Friday, 18 November 2016

John Lewis in the news - and not a bulldog in sight

John Lewis were in the news this week - and not just for their Christmas advertisement. The Sunday Times tested their review management system and identified a flaw: John Lewis, or more probably the company providing their reviews service, was - according to the Sunday Times - effectively filtering reviews.

The detail almost does not matter - the Sunday Times posted reviews, both positive and negative - for products, but mentioned service (which, for some reason is contrary to JL's T&Cs) and the positive reviews were posted whist the negative reviews were rejected.

What does matter is that this highlights that the review management system a company chooses has the potential to backfire and harm their brand if it is in any way flawed.

So - a checklist:
  1. are reviews independently verified?
  2. are reviews independently moderated?
  3. can the customer write a review whenever they want?
  4. does the reviewer always retain the right to have their review published?
  5. is the business able to respond to the review in private pre-publication?
  6. is the business able to respond to the review post-publication?
If the system fails any one of these six 'tests' - the John Lewis system appears to fail No. 4 - then the business has chosen the wrong system.

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