Why ‘Closed’ review systems don’t work
What do we mean by a ‘Closed’ review system?
A Closed system:
- Is invitation only – customers cannot write a review unless the business asks them to
- Often allows the business to select which reviews to display
This may, at first sight, look great for businesses. Let us explain why, in reality, it is not.
- As soon as prospective customers realise that there has been selection (either by only inviting selected customers to write a review, or by only showing selected reviews) the reviews lose a lot of their impact
- The business loses an impressive USP: the ability to say to all its prospective customers that they will be invited to write a review and that review will be displayed for all to see (that is, for instance, one of AirBnB’s success secrets)
- Many ‘invitation only’ systems allow the business to invite reviews only at point-of-transaction. A good example of this id reviews of online clothing purchases, where the customer is commonly asked their opinion of the item purchased within days of purchase. Of course they like that brand new pair of shoes/dress, but would the system not be far more useful if they were able to report on comfort/durability months or even years post-purchase?
The bottom line:
Whatever system you choose, it must be – and be seen by your potential customers to be – transparent and designed with your customers’ best interests at its core. Only then will it be credible. HelpHound’s Dialogue ticks both of those very important boxes.