Reviews: If it is Good Enough to Do, It’s Good Enough to Do in Excess

footFile this under: Bosses come up with the worst ideas category or perhaps in the “it felt so good shooting myself in the left foot, let me do it in my right one as well” category.

This comment was recently posted on my GOOGLE: REVIEW CONTESTS VIOLATE GUIDELINES article from a Mrs G.

Mrs G. (1 comments)

So when is asking no longer asking. I work for a large company who is pushing the reviews so that they can get listed higher on the Google search engine. I mean wow, we are asking them when they come into the store, we are calling them and reminding them that we have not seen the review yet, we are going through our client lists and calling the ones we thing will give good reviews, now we are trying to get them to do the review on their phone before they leave the office. We even offer to use our phone if they did nor bring their and to help them sign up for a Gmail account if they do not have one. Are we going too far?

Dear Mrs G:

Remind me never to shop there.



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Reviews: If it is Good Enough to Do, It's Good Enough to Do in Excess by

15 thoughts on “Reviews: If it is Good Enough to Do, It’s Good Enough to Do in Excess”

  1. Some of these companies are getting so aggressive about reviews.

    I just had an air conditioning repair guy at my house. He and the office tried 4 different tactics to get a review out of me.

    You could tell they were well schooled on getting reviews, but I thought they were quite pushy.

    1) “We’d love a review of our service today. Here’s a card that that explains how and where to leave us a review.”

    The card was to “Review Buzz” and if I leave a review I get entered in a raffle.

    2) “Or actually since you are online now anyway, if you have time you could go ahead and do it right now. I can walk you through it.

    3) (Would help me out personally ploy) “It would really help me out if you left a review of my service today. We are having a contest at the office and if I get the most reviews I get a $50 bonus.”

    4) Then on top of that, a follow up call from the office asking for review.

    Yes, the service was good. Yes, I’m in the biz and understand the importance of reviews. No, I don’t have time to write one. No, I don’t want to be hounded about it. I also don’t like the fact you are offering a raffle ticket for reviews.

    I understand the clamor for reviews, but companies need to start putting customers 1st and think about how desperate and pushy their review gathering strategy might be perceived.

  2. Good post here and even-better reply there, Mike.

    I think the line some of these companies are crossing is they’re making it very tough to say no to writing a review. It’s fine to ask customers on 2 occasions (or sometimes more). The initial time you’re just planting the seed of the idea, and the second time is probably by email. Fine. Not intrusive. It doesn’t put the customer on the spot, and it gives the business owner time to get the message and shut up if need be. But not so if you’re asking customers before they’ve left the store – and then on 3 other occasions.

  3. Yes it is quite incredible to me that a process that is meant to engage and start conversation would be used in such a way as to drive the very customers that you rely on away.

    I suppose if it was a house sale and you didn’t think that they would ever buy from you again regardless then maybe, just maybe I might exceed the two ask but even then it would a whole lot subtler than this, no?

  4. Very true. Even with the home-buyer example, the realtor would have to be pretty dumb to approach the request as do-or-die. He / she would be wise to see asking for review as an extension of the transaction – which also means it’s an opportunity to irritate an otherwise happy client. The die is never cast, IMHO.

    1. @phil
      So true. It takes a life time to build trust and but a second to break it.

      These folks however seem will to sacrifice current good will for some mythical future benefit.

  5. Very subtle and appropriate piece. Linda’s experience is also very telling.

    I am aware of smb’s that have added incentivizing their staff to get reviews. In fact I believe that is a fundamental element w/in the auto business having to do w/ new car sales.

    It can go too far. Nice reminder.

  6. I didn’t know some businesses go that far, wow! A suggestion and a reminder is great, but pestering your otherwise happy patrons like this is insane. I hope I never come across a business like this, or I might just pull a Mt. Vesuvius on them.

  7. Does the reporting mechanism for spam reviews and profiles work for anyone? I’ve only had success in ONE instance with ONE spam photo on a high profile hotel in SF. The rest have been ignored, and after I went back to check, the spam profiles/reviews are still active.

  8. Well this type of marketing is a well-known strategy to get positive “appraisal” from Google but when you overdo it, your customers might get really annoyed from your constant reminding and put a negative review in the end.

  9. Mike,
    I’m actually glad I didn’t read this until the end of my Friday. You have put the perfect cap on my week. I am laughing so hard at the frantic picture Mrs. G. has painted for us. Totally hysterical. Thanks for sharing!

  10. @dan

    The report a review link only precipitates a review of the content so as to be sure it is compliant with the TOS. If no TOS violation is found then the review is left standing.

    Spam reviews, if done “properly”, would only come down if they triggered the algo based spam filters.

  11. I doubt good reviews can make enough difference to warrant that kind of time commitment and energy. Surely doing better customer service in general would make more of an improvement in sales than hounding the poor clients. When a client tells us they’re going to give us a good review, and I don’t see it after a couple of weeks, I feel hesitant to even bring it up again. I must be behind the times.

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