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Should dealers encourage users to write PS reviews?

Should dealers encourage clients to write PS reviews?

  • Yes

    Votes: 15 32.6%
  • No

    Votes: 31 67.4%

  • Total voters
    46

rockysalamander

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
5,022
I have no issue with honest feedback about a vendor...good or bad and actually appreciate it. I read all the Google reviews when I'm considering a product and that really influences me. Also, I think they are important, because lots of companies may have great review (or terrible), but have then undergone management or staffing changes that makes the whole experience different. So, ongoing reviews give you a timeline to consider. Like others, I think it is the honest part that can be difficult to discern.

Maybe something more like the airbnb model where general suggestions to PS users are posted. And restricting reviews to one area.

I agree. I think that having these in one area would be good. But, I think there would have to be some limits on entrance, or the area would be filled with reviews of every random company out there. There would also need to be some organization (maybe allow filtering by company name, product, etc.) . I think that a set of structured neutral questions may glean more for users than a long, rambling review (or maybe my impatience at reading such things is showing).
 
S

Squizabel

Guest
Yes. There are a few jeweler's that are PS popular that is seasoned folks have already sniffed out behind-the-scenes requests for positive reviews. It loses respect. A newbie may not notice. But it stinks of overly-done, insincere praise.




Insincere. I think that's the key point. It just all sounds unnatural and groomed. The reviews are so glowing, written almost as if there was a professional marketing editor hired...



I'm the world's biggest Yelper, and I know how to read through legitimate reviews vs. shillers or "review for the sake of reviewing" reviews. I'm the first one to scream from the top of the roofs if I love a product, service, or vendor. But you can usually "hear" my personality through my reviews. A lot of these shilled posts lack personality and lack genuineness and just sound so insincere :(
Yep.

I was the OP of the thread that I think Rockdiamond is referencing, and in all honesty, I am still not convinced that the similarity of the reviews was just down to customers being asked to do them.

What is the best you can say when you've bought one diamond? "X vendor was really helpful, patient, went the extra mile, very positive experience, lovely diamond, would love to work with him/her again". That sort of thing sounds genuine.

When people start writing things like "X vendor is a deeply wonderful person, a true gentleman, I would trust him with my life, I KNOW their diamonds are the absolute best BAR NONE" after one experience... that sets off alarm bells for me. OK, one person writing it, maybe it's just their personality and over the top writing style. But 4+ people?

Back to the point - IMO asking for feedback to help improve your service is 100% fine and to be encouraged. Asking for reviews on a specific site such as Google, Yelp - OK, if it's just one site where the vendor likes to collect their feedback and a standard message is sent to ALL customers after purchase, not just the ones you know are going to give a good review. Telling people what words to use and what topics to cover - not OK at all. Asking for reviews on a consumer advocate forum like Pricescope - not OK at all.

Really, if people feel moved to write a review, they will work out where to do it and what to write. Don't exploit it as a marketing opportunity.
 

Niel

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
18,767
There's a particular vendor who had one time posters keep calling their work "bespoke" and they use that term a lot too. In the US thata not that common a term for custom rings. It's stuff like that you see if you're paying attention.
 

kanise

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2017
Messages
15
reviews arent bad, it is just that there is no verification of reviews so the potential of abuse is very high. i think most educated buyers take unverified reviews anywhere with a grain of salt. reviews are also more helpful as an aggregate than a series of individual experiences, where outliers with glaringly positive or negative experiences may not represent the norm.

perhaps having option for an individual thread for each vendor, where people could post their experiences in a consolidated place would be a nice compromise. people can then more easily detect trends or abberancies in reviews for particular vendors without having to sort through a bunch of random posts.
 
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Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,061
Great points raised. To be completely accurate I have requested people leave a review, but never on PS. More of a general request.
Along the lines of " if you'd like to write an online review, your words would mean a lot to us"
Then if they ask where to leave one I'd point them to yelp( before I knew it was not allowed) or ivouch. We pay to have a profile on ivouch which may or may not dilute the value.
We were up for renewal on ivouch and when I balked on renewing the site owner showed me that about 800 people a month were looking at our reviews there. We renewed.
Plus all the "big boys" competition have ivouch pages.
But with Yelp, for those unfamiliar, they won't publish a review from a new user. It is there on the merchants page but you have to drill down and it's listed as "unverified"

Another thing about yelp- they want merchants to pay to get more visibility. I've heard of them taking punitive measures if a merchant is approached and refuses.
Visibility on yelp is most important for merchants looking for walk in business. If they bury a walk in merchant in general searches it can cost business.

We have had a few less than stellar reviews over the years but the way I look at it that actually validates the multitude of good ones.
 

Karl_K

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
9,104
When people start writing things like "X vendor is a deeply wonderful person, a true gentleman, I would trust him with my life, I KNOW their diamonds are the absolute best BAR NONE" after one experience... that sets off alarm bells for me. OK, one person writing it, maybe it's just their personality and over the top writing style. But 4+ people?
Here is the thing I have known Wink for a long time.
When he moved from the forum that can not be named to pricescope back in my consumer days I was one of his first customers and wrote what was likely the first review of him on Pricesscope.
We also worked together on a program where a portion of the sales went to a
battered women's shelter.

What you wrote accurately describes Wink and he does inspire passion about him and his products.
Picture a very passionate, honest, grandfather who loves his clients, his products and helping people make memories and you have Wink.
Add into that the type of clients he seems to attract and the reviews make more sense.

