Regular readers will know that we have issues with many of the reviews solutions currently being promoted to businesses. They usually come under one or more of the following headings:
- They favour the business over the consumer
- They favour the consumer over the business
- They don't moderate their reviews
- They allow businesses to filter reviews
- The enable businesses to look better than they are in reality
- They make businesses look worse than they are in reality
None of the above are helpful - in either the short or long run, for the business or the consumer. Importantly - all but two are downright illegal (although frequently seen). Let's look at each 'category' in more detail.
- Favouring the business
- Favouring the consumer
- Un-moderated reviews
- Allowing filtering
- Making businesses look better than they are
- Making businesses look worse
So - a quick checklist for any system you are considering:
- Does it in any way favour the business?
- Does it allow you - the business - to choose which reviews are displayed?
- Does it give an unfairly favourable impression of your business?
- Does it allow you - the business - to select who you invite to write a review?
- Does the reviewer have to wait to be invited to write a review?
- Is the reviewer prevented from writing a review except by invitation from the business?
If the answer is 'Yes' to even a single one of these questions the system is in contravention of the CMA rules - and the onus for compliance is on you - the business - not on the provider of the reviews system.
The good news is that there is another way - the HelpHound way - adopt professional review management - now.