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Incentivising Customer Reviews

Incentivising Customer Reviews  

11 members have voted

  1. 1. Offering a small incentive to customers to post a review

    • So long as there's no requirement or implication the review be positive this is OK
      7
    • Not OK
      4


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You've bought a product / service and later on you are offered an incentive to post an honest review. Last time I bought something off eBuyer I was asked something along the lines of "Post your HONEST review and get entered into a prize draw to win an iPad". (I remember the word honest was definitely in Capitals and there was no implication a positive review was required). I'm happy with eBuyer so didn't really mind. A local restaurant also offers % off next meal if you post a review.

So basically, offering a small incentive to post a review without asking or implying that it be a positive one. What are your views on this?

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If the incentive is large enough to make the difference between bothering or not bothering to review, then it's big enough to skew the results.

I think the bigger question is "Should a listing of reviews be required to state which/if any reviewers were given an incentive"

On Amazon it is well known that regular/top reviewers are given freebie items to review but they have to state that in the review.

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6 hours ago, juvenal said:

My son was recently offered discount for a good review in a London restaurant.. 

That's asking for a good review, obviously wrong. Many if not most of them are it.

 

5 hours ago, Habeas Domus said:

If the incentive is large enough to make the difference between bothering or not bothering to review, then it's big enough to skew the results.

I think the bigger question is "Should a listing of reviews be required to state which/if any reviewers were given an incentive"

On Amazon it is well known that regular/top reviewers are given freebie items to review but they have to state that in the review.

A particular product of mine, 3000 sales has garnered a total of 2 reviews, so that's 0.6%. When I started off it took 3 years until I got my first customer review.

http://thefutureofpublishing.com/2014/03/how-amazon-destroyed-the-publishing-ecosystem/

"593,710 was the average sales position of the (IBPA award) winning titles on Amazon, varying from about 200,000 to about 1.7 million in the listings."

500,000 rank means the books sells about 1 copy every 2 months or so. I guarantee you most of those books won't have more than a handful of reviews. I have got editorial reviews from professionals who are well qualified, none of which I know personally. This doesn't make much difference though. The rare occasions where customers do it is most often positive . More 5 stars than 4 even, which might sound hard to believe (at least half of 5 star online reviews are fake).

Customers rely heavily on the millions of anonymous online customer reviews that exist on the internet, despite that they rarely post them. Personally I don't rely on them, and would expect on here not as many do either. I wish just 1 in 50 customers did bother, be that 1 to 5 stars, that might start to water out the masses and masses of fake reviews a little bit.

A lot of good companies / businesses choose not to sacrifice themselves for the greater good of revealing how corrupt customer reviews are, by declining to participate (who wants to go out of business first?) leaving only positive reviews for mediocre / rubbish products (now we will start up again?). They are also manipulating their reviews one way or another and therefore maintaining the credibility of customer reviews.

Unfortunately Fake reviews work. How many customers think they don't work and think they can't be so easily fooled makes it even worse.

PRODUCT REPUTATION MANIPULATION: THE CHARACTERISTICS AND IMPACT OF SHILL REVIEWS by TOAN C. ONG B.S. in Information Systems, University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City, 2003 M.S. in Information Systems, University of Colorado Denver, 2008

https://pqdtopen.proquest.com/doc/1399161414.html?FMT=ABS

(page 67) - The results show that when there are more shill reviews in the review set, perceived product quality increases. This result is true both before and after the consumers read the reviews. After reading the reviews, the effect of shill reviews was even stronger indicating that consumers were unable to detect that reviews were shill reviews and the shill reviews were successful in influencing the assessment about product quality. This finding is consistent with the conclusion by Jindal et al. (2008) who states that it is impossible to distinguish shill reviews from normal reviews even if they are manually read.”

https://today.yougov.com/topics/lifestyle/articles-reports/2014/11/24/americans-rely-online-reviews-despite-not-trusting (Yes Americans I know).

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/forums/t/real-or-fake-verified-purchase-reviews/389652

Thanks for your responses both.

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I know a lousy restaurant/bar that got into the Tripadvisor TOP 10 best restaurants in London (out of 18,400) by offering its customers a free shot for a five-star review. I'd say upwards of 70% of their reviews were fake. Their behaviour was so blatant that Tripadvisor finally put a warning on their listing for six months. Not much more than a slap on the wrist. Reviews are obviously important, which is also why unscrupulous types are so eager to game the system.

However, I don't see a problem with encouraging people to leave a review so long as they can give whatever rating and feedback they like.

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On 08/05/2018 at 16:14, Orsino said:

I know a lousy restaurant/bar that got into the Tripadvisor TOP 10 best restaurants in London (out of 18,400) by offering its customers a free shot for a five-star review. I'd say upwards of 70% of their reviews were fake. Their behaviour was so blatant that Tripadvisor finally put a warning on their listing for six months. Not much more than a slap on the wrist. Reviews are obviously important, which is also why unscrupulous types are so eager to game the system. 

However, I don't see a problem with encouraging people to leave a review so long as they can give whatever rating and feedback they like. 

