We learned online that we should ask for feedback. Whether it is reviews, ratings, experiences or whatever. But did we go overboard as a society when it comes to reviews?
There is nothing wrong with offering reviews
First of all, I think offering a possibility to post a review of a product / service or company is a good thing. Because, briefly, it provides insights into how a product / service or you are viewed as a company. This feedback makes whatever kind it is, makes you better.
That can then of course inspire other people or better advise them on a purchase or go into business with a party.
So far I fully support the concept of reviews.
Don’t push for it
But if I look at a trend that has certainly developed over the course of 2019, well that is this one. People are forcing others to do a review more than that the review proces occurs naturally.
And with everything that happens forced; is it really good then. Is it still real?
Let me mention a few practical examples without directly putting companies in a bad light.
Be eligible to win [X] IF you review us
I have seen this example quite often in practice and is perhaps one of the greatest examples of this trend.
You give people a chance to win something only if they post a review. Do people objectively review a product / service / company? Or are they “in it to win it”? Are they still really helping others?
We as humans are complex
Some people think that the approach makes no difference but as people we are quite complex. We secretly place a lot of value on things that are real / authentic.
Think about it. Do you prefer an authentic Italian pizza, or do you want a frozen pizza? And what does that choice determine? Because both can serve you in a certain form.
But as Lucifer from the likely named series would say;
“What do you truly desire?”
Personally, I would know the answer in this situation.
But if you know that, why should you, as a person, opt for an “in it to win it” review compared to a review that is really honestly designed to help you make decisions.
Indeed, reviews are to a large extent responsible for persuading people from the consideration phase to the decision phase. Make sure that your review REALLY contributes to that.
Pro tip; Let it be authentic, do it for yourself and ultimately do it for your customers.
Just let it happen
But we are not there yet. Because being authentic is important, but perhaps the following is just as important. Let it happen.
There are plenty of examples on the web of people who complain that after purchasing [Product Z] they are approached for months to write a review. Or be approached immediately after purchase.
You have just bought a sweater in the store and the next day you are already asked to review it. That might be a bit quick because how does the sweater hold up over a period of time? Blurring what’s on it, does the material stay good etc.
Now the other way; you buy a game online. You will be asked what you think about it a few days after your purchase. In many cases that is too short in terms of period to really give a good response. Or a week after your purchase you will receive a reminder to review it. In many cases, that is too short for a game to be able to answer a real one. 2 weeks after purchase you get the question again, 3 weeks after purchase again, 1 month after purchase again….
I think I have made the point that often emails are sent to pull that review out of you. Let alone if companies do combinations of these two examples. Or use other forced tactics.
Content-mapping + reviews
Companies should think much more about when it is a good time to approach people with an eye on product / service / company. That in itself takes away a lot of frustration.
I believe that if you apply content mapping to how you deal with requesting reviews, you can really take a big step in this. A step that your visitors will certainly appreciate.
But can you plan everything in perfect detail as a company? No, and you shouldn’t want that in such detail. Because, as I said, people are complex and you can’t make everything work for everyone, no matter how good personalization is.
Sometimes you have to let it go and dare to trust that people will take this action when they are ready on their own.
Dealing with reviews
Now that I have touched the subject of reviews. I would like to make a comment about dealing with positive and negative reactions.
Reviews that are positive are of course beautiful, but you can still deal with them incorrectly. If someone takes the time / effort to provide you with feedback then the least you can do is thank this person. That does not always have to be a reward, but also with a simple thank you or confirmation that you can and will do something with their feedback.
A little reply goes a long way
A side note; Don’t make it a standard answer. Because then you do not convey the feeling you are after. In any case, respond to positive feedback that also contains constructive information.
Negative reviews are not fun of course. But if we would only do fun things in our lives, we would live in an ideal / perfect world. I would wish that for everyone, but I am too realistic to say that it exists.
Negative reviews are important because it shows that you as a company recognize it and are going to do something with it. Of course you have gradations and you simply cannot make everyone happy. There will always be people who will not be satisfied despite your best intentions.
But still try to be there for those people. Because if you show your best side, others will see you put in the effort.
If you do your absolute best … you can not do any more then that
For example, an idea would also be to help people who give a negative review by solving what they mentioned / experienced. After which you give them the opportunity to revise their review.
In addition, keeping reviews editable and interacting with the company is something I find a great solution. This way someone can update their review in a positive and negative sense in view of the further experience they have had with regard to product / service / company.
Reviews and me
Personally I am fond of feedback. No, really, because I think that getting feedback, whether positive or negative, can only improve you.
But as may already be apparent from this item, I think quite carefully about how people can be best treated specifically focused on the situation. Whether that is about reviews or on a totally different level. I want your product / service / company to be a success.
Review me n …. no, just kidding, but if you want to get in touch with me about what I can do for you, you can always do that!