Encouraging customers to leave reviews (hopefully positive!) reviews is always a challenge. This is true across a number of platforms that I've been involved with; it doesn't matter if you offer customers an incentive to leave a review or even try begging them. What it usually boils down to is that unless customers have a very strong feeling one way or the other, reviews are almost never left.
This usually means that you'll see the very strong pro and the very strong negative side of things but not much in the middle. As a consumer this is no doubt very troubling and and leads to confusion... what should I trust? Do I trust the horribly negative review or the review that is glowing? How about the newest review? The oldest? There are so many different scenarios that need to be evaluated and thought out that just looking at the reviews and trying to make a decision could a be a full time job.
When ACT Lock & Key is trying to solicit reviews we reach out to our past customers via an auto generated email asking them for their feedback. It's very simple and, hopefully, extremely easy for a customer to leave their thoughts on the products and service. Even though it is such a simple process... reviews are still not left in any meaningful quantity. Bummer, right? Let's put it this way, out of all the emails that are sent asking for reviews only a handful of users actually take the time to click the link and provide with their thoughts on bump keys or the service provided. When we've offered incentives in the past for customer reviews it hasn't made a difference... again... unless the reviewer felt extremely strong one way or the other.
What to look for when reading reviews:
- Is the reviewer from a verified customer? Having a non-verified customer leave a review doesn't make a lot of sense. Why would you value the opinion of someone who didn't even buy the product?
- How old is the review? If the review is old (more than a year) it's entirely possible there was an issue in the past, but it's been corrected. Contact the vendor and see if it's been corrected.
- How new is the review? Newer reviews should be sought after first. This should give you the best idea about the quality of the products and level of service rendered most recently.
- Does the review use proper English? If the reviewer is constantly SHOUTING that this is the best bump key set ever made, you might want to remain a little cautious.
- Is the review from a store employee? This is really a concern that needs to be addressed.. it's possible that the store employee could be leaving their own reviews. Look for common grammar mistakes among reviews.
- Are all the reviews on the same date? This one can be a little bit harder to distinguish. The Bumpkey.us site uses a review system that doesn't run 24/7 and must be manually triggered. The consequence of this is that many of the preview order review notifications will be sent out at the same time.
Wish there were other methods to encourage customers to leave reviews but it just doesn't work out that way. People do what they want to do, and that usually means once they're satisfied with a product and it's meet their expectations, they go on to another venture.
With a bit of work, investigation, and dedication you can sift through the non-helpful reviews and really learn about what works and what doesn't. If you're already at the point where you're going to be leaving a review... please do take that extra few moments and complete the form on the product review page. It might just help someone else!