Research: The Pros and Cons of Soliciting Customer Reviews

Here are some quite impressive numbers regarding online reviews: 98% of customers read reviews before they shop; online reviews affect $3.8 trillion revenues worldwide. It’s no surprise that businesses are constantly on the lookout for ways to improve their online reputation and rating scores; however, one should not necessarily take them at face value. Keep these facts in mind: 1) Solicitation will push your ratings from the extremes toward the average. In other words, for those products with generally high ratings, reminders will lower the average, and vice versa. 2) Platforms, like those for hotel or vacation bookings, just want more reviews; so, they should not delay sending out reminders. For them, solicitation emails on the first day after travel increased the number of reviews by 3% versus waiting a week or longer. 3) You don’t need to bribe customers with discounts or coupons to leave a review; a reminder is often enough. For our clients at P&C, especially those in the travel, airlines, retail banking, and luxury retail industries, we advise that they manage and monitor their reviews often, as well as consider the above observations and advice.

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