Automation may take the hassle out of some review collection processes, but the automatic re-sending of review invitation emails is harmful, rather than helpful.
Review invitation emails
Here at Reviews.co.uk we understand that asking your customers for a review manually would be a full time job – that’s why our system takes care of your collection for you, automatically sending your customers an email at a time dictated by you after purchase.
We offer companies as many review benefits as humanly (and digitally) possible, which our clients support with increased traffic, conversion and sales. So with that in mind, we actively exclude the option of automated re-sending of review invitations for clients – because it only does more harm than good.
So, why do we take the approach that automatic re-sending is adverse? Our reasons are two-fold:
1) It hassles customers to leave a review, and more importantly,
2) It runs the risk of breaching GDPR guidelines.
Let’s look at the latter first.
With new GDPR guidelines in place as of May 25th 2018, sending a review request invitation email falls under the “Legitimate Interests” laws.
Asking a customer for a review via one automated request is a legitimate interest: As a company you are keen to hear your customers’ feedback in order to make improvements, promote your great services to establish social proof, and thus educate other users to what your business can offer them.
If this invitation is sent out again, and potentially once more through automation, it begins to muddy the waters of legitimate interest, and hassles your customers. This takes us onto our next reason.
Hassling review requests
Even if automatic re-sending fell within GDPR guidelines – we still wouldn’t incorporate it, or recommend anyone not on our platform to use it.
Your customers are sent invitations, which are sent out at a time specified by you. From this email, they are either going to leave you a review, or not. The review may be filled out there and then, a few hours later when the customer has more time (they may be at work), or it may be left until the weekend when there’s some free time.
You’ve asked, and that’s about as far as it should go. If a customer receives this invitation, and then another a few days later, again and again, – your polite invitation, and thus the perception of your company, turns into a hassling, spammy demand.
A customer who may have been happy and willing to leave a review may adamantly now decide not to, simply due to the fact they’ve been badgered. We’ve all been there, it’s called being stubborn. Because you’ve pestered them – a potential irritation for some – why should they help? You’re now in the bin.
From hassling, to negative reviews
It gets worse. Not only may some individuals resolutely refuse to leave a review, others may even go out of their way to leave you a bad review, just for the inconvenience. It’s the review equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot.
Although your company should welcome any negative reviews due to their ability to highlight flaws in your services or products, for you to then remedy, unnecessarily evoking negative reviews from your customers is just careless. You should constantly be improving and building upon your great service, so why handicap yourself from the get-go by providing something top-class, to then throw it away?
Although we feel automatic re-sending is a barrier for boosting your reviews and improving your online reputation, we do appreciate that re-sending invitations in some instances, from time to time, is a requirement. Therefore, we offer our clients the ability to manually re-assign and re-send invitations within the dashboard.
We offer this feature because we understand that for some businesses losing one or two reviews isn’t an option, compared to businesses collecting hundreds of reviews each month. However, by enabling clients to manually select which customers haven’t responded within a reasonable time-frame, helps to reduce the blanket automation or review re-sending, only pinpointing a small audience.
Setting the re-assigning and re-sending of invitations as a manual task helps to slow the process down, and more time can be focussed on determining who should and shouldn’t be contacted. We believe that sending the initial invitation should be more than enough, but in certain instances where customers need reminding, we only advocate the re-sending of an invitation once.
Don’t fall for the lure of easy re-sending using automation, your customers won’t thank you for it, and in many instances it only does more harm than good, potentially landing yourself in hot water with new GDPR rules.
As the old adage goes, less is more. Asking your customers for a review via an initial email invitation should be more than enough to prompt feedback. And if enough time has passed and you believe your customers wouldn’t mind a little nudge, you can re-assign and re-send your invitations manually within our dashboard.
Don’t hinder your business’ marketing strategy, and don’t waste your customers voice – join Reviews, and boost that customer-generated feedback, amplifying your visibility and reputation online. To find out more about how our features and solutions can benefit your company, grab yourself a free trial today.