Friday 20 May 2022

Don't shut out stakeholders

We sometimes come across review mechanisms that exclude stakeholders other than immediate 'verified' customers from writing a review. This is a bad idea - firstly because the regulators don't like it: the CMA clearly states that...

And they are unlikely to agree to a very narrow definition of those 'entitled' to write a review of a business as 'those invoiced for a product or service by the business'. And even less so those who the business sees fit to send an invitation to write a review. Look at the following examples of stakeholders and ask yourself 'if I were in their position would I consider it unfair that I were barred from writing a review of the business?'
  • A supplier to the business
  • An employee of the business
  • A past employee of the business 
  • The husband or wife of a person who had used the business
  • The legal representative of someone who had used the business 
  • Someone who had first-hand experience of a business but, for some reason, never became an invoiced customer

The list is endless. But there is a far more important reason why the business's review mechanism should be open in the truest sense of the word: open to all: if a stakeholder wishes to write a review but cannot for some reason associated with the business's in-house review mechanism they will find somewhere else that will accept their review. We have described this in previous articles, and even given it a name: Deflection. And the most obvious and popular alternative? Google - by far and away.

Look at this business...

A score of 4.8 out of 5 from 1361 reviews. But try clicking that button to leave a review. No, you cannot. You have to be invited to do so.

So what about Google - reviews that are hugely more visible to anyone searching the web and the gatekeepers of your online reputation?

Ouch! Millions, nay billions, of people reference Google reviews every day. If you drive people who don't fit your stringent criteria of a 'qualified reviewer' to Google the example you see above will highly likely be repeated for your business. And a large proportion of those who might otherwise have made it as far as your website and seen all your lovely reviews there will never do so.

The solution

We can hear some of you - quite understandably - saying 'Seriously? You wan't me to open my business to criticism by just any Tom, Dick or Harry?' 

No. we wouldn't recommend that - ever (unless you run a perfect business and also think every single consumer of the planet is perfect as well). As regular readers know - and our clients have proven, year in year out - the answer is to adopt a moderated review management system.

Moderation enables a business to open itself up to reviews from whatever quarter - all the time - in the secure knowledge that the individual moderators who read every review before publication will identify...

  • reviews that contain errors of fact
  • reviews that contain statements likely to mislead those who may rely on them
  • reviews that contain profanity or unwarranted accusations of law breaking
  • reviews written by competitors
  • reviews that are 'fake'

That's what we do for our clients. And it gets great results for great businesses, with reviews on their own websites and reviews to Google, safely and - most important of all - credibly.

No comments:

Post a Comment

HelpHound is all about feedback, so please feel free to comment here...