Should I Incentivize for Online Reviews?
As a general rule of thumb, don’t incentivize for online reviews. Offering an incentive in exchange for a review may lead to a biased review that might not accurately reflect that specific customer’s experience. You may argue that it’s just business and you will do whatever it takes to increase revenue for your business. I admire that tenacity, but some online review platforms like Yelp do not.
A good alternative to incentivizing is to choose an online review management platform that works for you and your customers. There are many online review management platforms out there but choosing one that works for both sides (your business and your customers) is key.
For example, the odds of a dental patient filling out an online review they received through an email a few days after their visit are very slim. In fact, our statistics at Podium show that only around 2-3% of those patients will click through to get to the actual review. After they have clicked, the completion rate drops even further for those that have to sign in to the online review site. Rather, a text message directly to their phone, before or as they leave the dental practice, shows to have around a 68% click rate and a 15% completion rate (up to 15x the email approach).
A similar argument can be made for automotive dealerships and almost any other industry vertical that collects online reviews. The investment in an online review management platform is one that can yield significant results, comply with terms and conditions, and cut away the awkward moments of asking for a Google, Yelp, or Facebook review. No incentives required.