The Review Effect : What We Know To Be True That No One Admits
So as a reviewer, I see a lot of things posted below reviews or in the comment threads as well as in my inbox.
From buyers I see:
" Unlike other people, I PAID for my item, so my review is legitimate. I don't trust these paid reviewers."
" I didn't get anything free or cheap, so my review is honest."
What they mean is: " I am better qualified than review people who get things for free or a discount because I didn't have a chance to do like they do."
From sellers I get:
"I have items that need reviews, so here's a tiny discount. Please leave only 5 stars, it's a good product!"
" I will give you this item at a discount. You will leave a review asap, with video, and share it on your Facebook and Twitter and any other outlets you have."
What they mean is:
My product is okay, and I have no customer base. Please make me look better, and you must do as I say or you don't get "X" item."
What we all know:
This buyer's sentiment is flawed. If you think by paying full price you are somehow better qualified to speak on the behalf of a buyer's market, then you are in the vast minority. We as a society for the most part have less money on hand for "want" items. We pay for "need" items, and very seldom purchase "wish" items. Why? The minimum wage is still too low for the cost of living , and we welcome coupons and bargains to help us get more bang for our buck. Here's a thought for you:
IF YOU HAVE EVER USED A COUPON FOR ANY PURCHASE EVER AND THEN TOLD SOMEONE HOW THE PURCHASE WAS, YOU HAVE DONE THIS TOO! It's the same thing.
If you are upset that you didn't get the price cut you wished for, just ask. I'll post links to sign up, and go get your own discounted items. Just remember to be fair, blunt, honest, and test each item thoroughly before writing anything. Always test before reviewing, and ALWAYS REVIEW THE ITEM. In detail, please. 250 words or more, so it's concise and worth reading. It's only right and just. These sellers are people, like you and I. You wouldn't jump to conclusions without asking a friend or family member, so don't do it to strangers. It's impolite and uncouth. If you are the type to assume, then you have no business posting reviews. You will never find joy in any product, as you will never be open to customer service options.
CUSTOMER SERVICE IS KEY!!!!
Businesses: Take care of your patrons. If someone got an item for free and had an issue, and you choose to not respond or solve it, then this happens in that buyer's mind - " Thank goodness I got this free, it would have been awful to go through this at full price! What a waste." And guess what? That's the review you'll get.
Sad, disgruntled, unimpressed, and unapologetic low star reviews.. These stick out as red flags to others, and you have essentially sunk yourself. Be good to your market, they will appreciate you.
SELLERS NEED A REALITY CHECK.
We have jobs, kids, and lives. We do NOT get paid to review items. We are people, people who have no loyalty to you or your product yet. You must earn this. To get 5 star reviews, you need to:
* Have a decent product, please. It's a sad moment when we have to take time away from our family just to gaze upon a useless item and still required to write about it. In detail. Sad people can be brutally honest.
* RESPOND!!! If a patron has an issue, respond to them! Fix the issue. This is your testing pool, and if you are unfavorably inept at handling issues, this too will come out. Offer assistance, real help, to address the problem before it gets posted for the global market to read. I have had several 1 star items that got a 5 star from me because the customer service was so outstanding that they fixed my issues and made it right. That's quality care, product and delivery. That's a 5 star review waiting for you.
* If a reviewer contacts you to ask about an item you have not offered to them, TAKE IT. This person wants your product and is giving you first shot at their cash. Reduce the price, send it out, and let them test and review for you. These people are in the market for that item from a big label seller. They came to you for a lesser cost. If you don't snag that patron, they will just go buy the real thing at full cost and forget you. The big name label gains another brand loyalist, and you lose revenue. Help them, help you.
*No one wants to be ordered around. If a person likes the item, they will post it everywhere already. Demanding they do so will result in my personal reaction which is usually, "Wow, really? No, I have enough people ordering me around already at work. I don't need the extra stress, and for a cheap item I could buy at the dollar store? Next!" And so the reviewer clicks away from you, and on to a competitor who is just happy someone is willing to post an opinion of his item and is more friendly. Be friendly, bullies never win.
* If they haven't reviewed yet, let them be. Ask maybe if they have any issues you could help with, and offer to be available should they need you. They haven't posted because: It was a gift and they are waiting for a response from the recipient / They are testing it out / Have to work at a real job and have to wait to have time to write for you / Have kids that they have to tend to / Have an issue and didn't want to say so publicly / Or just forgot. Be understanding.
*DO NOT REQUEST NOR DEMAND A GOOD REVIEW
We know you want this. You can say you hope you have earned it, or the product is worth it, or that it would be wonderful if you got it, but you can't demand it. It's illegal, unethical, unwarranted, and will be found and shut down by the very storefront you inhabit for revenue. Amazon has a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY for this, don't hurt yourself. If the product and service is good, the review will be good.
ALWAYS REMEMBER -
A satisfied customer will be just that. Happy enough , but not loyal to your brand. They will seek a better deal if available, but will leave a good review. They won't tell anyone except in the one review.
An unsatisfied customer will be disappointed and leave a mediocre/slightly negative review. They won't tell anyone except in the one review.
An unhappy, angry, or jilted customer will be irate and leave a brutally honest review and say everything you don't want. They will tell everyone, everywhere, and often.
An excited, thrilled customer who is happy will: leave a stellar review, resplendent in glory and detail with pictures and more. They will tell everyone, everywhere, and often.
That, my dears, is how this plays out. You want it? Earn it. Reviewers, earn the product by being fair and honest. If you have an issue, reach out to the seller and wait for them to fix it. If they do, talk about it openly and give them props for it. That's good business for you both. Sellers, woo your patrons so they talk you up beyond your name brand and make your sales soar. Make yourself a household name. Word of mouth is your best asset, don't squander it.
I'm putting my soapbox away now - now go and be happy!
~ Lilli H.K.