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Not long ago my wife and I hired someone to remodel our kitchen–new flooring, new paint job, new cabinets and fixtures, the works. We were super happy with how everything turned out. In addition to our final invoice, our general contractor also gave us some advice on what products to use to clean the new floor and how to remove any scuff marks on the cabinets. She then gave us a couple of parting gifts, a customized pizza cutter I remember was one of them, and her card. On the back of the card was a link where we could go and leave a review on her services. She then explained for every positive review we left she would give us a $10 gift card to a local hardware store.
That is where she lost me.
Maybe it is just me, but I think BUYING a positive review is tacky. I would have been more than happy to give her a heartfelt honest review, but the thought of doing it just for financial compensation left a bad taste in my mouth.
I know some in our biz do this for both reviews and referrals (send us a referral and if they book us we’ll hook you up with a Starbucks gift card). Where is the satisfaction that comes from knowing you honestly earned the business on merit rather than incentive?
To be clear, I think reviews (and referrals) are essential in today's world. I personally look at them for everything, whether I’m shopping around for a new vehicle or just a new kitchen can opener and I think they are a great tool for our business. The good ones can be used for marketing purposes and those less than stellar ones can be a great learning tool. The sweet spot, I learned in a seminar, is 4.7 to 4.9 on a scale of 1 to 5: Lower than that makes potential clients apprehensive, but higher than that (a perfect 5.0) tends to make people question if the reviews are truly legit.
The way I see it, I’m happy to respond to every review I receive and I’m happy to reach out to say “Thank You” to all who send me a referral, but to me, offering some type of financial enticement diminishes the true value of that referral or that review.
What are your thoughts?
Until next week,