Friday, 26 April 2013

Estate agents: why we moderate reviews

As all our clients know, all reviews posted through Dialogue are moderated. Here we discuss the rationale behind this...

How does moderation benefit the consumer?
  • It ensures that the review (and the reviewer) are genuine clients of the business 
  • It ensures that any negatives are addressed by the business
How does moderation benefit the business?
  • It means that the reviews they are showing to potential clients are credible
  • It gives them an opportunity to resolve issues before any review is published

What would happen if we didn't moderate?
  1. Dialogue would be open to abuse - from all directions: competitors posting fake negatives, disgruntled ex-members of staff, and even stranger elements (see the comments this old unmoderated blog post on Estate Agent Today) and even fake positives from members of staff (it's been known)!
  2. Damaging negatives would be posted with no recourse to the business (except a public response). That may be fine on a 'product' review site, but where services like estate agency are concerned it's patently (a) unfair to the business and (b) less than helpful for the client (who, in the overwhelming majority of cases, wants his or her concern addressed by the business)
Let's take a simple example: 

This review was published on AllAgents today:


What would have happened if this review had been written through Dialogue about a client of ours?

  1. It would have been sent to the agent for comment
  2. The agent would have been able to ask their client for further details (date/name of staff member etc.)
  3. The agent would have been able to apologise (if that was the right course of action) or explain any misunderstanding, in private
  4. The client would then, and only then, been invited to post their final visible review
Certainly nothing like this could happen!


The outcome?


Possibly...
  • A client retained
  • A negative review deflected from a public site
Probably...
  • No review posted on our client's site - less than 1% of reviews that enter Resolution™ result in a final published review
In summary...

Moderation benefits everyone concerned. The agent and their client.

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