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.