Monday, 14 May 2018

Reviews - the four questions any business should be asking

This is a simple guide designed to help businesses choose the right reviews solution. Why do we need to publish it? That should become clear as you read on...

First - the questions (for the reviews solution)...

1.  Can anyone write a review on your platform?

2.  Can they write a review at a time of their own choosing?


3.  How do you prevent misleading or inaccurate reviews from being published?


4.  What results have your clients achieved?



Now, let us analyse these in detail...

1.  Can anyone write a review?

You may (or may not) be surprised to know that there are reviews solutions on the market that prevent consumers from writing reviews unless they have been invited by the business. The logic is that this ensures that the reviewer is a bona-fide customer of the business under review.

Our comment...
  • This practise, whilst undoubtedly well-intentioned, contravenes the UK CMA regulations, which clearly state that a business must, if it invites any of its customers to write a review, enable all its customer to do so. You can probably see the CMA's logic here: they want to prevent business's inviting only happy customers to write a review - a practice known as 'cherry-picking' and therefore running the risk of skewing the impression for potential customers
  • It also has the effect of driving those unable to write a review to resort to Google. We often see businesses that employ this kind of site looking great on their own websites and much less good on Google - it is so common we have come up for a term for it: 'Deflection' (because businesses are unwittingly causing their unhappy customers to 'deflect' away from the reviews site to Google)

Can they write a review at a time of their own choosing?

Our comment...
  • If the answer is 'No' - the mechanism is also in contravention of the CMA regulations. Why? Because consumers need to know more about products and services than what the customer thought at point-of-purchase. Think for a minute - do you want to know how fast the shoes wore out? Do you need to know if the long-term impact of that financial or legal advice was positive?
  • The 'Deflection' point applies here too - the customer cannot write a review to the business's review site of choice - they will resort to the biggest 'reviews site' of them all: Google

How do you prevent misleading or inaccurate reviews from being published?

Our comment...
  • If the answer to this key question is anything but 'We don't!' alarm bells should be ringing loudly in your ears. Why? Because the CMA rules - again, rightly - prohibit any mechanism that enables the business to in any way deflect negative reviews. We know of (and have documentary evidence of) reviews sites that incorporate mechanisms that have this very effect - they may be given grand-sounding names like 'quarantine' for what appear - superficially at least - to be the best of intentions, but the outcome, in the hands of some businesses, is straightforward: the negative review does not appear

What results have your clients achieved?

Our comment...
  • and by results, we don't mean 'numbers of reviews' (we see businesses every day that have hundreds of reviews in the wrong place, making no impact on their bottom lines whatsoever) - we mean a quantifiable financial impact. An uplift in visits to their client's website, an uplift in calls (both of which most marketing directors can put a £p value on). Insist on seeing case histories and actual results. 


Now: HelpHound's answers to those four key questions...


1.  Can anyone write a review on your platform?

Yes - all our clients have a button on their website, accessible to all, 24/7, without invitation


2.  Can they write a review at a time of their own choosing?

Yes - whenever they choose, seven days a week, morning, noon or night


3.  How do you prevent misleading or inaccurate reviews from being published?


We cannot. But we do have a mechanism that allows the business and the customer to interact, pre-publication, and it is welcomed by both as a way of ensuring that reviews posted HelpHound are factually accurate and less likely to mislead the consumer than those on any other platform we know of - more here


4.  What results have your clients achieved?


These...




...and these, taking a business from this...




...to this...



...and lots more, that we will be happy to show you.

Welcome to professional review management. Welcome to HelpHound.






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