Do you or don’t you. It’s not a straightforward decision for any business to actively encourage reviews of your products and service on 3rd party review web sites like Trustpilot. Deep down you know you ought to give your customers a vehicle to openly and constructively comment on what you do but unless you are able to somehow “skew” the results you do leave your company open to the risk of negative feedback which in turn is likely to lead to fewer sales.
Of course the whole point of a trusted and independent 3rd party review site is that it does give an unbiased perspective on a business from real customers who have actually experienced the service (and or products) being sold. This then helps to inform other prospective customers and assists them in making their own buying decisions. So arguably if you do get poor or negative reviews and lots of them then you probably deserve it and prospective customers will and should take heed.
At USB2U we’ve amassed 2,500 reviews in a couple of years. Of course not every customer will leave a review but all are encouraged to do so and we don’t vet any before they are posted. Inevitably when you get this many reviews you’re going to pick up the odd one or two where we’ve dropped a catch and quite rightly our customers have let us know. Whilst we don’t like getting poor reviews (who does) where the customer is making a fair and reasonable point we do everything we can to put things right and learn from what went wrong.
Where review sites like Trustpilot are frustrating is when the results are “manipulated” by competitors. Some companies can achieve a certain “trust ranking” or score by just asking a handful of selected customers to post comments – this gets them a high ranking and then they stop. It’s interesting that we have competitors ranked closely to us who barely ask for (or get any reviews) but claim to be global companies with thousands of customers. Equally we know of others companies we compete with whose ex-staff have claimed they actively manipulate the results and reviews. Tut tut!
The problem with this is that the temptation to “manipulate” the results on sites like Trustpilot is high because the stakes are high – businesses live or die on their reputation and nowhere is a reputation more visible and exposed than on a high profile review site.
At USB2U we’ve always taken the view that we want lots of real reviews from real customers and because of this our team are encouraged to ask customers to post reviews. We obviously always hope for great feedback but we know that in an imperfect world we won’t always get things right. When we screw up we fix it and we focus on delivering a great experience. After 2,500 reviews and with an overall ranking of “Excellent” and a “Trust Score of 9.6 out of 10 we’re reasonably happy. Clearly there is still room for improvement but at least anyone looking at our reviews can be confident of their legitimacy.