Well, now that is an interesting question, and the fact is there is not a universal answer for everyone, we all have our different reasons. In answering that question the best we can do is offer several different opinions.
I guess the main thing is that people are unlikely to review a business if they get no recognition for the time they put into it. For example, if there is total anonymity who is going to spend any time writing a review. I’m not suggestion that we’re all after fame, that’s well overstating it, but, if reviews I make are attributed to ME, and others can see who ME is, then I may be more motivated to take 2 minutes to make a review.
But why even review something in the first place?
Well, first you’ve gotta remember that not everyone will review businesses, we’re just not all made alike. But also remember that there are a lot of people out there who do contribute their opinions when they can. But what opinions do they voice?
There’s obviously the scenario when you just need to blow off steam. That happenned to me last night. I’m not talking about a high-pressure, boiling-over situation, but just the sort of situation where, you know, you feel just a little narced by the service that a business has provided. My example last night involved a provider of ‘mobility aids’ for elderly people – Care-Knight (yes, I will name them) sent a salesman to visit my neighbours 86 year old father. The salesman pressure-sold him into pulling out his chequebook – after he said he didn’t want to buy the bath lift that was being touted. He was told he had to pay there and then or he would miss the deal (rubbish) and then the salesman filled out the cheque himself. Delivery takes place today, so there is no time even to stop the cheque and cancel the order. That sort of stuff just shouldnt happen, an old man of nearly 90 years old getting done like that.
Next there’s the situation when you get truely great service, and you realise thats actually not all that common these days. This too happens to many of us, sadly perhaps not as often as we’d like. When this happens some people like to ‘reward’ the company with a commendation. That may be as simple as a heart-felt ‘thank you’ to a shop assistant, or it may be an online review. My view is that as th ease of review gets simpler we’ll do it all online a lot more.
Where do I see it going? Well, I want to do a local search on my mobile device, find relevant businesses near me that have been reviewed by people that have ‘reputation’ (and perhaps also ‘like’ the same things I do), pull the map straight into my mobile GPS so i can find my way there, have the contact details pumped into my phone by something like Microformats so I can call them to get a little pre-visit advice from a real person, then, when I leave them I just want to hit a button and speak my review which will appear for future users alongside that bussiness, attributed to me.
Geez, there are so many places this can go, let me know your opinions? We’re all consumers so we all have an opinion. And how about if you’re a business owner, what do you think?