I'm not surprised. Typical Trip Advisor BS.  Have you heard of the Shed? similar to old fishing boat. 70% fakes is probably right. Companies like TripAdvisor & Yelp love User Generated Content (UGC). It's content created for free and there are no laws making them responsible for any of it (e.g. CDA 230 protection in the US).

If enough customers posted honest reviews, be they 1 to 5 stars, and therefore the incentive for better work / products got validated I'd be over the moon. I've never based any of my purchase decisions on anonymous strangers on the internet., but as someone who sells things you realize how much most other people do. Unfortunately so few customers post reviews that manipulating reviews is very worthwhile and lucrative for those that do it.

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If you're going to look at customer reviews the number of poor ones is probably more meaningful. Plenty of them for my local pub, since the landlord is a bit of a Basil Fawlty. People are clueless at reviewing anyway, even without persuasion to give fake ones top marks ares still too common - IMO that would be for something that went well beyond expectation.

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I hate being asked to review. "Thank you for buying a packet of screws. Now please answer these simple 38 questions."

Also don't bother with www.fakespot.com - I pointed it at several reviews I had myself written on tripadvisor and it said they were fake.

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It seems a huge problem that has grown a lot in the last few years.  Reviews especially on Amazon and TripAdvisor are extremely important a lot of the time in deciding what sells or not.  I'm not taking about a Samsung phone or even branded pair of trainers.... It's the million and one other items from screws to screen savers.  

I flirted a few years ago about selling online.  At the time it seemed pretty formulaic at least with fulfilled by Amazon.  Namely white label a random product, send lots of free or discounted products to hundreds of people in order to get the reviews and hence higher listing.  Profit.  I'm sure it's even more sinister with buying reviews etc.  

Wonder how this will be resolved in the future...a far fetched idea would be say based on the Chinese social credit score where your honesty score determines importance of your review, maybe Blockchain based or something equally high tech.  All a bit Orwellian probably.

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On 11/05/2018 at 19:38, Dogtanian said:

It seems a huge problem that has grown a lot in the last few years.  Reviews especially on Amazon and TripAdvisor are extremely important a lot of the time in deciding what sells or not.

Quality control has been outsourced to be done for free by customers. 10 years old and have just had the most amazing summer holiday ever. When back at school your teacher makes you write a 100 word essay on your summer holiday (a few groans are heard), no choice, you have to.........Years later as an adult you get a product that exceeds your expectations. You don't have to write a review and you probably don't.

 

On 11/05/2018 at 19:38, Dogtanian said:

Wonder how this will be resolved in the future...a far fetched idea would be say based on the Chinese social credit score where your honesty score determines importance of your review, maybe Blockchain based or something equally high tech.  All a bit Orwellian probably.

Hope so, maybe tech will help. At the moment policing customer reviews would be suicidal as it would be adding a cost that benefits all your competitors while they don't need to spend a penny.

Customer sees product they like at Retailer A, is confident they can trust the reviews because retailer A spends £100k+ on policing millions of customer reviews (advanced algorithms, skilled programmers maintaining and evolving the algorithms, human eyes looking at issues etc)........then goes to Retailer B to get exactly the same product cheaper.

IMO the only thing that will change it is the rule of law to stop dragging its knuckles and make websites like Tripadvisor, Amazon and Yelp actually legally responsible for fake reviews.

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On 10/05/2018 at 18:09, Funn3r said:

Also don't bother with www.fakespot.com - I pointed it at several reviews I had myself written on tripadvisor and it said they were fake. 

They can give false negatives. However, from a sample of size of 1000's of reviews, I see 70%+ FAIL across multiple products on Metareview for someone  I already know is gaming the Amazon review system (Amazon don't really care!).

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Like the Google algorithm we'll be having reviews of reviewers soon where certain reviewers earn a reputation about whether they are accurate or not.

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I can't be bothered to fill in lots of reviews fore.g.  trip advisor for every place I've visited, just for a stupid badge (what with me not being 8 years old). Especially as it is them only who financially benefit. If someones creating content that they request, then they should bloody well pay for it!

But if I got some form of small payment, as long as its for +ve as well as -ve reviews, then I'd do it a lot more often.I lost faith in a certain campsite review site when they didn't publish a review I did that had a negative element. And trusted their rating system less too.

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It goes on, and if it's legal, then it's legal.

Just means you have to cynical and do even more research, to be certain you're approaching someone who is actually good, for whatever it is you're in the market for.  Far from the net making you more informed, there's a lot of VI positioning.

Quote

 

Exclusive: Bloggers offered £50 to say nice things about ------  ---------
18 May 2018

http://www.rollonfriday.com/Default.aspx?TabId=58&Id=5663&fromTab=36&currentIndex=2

 

And it's gone of for decades, in other ways.  Seeking good publicity.

On 09/07/2018 at 10:53, cica said:

Like the Google algorithm we'll be having reviews of reviewers soon where certain reviewers earn a reputation about whether they are accurate or not.

:lol:

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


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