Over the past month, I’ve observed several businesses asking customers for “reviews.”
My auto mechanic fixed a strange rattling noise on my car that was bugging me… and instead of charging me for it (I was more than happy to pay them for that service) — they declined to take my money. Instead, they asked if I would write them a review on Google or Yelp.
Ehhh… that was awkward, because I’m not a “review” person.
My nail salon — instead of charging me full price for the manicure I purchased (which I was very happy with) — insisted that I accept a $10 off “coupon” that I didn’t need or want…Then they asked me to write a review for them on Yelp.
In a podcast I listen to, the speakers frequently ask listeners to write reviews for their podcast, in exchange for a free book of their choice by the author.
“What is up with businesses asking for reviews?!” I thought.
It feels contrived. Not genuine. Not organic. The customer isn’t offering any feedback; the business is trying to squeeze it out of them.
In all of these cases, something didn’t sit right with me.
The problem with asking customers for reviews (or even testimonials) is that it’s slightly “manufactured”…and it sort of de-sanctifies the value of the transaction that just took place.
Whatever they write, didn’t come from the heart…it came out of their desire to be polite.
Nobody wants to tell another person “no,” so they’ll write a review out of guilt or to avoid being rude. People want to be pleasant. So they’ll agree to do something they might not really want to do. Fuck that.
In that case, the customer isn’t inspired internally to post a review on their own…they’re only doing it because they’d feel bad NOT doing it.
And that’s not genuine.
…That’s not energetically clean at all.
In doing that, your business moves from being a “giver” to a “taker.”
Secondly, our society needs to learn to stop listening to other people…and start making their own individual decisions.
“Reviews” perpetuate the myth that “Other people know better than I do.”
How is a total stranger (who may or may not have the same values as me) going to tell me what I should expect from any given company? I made that decision myself, thank you very much.
I’m perfectly capable of choosing to do business with a company based on their actual MEI’ing content (or lack thereof).
Personally, I don’t even read reviews.
I read and study a business’s content before I buy anything from them. I base my buying decision on the value of their content:
Does it motivate me? Does it educate me? Does it inspire me?
If I read reviews (such as movie reviews), I only read them after I’ve experienced the product and made my own decisions about it… because I want to deepen my understanding, education, or enthusiasm. That’s it.
If I use a product or service and love it, I don’t need to share my experience with total strangers in order for it to be valid! I might share my experience with close friends or family.
Maybe this rigorous self-education makes me a weirdo in today’s brainless society. But it keeps my life energetically clean.
Thirdly… most reviews are simply a “projection” of someone’s own “stuff” onto someone else, whether good or bad.
Either the review is a complaint (someone declaring that they were a victim in life and didn’t like the experience they manifested with a particular company)…
OR the review is a positive sentiment that the customer only posted because the business asked them to.
Rarely do you find a thoughtful, inspired, well-constructed review that comes from the heart and is actually worth reading or studying.
Plenty of businesses have tons of raving customers without any reviews being posted.
Others thrive, even if they have “negative” or fake reviews posted about them!
The best, most valuable customers sometimes go years or decades without uttering a peep about their favorite businesses on any public platform.
Does that negate the business’s ability to be successful?! No!
Great customers show their appreciation, not through manufactured reviews–but through continued PURCHASES.
Nothing spells out “I love your business” more than a customer continuing to give you money, because they want to.
…And the rest of the world doesn’t even have to know this is going on, for you to be successful.
Asking for reviews, likes, retweets, and shares is something a MARKETER does. It’s the equivalent of saying, “Please spread the word… because we don’t know how to sell without you.”
Never put customers in an awkward situation, trying to compel them to write you a review!