provide your business with feedback about ways that its product or service can be improved. By addressing the pain points that are exposed in your reviews — for instance, repeated complaints about slow customer service, inconvenient parking, lack of amenities, or other specific issues — your business can increase customer satisfaction and decrease customer churn, leading to higher revenue.
Customer feedback is valuable, but it isn’t the only reason you should be actively gathering reviews. Here are three other ways your business can benefit by increasing its number of ratings and reviews:
- Reviews establish social proof and build trust in your business — something that’s especially vital for new and emerging brands, which consumers are usually less willing to investigate.
- Reviews boost brand visibility and can help you rank higher in local searches, making them critical from an SEO perspective.
- According to BrightLocal, “87% of consumers used Google to evaluate local businesses in 2022,” along with the millions of others who used platforms like Yelp, Facebook, Tripadvisor, Apple Maps, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). If you aren’t actively acquiring reviews, it’s harder for consumers to find and learn about your business.
If you don’t have a review collection strategy in place — or, if you’re using an ineffective strategy — you’re missing out on opportunities to leverage these benefits.
That brings up an important question: what is the best and most successful way to ask customers for reviews?
What Are the Most Effective Methods of Asking Customers to Review Your Business?
From text messages to in-store kiosks, technology puts a vast array of review generation tools into business’ hands. But just because a tool is available, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a worthwhile investment. The challenge for businesses is finding a review collection method that is both efficient and takes consumers’ preferences into consideration.
So, how do consumers actually want to be asked for reviews? Here’s how 10 different review collection strategies ranked, based on the question, “Which review request methods would make you more likely to leave an online review?”
10. The lowest percentage — only 8% — answered, “On a business card”
9. and 8. 9% said chatbots, tied with 9% who responded, “On signage in the business location”
7. 12% wanted to be asked over the phone
6. There was a significant jump after this point, with 23% saying they preferred to receive a text message
5. 27% responded, “On a device inside the business location (e.g. on an iPad),” which, interestingly, is much higher than the 9% who indicated “signage in the business location”
4. 31% wanted to be asked “through social media,” such as Facebook
3. 32% answered, “On a receipt or invoice”
2. 33% were likely to leave an online review if they were asked “in person, during the sale/experience”
1. The largest percentage (34%) preferred to be asked for reviews via email
Only 10% of respondents chose “none of the above” methods, suggesting that the majority of consumers are receptive to requests for reviews — especially when those requests are made via email, in person, on a receipt or invoice, and/or through social media channels.
Get More Reviews of Your Business or Franchise with Our Review Generation Service
Even if you provide an incredible product or service, a lack of reviews can make it almost impossible to flourish. Consumers depend on reviews to evaluate your business, determine whether your brand is trustworthy, and decide where they’ll get the best value — from you, or a competitor?
Don’t let a lack of reviews hold back your business from thriving in 2023. Take action and get noticed by leveraging our review generation service, which empowers your team to collect feedback effortlessly. With a feature-rich design and all the integrations you need, Shout About Us makes it easy to build and launch automated email, SMS, or in-store campaigns that get the reviews flowing in. Combined with our review response service and flexible, centralized dashboard that lets you monitor over 125 review platforms, managing your reviews has never been simpler or more efficient.
Discover why more than 10,000 brands trust our award-winning platform. Contact our team to learn more, or schedule a demo of our solutions for agencies, franchises, and brands.
Emily Homrok is a freelance copywriter with more than seven years of writing experience. She joined the Shout About Us team as a content strategist in 2020.