My one golden rule when asking for ratings and reviews


Some people will agree with me, others will not. Either way, I am a firm believer that asking for reviews is in no way a bad thing. That is as long as they are asked for in the right way.

So, my golden rule . . .

Do not, under any circumstances bribe or ask for a specific type of rating and/or review.

I was brought up under the notion that cheaters never prosper. On the whole I do still believe that in the end they will always reap what they sow, however there are short term ‘gains’. These gains can be large, and for the weak willed, the short-sighted, the morally corrupt the temptation can be too much to resist.

Don’t be that guy!

Those short term gains (as sweet as they may seem) are not the answer, they are instead going to potentially have a huge negative on your impact in the future! In my opinion, at best you are looking at devaluing every other positive review about your company (even if every single other review is genuine).

I recently came back from a holiday where the guy who ran the restaurant asked me to leave a five star review on Tripadvisor, and if I did he’d give me some “extra special” offers whilst on holiday.

At first I thought, ooo that’s nice I might have to do that, then Sensible Sally sat in my unconscious told me that this was wrong. This was bribery. This was someone who wanted 5 star reviews and didn’t care about how they came.

For me the holiday was ok, I would have gone home and given it a strong 4 star review. However, in protest I gave them a 3 star review and warned others that these reviews weren’t necessarily all they were cracked up to be. I enjoyed the holiday, it was good, but it was made to seem better from the reviews left.

Some of you now may be thinking that I was maybe a bit harsh, after all, all that the guy was trying to do was promote his hotel. However, for me the way in which he was doing it was wrong. I know that when I was looking at going on holiday I looked at the reviews of this hotel, and I believed them, it helped form part of my decision process. That process was influenced by a lie. I am not happy about that, and neither would you be if a product, destination, attraction or business performed at nowhere near the standard the reviews lead you the believe, especially so when you now know they aren’t 100% genuine.

Incentives are fine. I like incentives, they encourage people to actually do something, they encourage reviews, but, DO NOT ask for a specific star or type of review. In fact, actually insist on honesty. Honesty really is the best policy and in the long-run it will pay better than short term bribery.

If you and your business are genuinely good at what you do the positive reviews will roll in anyway! In the end you will always be the winner!

I hope this article helps, and if you’ve experienced or seen the same thing please do share! Comment below and let me and everyone else who is reading this know who the cheaters and the real winners are.

Ben M Roberts ♣💻♣
Head of Marketing at Talkative ✔️ Digital Marketing Strategist ✔️ Speaker ✔️ Web Chat & Human Marketing ✔️ Podcaster ✔️
The world of marketing is changing at a ludicrously quick rate. How do you keep up? How do you stay ahead? How do you understand what the latest buzzword or acronym means?

There are so many choices out there for marketers and that can be a pretty overwhelming, that’s what I want to change. I want to help make things that little bit easier to understand, and actually apply to your marketing strategy.

I set up the Marketing Buzzword Project for this reason. The project includes the Marketing Buzzword Podcast, Video Series, Blog and maybe even a book. I also regularly speak at conferences and events around the UK on the topic of Marketing Buzzwords, Human Marketing and Online Reviews. I want to debunk, demystify and bring back some meaning to buzzwords for the everyday marketer.

In addition to the above, I am also the Head of Marketing for Talkative, an innovative Tech start-up that offers web chat, voice calling, video calling and cobrowsing for business websites. This unique software allows customers to call your business through your website without picking up a phone. Genius. In all seriousness though, our software is really cool, doesn’t cost the earth, and can be integrated into an existing system with 3 lines of code. It is that simple.

I’m a huge advocate of human marketing, customer centricity and the power of online reviews to build a genuine rapport with past, present and future customers, who are the lifeblood of any business.

I’m always keen to connect with people and share my experiences with Marketing, Online Reviews & Marketing Buzzwords. Here’s why you should get in touch:

Head of Marketing at Tech Start-up, Talkative
Keynote Speaker at conferences around the UK
Worked in and consulted with businesses from a range of industries
Writing my first Business Book ‘The Marketing Buzzword Book’

If you are interested in connecting with me, you can contact me at or via my websites or