• Joel K

    Good post, but one very important thing I wanted to share with you:

    Both Yelp and Google+ explicitly advise against having a kiosk or computer onsite in your workplace – and both track incoming IPs when determining whether or not a review is real or fake.

    Having a kiosk onsite is a recipe for disaster, most reviews will be filtered and you can wind up publically shamed on Yelp.

  • Mary Bowling

    Trip Advisor is another review juggernaut that doesn’t allow reviews from the business’ IP address. It’s critical to read and understand the terms of service for each review site that’s important in your industry before you determine your what your review acquisition strategy will be.

  • David Wenner

    Great article which I will share with all my customers. But, there is need to wait for the customer to get back to you or a need to invest in a kiosk. Try out the mobile app vocalreferences and get immediate customer video testimonials published to your site, facebook, twitter ….

  • Review HELPER

    Asking for reviews is what gets most businesses in trouble with major review sites such as Yelp, Google+ Local and TripAdvisor. Yelp is the most severe. Yelp’s automated review filter has access to Yelp’s database of historical review and user activity. It knows the average number of reviews submitted each month–not only for your business, but for the average business in your business category in your market. It views any “unnatural” patterns” as an attempt to deceive.

    So if your business has averaged one to two reviews a month for the past year, and suddenly 10 of the 15 customers you asked to review you submit reviews in one week (all 5-star rated, of course, and probably the only review they’ve ever submitted), you’re going to have a problem with Yelp. The review filter may not only filter the new reviews, but penalize you (i.e., filter positive reviews) going back in time, as well as into the future. Remember, this is software making these decisions, so it doesn’t matter if these are real customers writing honest reviews.

    This is why you need to be careful with soliciting. It’s also why most of these third-party solutions that try to automate the review process not only do not work, but can actually hurt you. So what can you do to be pro-active? Try to understand the natural patterns, not only for your particular business, but for your category (study your competitors). With Yelp you can also study the filtered reviews. And then be selective about who you ask to review you. Yelp actually gives good advice: have some kind of visual (i.e., Yelp logo or sign) at your business to remind customers who may already be Yelpers (maybe even “elite” Yelpers) that they might review you. Existing Yelpers have a history of participation, and their reviews carry more weight than first-timers.

  • http://www.koozai.com/ Lenka Istvanova

    Great and to the point article, George! Agree with you; online reviews reviews are as valuable as personal recommendations and can have a positive impact on conversion rate.

    I’ve recently written article how you can also use Social media to get those valuable reviews http://www.koozai.com/blog/branding/how-to-start-getting-reviews-from-your-customers/