Only 5% of Customers Leave Reviews. Here’s How To Get the Other 95%

December 1st, 2021

Read this if you're trying to boost positive Trustpilot (or any) reviews, but can't convince people to do it.

This is the second article in a three-part series of articles. Check out part 1 and part 3 here.

It is statistically more likely that someone will publish a review if they had a negative experience. They are going to want to tell the world how horrible you are.

The same goes for extremely positive experiences. They are going to want to scream about their transformational experience at the top of their lungs.

But this group of people isn’t the majority of your customers.

In fact, it’s just 5%.

The other 95% come and go, and you never hear from them.

Think about it: Potential customers are basing their purchase decision on what 5% of your customers say.

Wouldn’t it be nice if they got the full picture?

You might be thinking that it isn’t worth trying to get 95% of your other customers to leave reviews. After all, these might just be 3-star reviews that are best left buried.

This isn’t necessarily true.

First, there’s nothing wrong with a 3-star review. In fact, customers trust your business more if they see a combination of 3, 4 and 5-star reviews. But we’ll talk about that in the next article

Second, they might have had a very enjoyable 5-star experience, but they just can’t be bothered to leave a review. They’ve already received a satisfactory service from you and have paid for it.

What’s in it for them if they spend their valuable time giving you a review?

This is the question you have to answer, and if you follow these steps you’ll be able to do so.

Step 1: Make sure you have the basics in place

Before we dive into more detailed strategies you can use to get more positive reviews, let’s go through a list of quick fixes.

Ensure you have reviews

It might seem obvious, but make sure you have at least a couple of reviews on Trustpilot or any other review site. Nobody wants theirs to be the first and only review for a service.

Think about it — would you want to be the only one leaving a review if nobody else is doing it?

Respond to your reviews

If you want people to engage, you need to engage them. As people leave reviews, take the time to reply to each and every one, ensuring your response is as personalized as possible. When customers see that reviews do get responses, they’ll be more likely to leave a review themselves because they see it as an effective way of getting some sort of response from your brand.

Why bother reviewing if the business won’t acknowledge it?

If you missed it, we cover exactly this in the first article of this series. Find it here.

Decide what review platforms make the most sense to you

Not all review platforms are the same. Some platforms like TripAdvisor and are geared towards the hospitality industry, while others like Yelp cater to restaurants.

If you’re in retail, you’re in good hands with TrustPilot, Google or Facebook reviews, but it pays to think about the following: In what platform will reviews bring the most ROI to my business?

There is nothing wrong with having a presence on multiple review sites. But customers are time-starved and many won’t have the energy to review you in multiple places. Thus, it is best to assume that they’ll only review you on one platform.

Choose wisely.

Step 2: Reduce friction as much as possible

Assuming you’ve implemented the above, you are now ready for what’s next. To encourage 95% of your customers to leave reviews, you need to anticipate and remove each and every obstacle — big or small.

Recall at the beginning of this article where we asked the question “What’s in it for my customer if they spend their valuable time giving you a review?” To answer this question, you need to address three points:

  • What tangible reward will the customer get?
  • Do they know exactly where to leave a review?
  • How mentally taxing is the review process for the customer?

Rewarding customers for their reviews

There are plenty of great tips online about how to best reward your customers for leaving a review. You could, for example, offer a discount for each review based on how detailed the review was. If discounts don’t fit into your strategy, you could provide a gift card or store credit as thanks for taking the time to write a review.

You can also consider appealing to your customers’ altruistic side. For example, for every review about G2, they will donate 10USD to a charity of the reviewer’s choice. In G2’s example, you can choose from a plethora of organizations that support a variety of causes.

negative review on Trustpilot

G2 aren’t the only ones capitalizing on the trend. There are non-profit organizations that can help you set up a donation-per-review strategy so you don’t have to.

negative review on Trustpilot

You could also reward your customers’ ego for leaving you reviews. For well written, detailed reviews, you can give the customer exposure on your social media channels. For example, you can promote a good review and write something like this as your status:

“We’d like to thank Reviewer X for sharing their thoughts on TrustPilot. This is the kind of experience we want to create for all your customers. If you want to get featured on our socials, make sure to leave a detailed review and you could be next!”

Guiding them to the review site

Many businesses assume customers know how and where to leave a review. This is a mistake. With so many review sites, it’s easy for customers to get overwhelmed and give up on leaving a review altogether.

Pretend you’re at the checkout counter at your favorite store. After yet another wonderful experience, you ask the cashier where to leave a review. The cashier then replies: “Oh, just anywhere is fine, thanks,” and you leave.

Let’s tweak the cashier’s script a bit. This time, they reply: “We’d appreciate it if you could leave us a TrustPilot review. Do you want me to send you a link to your email? Maybe a text message? Otherwise here’s a flyer with the exact instructions on how to do it.”

Which one do you think would get you to act?

Making it as simple as can be

You’re now rewarding your customers for reviews, and you’re guiding them to the right place to leave a review. How can you make the review process take as little time as possible for your customer?

Try to reduce the amount of steps. Using Ombea, here’s a nice way of doing that:

negative review on Trustpilot

You can also experiment with sending your customers some review templates along with a link that leads directly to the Google review. Here’s an example if you’re asking for reviews over email:

negative review on Trustpilot


Getting the silent 95% of customers to leave you reviews is challenging. Since they had neither a terrible nor an amazing experience, they are not compelled to leave a review. Thus, it is up to you to remove as much friction as possible for them.

You can incentivize them with monetary rewards, pointing them in the right direction so they don’t get stuck on analysis paralysis, and making it as quick as possible a process.

Follow these steps, and you’ll be well on your way to more revenue. And speaking of revenue, do check the final installment of this series right here. We’ll cover turning negative reviews into more revenue.

And if you want to explore how Ombea can help you reach the silent 95%, start a free trial now.

Find out more

Give us a few minutes and we will let you know how organizations just like yours have increased their revenue and engagement.