I have to say that during this Holiday Season, practically every online merchant you purchase from, wants a review from their customer. They are emailing you. Please review your item! Will you review your purchase? Please take a minute and complete a satisfaction survey….on and on it goes. And many sites, like Etsy or Amazon, request a review for EACH separate item, instead of reviewing a total transaction. And just rating with stars is not good enough, you have to add a certain number of words to make the review viable!
So let’s take this apart for a moment. We are in a pandemic, and me, like everyone else, is ordering stuff online. In the case of Etsy, I order lots of individual stones for my jewelry making. It is not unusual for me to order 10 different stones from a single merchant. So now Etsy wants me to review each and every stone from the same merchant. That takes, at minimum 10 minutes of my time. Multiply that by the 30 orders average a month online, and that becomes 300 minutes (or 5 hours)! This is time you don’t get back. And these are not the only merchants who are relentless with asking for reviews. At the holiday peak, how many individual items from Amazon , or any other major online retailer you are ordering from? My email is flooded with “review order #12345-67-89”. Uggh!
When you are in person at a store, the clerk doesn’t require a full-on review. He/She will simply ask perhaps if you found everything okay, which usually requires a one word answer. If you say more, you are holding up the person behind you in line, so a full review is not expected or even wanted.
I believe reviews should come from the heart. An exceptionally good experience, where you really want to tell someone that they went over and above. This should not have to be begged for, and should not be used as a full on metric. To be honest, I am not going to spend time reviewing paper towels or screw drivers I ordered out of necessity. Shouldn’t we note that a merchant who makes a lot of sales with few complaints is a good merchant? Why do you need forced reviews to determine the quality of a business?
I WILL review an item that comes unexpectedly fast, or when a customer service person reaches out to me to help out with an issue and resolves it, or when an item is so unique, so beautiful and beyond what I expect. I will review if something is exceptionally poor or something is criminal or harmful. It will be because I WANT to review it, not because I was asked or expected to review it. It is the heart of why a review can be vitally important.
As a merchant myself, I love the reviews that people want to offer–so don’t get me wrong–I love my reviews! Just don’t do a review out of obligation. Choose to review something that is exceptional, and makes you feel good (or bad). Your time is valuable, and the fact that you took the time to say something, on your own terms, is more valuable and worth thousands of stars!