Survey: Why do Customers Leave Reviews for Local Businesses?

I have always wondered about triggers and motives that lay beneath consumer’s desire to leave reviews for local merchants. Fortunately large scale consumer research is now relatively cheap and easy with Google Surveys.

I just published the first summary of my search into the question, When and Why do Consumers Leave Reviews for Local Businesses at the GetFiveStars blog.

Using Google Survey filtering question, we first surveyed 2685 consumers to ascertain their review frequency. We then asked the 30% that indicated that they have leave at least one review in the past 12 months for a local business to answer in their own words as to why.

The results are interesting and are the first in a coming series of consumer and business research as to attitudes towards reviews that we will be running at GetFiveStars.*

*Disclaimer: I am a founder, owner and employee of GetFiveStars so any pride or other bias is to be understood.


Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Survey: Why do Customers Leave Reviews for Local Businesses? by

4 thoughts on “Survey: Why do Customers Leave Reviews for Local Businesses?”

  1. Oh-ho! Is that a great survey, Mike. Duly noted.

    The huge percentage of positive motives driving the reviewers is really heartening. Even an old cynic will be heartened by those numbers.

    And, hey, why no comments on your blog at GetFiveStars? Do I need to log in or something to see them?

  2. Miriam
    Glad you enjoyed the survey. Next week I have a survey on why business owners THINK consumers leave reviews.

    The comment thing appears to be a theme glitch… hopefully resolved soon. Thanks for the heads up.

  3. I have a subsequent question: What about Facebook reviews.

    Facebook has tons of reviews. I surveyed restaurants last year as to quantities. I was mostly looking at Google and Yelp reviews and just looked at restaurants. Yelp had tons more reviews than did Google; roughly in a range of 5-10 in cities where FB had focused and basically 2 to 1 or more in cities where Yelp hadn’t targeted (as you have described). I looked at a lot of smaller cities and urban areas ranging down to a metro population of 90,000 on the side of metro’s not targeted by Yelp).

    But FB had virtually as many reviews as did Yelp and far more than did Google.

    FB reviews are NOT seen by your friends. They don’t go on your timeline. I’m sure most reviewers DO NOT KNOW THIS.

    Yet they write them like crazy. They were writing FB reviews on restaurants without FB pages!!!!!!!

    I intuit that FB review writers WANT their friends to see the reviews. They may have all the same “intentions” and thoughts that reflect the overall survey results….but they do want to tell their friends about the businesses.

    Sadly their FB friends don’t see the reviews on their timelines.

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