Al Hanzal of Local Search Marketing-St. Paul pinged me with Do Incentives Hurt or Help in Getting Online Customer Reviews, a response to some of my posts on the subject.
“If the customer or the public online sees your incentive as a direct payoff for completing a customer review, negative consequences can follow. Break the link so that it is not seen as a “quid pro quo” transaction between you and the customer.”
Among his suggestions for breaking the link:
1. Discounts on future purchases
2. “Appreciation” gift cards
3. Monthly drawing-type contests
4. Donating to a cause
The quid-pro-quo still seems pretty obvious to me, but given the interest by my readers in the whole customer reviews thing I thought it would be worth airing some other thoughts on the subject. Head over to Al’s blog to read the whole thing.
And speaking of quid-pro-quo, here’s what Yelp has to say on the subject:
“It’s a slippery slope between the customer who is so delighted by her experience that she takes it upon herself to write a glowing review and the customer who is “encouraged” to write a favorable review in exchange for a special discount. And let’s be candid: most business owners are only going to solicit reviews from their happy customers, not the unhappy ones. Over time, these self-selected reviews create intrinsic bias in the business listing — a bias that savvy consumers can smell from a mile away. Don’t be surprised, then, if your solicited reviews get filtered by Yelp’s automated review filter.”
“Let’s be candid” always sounds dickish, right?