Why are customer reviews so hard to get?

It is not unusual for businesses to ask for a customer review. However, it is not unusual for them to also be rejected very often. Then the famous question arises - why? 

If the client is obviously satisfied, then why is it so difficult to get a review?

Businesses are constantly trying to find out what motivates customers to leave a review. Why are some more willing to do it than others? And will clients decide to leave negative rather than positive feedback much more easily?

What motivates customers to leave a review?

The logical answer would be client satisfaction. It seems that the ones who are dissatisfied are always more ready to share it publicly, but why is this not the case with positive reviews?

In order to answer that, it is necessary to understand what motivates customers to write reviews.

Researchers are very interested in this topic and have thus identified the most important factors:

Anger or stress - Customers didn’t have a good experience with you. They had certain expectations that weren’t met. Now they are trying to find a way to release their stress and what better way to do it than to leave negative, resentful reviews? 

Revenge - This is very related to the previous point. An unsatisfied client will consider a negative review as a form of revenge. The point of such reviews is the tendency to punish you, and therefore this kind of feedback will often be accompanied by the use of language in which the emotional engagement of the client is clearly visible.

Asking for help - Sometimes clients don’t feel comfortable approaching you directly. They are facing a certain issue, but think that maybe you won’t respond promptly. Sometimes they might think that your response won’t be fully objective either. That’s why they decide to leave a review on a third-party platform. They feel freer to share their question with the wider community with the expectation that someone else has faced the same problem and that a solution will be found that way much faster.

Returning the favor - There are clients who perceive leaving a positive review as a kind of obligation. They are very satisfied with your service and consider it their duty to help you in some way. And what better way to do that than to share a positive experience and invite other clients to try your product or service?

Altruism - The main characteristic of such clients is conscientiousness. Whether they are satisfied with your service or not, they feel it is right to share their experience with others, without you even asking them to do so. They simply feel the need to convey their experience as it really was and in that way make it easier for future clients.


Who is more likely to leave a review?

As you can see, we identified some of the most common motives behind customer reviews. However, it’s not so hard to guess that an unsatisfied customer is more likely to leave a negative review. 



Simply because at the moment of anger and frustration, each of us looks for a way to get rid of it as soon as possible. Since it is unlikely that every dissatisfied client can come to your office and complain, the closest thing to that is their angry phone calls, emails, and resentful reviews.

So, it is clear that both satisfied and dissatisfied clients are ready to share their experiences. But the real nightmare for companies is those who are satisfied but don't want to leave a review. During the communication, the client made it clear to you that he is satisfied, but there is no review. 

Why does this happen?

In the hunt for customer reviews, but got ghosted? 

Lincoln Murphy, the author of the book Customer Success: How Innovative Companies Are Reducing Churn and Growing Recurring Revenue, explains this situation in the following way:

Customers tend to ghost you when they are: 


  • Disappointed


There are many reasons behind customer disappointment, but one of the most common are:

  • You didn’t solve their problem
  • Your product/service is too complicated to use or install
  • They are not satisfied with your customer service
  • Your price plans are not suitable for them



  • Busy


Pretty self-explanatory, but when customers have a lot on their plate, they usually don’t think about spearing time to leave a review. 



  • Overwhelmed


In this case, being overwhelmed doesn’t refer to customers being too busy, but instead being bombarded with too much information from your side. If you are constantly spamming them to leave a review, they won’t do it, even if they might have that intention. It’s simple as that. 

Another problem might be that the process of leaving customer reviews is too complex. If there are too many steps to fulfill, many clients will just give up. 

Also, it’s very important to determine the right time to ask for customer reviews. If the clients haven’t even gone through the trial process, or it’s using the product for a very short time period, it’s not realistic to expect them to leave a review. 



  • Oblivious


Believe it or not, people sometimes forget that they've been doing business with you. They might have signed up for various free trial periods or didn’t even use yours. Sometimes they simply don’t know what to write in a review. 

It’s also not rare that they had some misunderstanding with your support team and that they now feel a bit ashamed to continue the communication. 


You asked for customer reviews and got rejected. What now? 

Getting customer reviews is far from easy. As you can see, having a satisfied client is not a guarantee of getting his review. So, are there any practical steps that you can take? 

Balance is the key. In other words, you need to be present in front of your customers but at the same time avoid being spammy. 

Therefore, your approach should contain 3 simple steps: 


  • Thrill


  • Ask for customer reviews
  • Drawback



Thrill means that you need to make your customers happy. In other words, you must think of special gifts, discounts, thank you cards, and similar things. But, the trick is that you have to continuously go out of your way and offer something new. Offering the same things too many times in a row won’t encourage customer reviews. 

Once you have their attention and your special offer is clear, it’s time to ask for customer reviews. Here is important that you go back to the possible reasons for ghosting and address them directly. Create email templates for each of those customer types and ask them openly about their problems. 

So, it’s clear that the email templates should be used after you get ghosted. But, be careful - don’t use them right away. You can remind your customers once more, but if there’s no response, you drawback for a while. Only after that, you should think of sending the emails that are addressing their issues respectively. 


Customer reviews are a complicated thing. However, in order to maintain your online reputation, it’s important to give your best to get as many reviews as possible. Of course, the first step is always to provide good service/products because that’s always the starting point. But, having a little help on the road is always useful. Different clients have different reasons and motives behind their behavior, so it’s good to take them into consideration when creating your strategy. 

Do you also struggle with customer reviews? Or your relationship with the customers couldn’t be better? 

Feel free to share your experiences with us and our readers.

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