Why we will never recommend a ‘closed’ review site
When you are deciding on a review management strategy you need to consider exactly how this will benefit your business – and, importantly: how it will be viewed by your competitors.
One major plank of Dialogue™ is the fact that it is an ‘open’ system. It was designed that way for very good reasons.
For the consumer:
- They – if they are already a customer – need to know that they can write a review at any stage in their relationship with the business
- They – if they are a potential customer looking for reassurance – need to know that any and every customer of the business can write a review whenever they want
For the business:
- It needs to know that it has a feedback channel that is open 24/7
- That is trusted by their customers
‘Closed’ systems – invitation by the business only – bring trust issues to the fore. For two main reasons:
- The business is able to choose the time that the invitation to review is sent
- The business is able to choose to whom the invitation is sent
Put yourself in the position of the consumer: you are considering doing business with a business that employs a closed review management system. You will be asking two questions which the business will find it very hard to answer:
- Why can I only write a review at your invitation?
- Do you hand-pick those customers who you invite to write a review?
There are even some sites that look open but turn out to be closed after all; you click on your rating and a box pops up asking you to phone the business for a verification code. Great if the business wants no negative reviews – what dissatisfied client is going to brave that call? – but terminal for their credibility.
And imagine you are a business competing with another that employs a closed review system – with the best will in the world are you going to resist the temptation to raise these two issues with your potential customer? Possibly not!
We understand the immediate superficial attractions of these sites, and we can hear them saying “we have an invitation only – closed – system, because it makes it easy to verify the reviewer.” But none of the reasons they give outweigh the total lack of credibility.
As the MD of one web design company said to us recently: “I’d recommend them to my clients, but how can I when their system makes it so obvious that the system is specifically designed to generate [only] 5* reviews?”
- enables anyone to write a review at any time
Which enables our clients to look their potential customers in the eye and say:
- The reviews we are displaying on our website are written by any and every client who takes the trouble
- They – and you, when you become a client – will always be able to say what you want, when you want
Open – it’s the only way that’s fair and credible.