I do however think that he got some bad advise from his SEO expert about what to send to clients asking about doing reviews. I do not believe it crossed over to putting words in clients mouths or writing reviews for them, however I do believe it played some part in similar sounding reviews.
Part of it that I think his SEO expert did not understand pricescope and the environment here and Wink's customers.
John Pollard is helping him revamp them.

In my opinion the reviews are 100% real written by real customers.
 

pearaffair

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 15, 2015
Messages
2,086
So far we've been talking about positive reviews.

I love PS but what bothers me is there seems to be a reluctance to post unfavourable reviews for fear of being slammed by other PSers. For me, this makes reviews on PS to be taken with a grain of salt in general, simply because I don't know if people would have the guts to post something "negative".
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,061
Great point pearaffair. Without a doubt if someone posts something negative about a vendor with a "fan club" they're at risk and f being bashed.
Definitely lessens the value of reviews overall.
It does take guts to post at all.
Even looking at this poll- those voting anonymously prefer no- but the comments are more evenly distributed.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,537
Every single vendor has had an unhappy customer at some point in time. On occasion we can gather that it was possibly the customer that was the problem. lol! I think that's when I defend the vendors the most. We can be a picky overbearing bunch, at times! I allow them the latitude to make mistakes. Hopefully those times are rare, and they have been few in my experience. I don't run here and post a negative review if someone forgets to call me back, or whatever.
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
20,190
HI:

The reviews that read like "Mad Men" ad campaigns (choreographed, like filling out a database) IMHO do not ad value because they do not appear genuine/authentic. You don't have to be a newbie to see thru the gloss

cheers--Sharon
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
20,190
So far we've been talking about positive reviews.

I love PS but what bothers me is there seems to be a reluctance to post unfavourable reviews for fear of being slammed by other PSers. For me, this makes reviews on PS to be taken with a grain of salt in general, simply because I don't know if people would have the guts to post something "negative".

I don't agree. Funny thing is, people might forget to pay a compliment (even a requested one ;-),) but have a BAD experience and you hear about it. To the end of the Internet. But that isn't necessarily bad--it opens up dialogue with the hope of reparation, reconciliation and to provide clarity. Customer service is iterative after all.....

cheers--Sharon
 
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fritzi

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 27, 2008
Messages
88
I have read so many reviews over the years and have learned to appreciate that each one came from their own perspective, positive or negative. I recently wrote my first review and would like to state it was completely unsolicited. I had not seen anything on this vendor before so thought it may be helpful. As with any review I realize people may be cautious about its authenticity but I wrote it only to share my experience to help others.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
14,919
It's glaringly obvious when this happens. I'm not stupid. You have one post and it's a paragraph about how fabulous this jeweler is.

Sadly I'm sure it works.
Having read the posts in this thread i think most agree that asking for a testimonial on a site like Pricescope (as opposed to asking for one to be posted on the vendors site) comes across to many as a sign of good words for some benefit provided by the vendor.
I see many very happy new bling owners raving about their decisions and experiences in choosing / designing their jewel. That's great. And many times it reinforces the great vendors we have here. I also see people giving kudos to vendors who are not contributing to the costs of running Pricescope.
Sometimes it seems that a benefit might have been offered in return for the helpful posting. But as someone wrote - this often is easily identified by many.

What works better as a review is when things go wrong, and we hear about a genuine recovery from dodo bobo's. Human nature being what it is - we remember those negatives that turn positive and I believe that has a far greater influence on a businesses reuptation here on PS and in life at large.

So kudos to this place because I can not remember a single incident where a consumer found their bling here on PS, and even after a disaster of some sort, that our vendors did not sort it out and win over a customer for life!
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
14,919
Vendors should write reviews on their customers. some customers are PITB!..:mrgreen:.
Now that would be fun! I have had my B&M business for almost 41 years, and I would love to do that for the 3 customers I found to be a PITB
 
S

Squizabel

Guest
Here is the thing I have known Wink for a long time.
When he moved from the forum that can not be named to pricescope back in my consumer days I was one of his first customers and wrote what was likely the first review of him on Pricesscope.
We also worked together on a program where a portion of the sales went to a
battered women's shelter.

What you wrote accurately describes Wink and he does inspire passion about him and his products.
Picture a very passionate, honest, grandfather who loves his clients, his products and helping people make memories and you have Wink.
Add into that the type of clients he seems to attract and the reviews make more sense.

I do however think that he got some bad advise from his SEO expert about what to send to clients asking about doing reviews. I do not believe it crossed over to putting words in clients mouths or writing reviews for them, however I do believe it played some part in similar sounding reviews.
Part of it that I think his SEO expert did not understand pricescope and the environment here and Wink's customers.
John Pollard is helping him revamp them.

In my opinion the reviews are 100% real written by real customers.
This makes sense Karl and now you have explained it I feel reassured that this is the most likely explanation. Thank you.

I agree with the bad advice from his SEO expert. I can relate to this as it seems to abound. We had a talk from such an "expert" a few months ago at work who gave shockingly bad advice, telling us to hand out cards to all our patients (I work in healthcare) asking them to post reviews of us on internet sites. Um... no. They just didn't understand the culture of the profession, at least where I work. So I sympathise. Threads like this might be more helpful in guiding vendors as to review and marketing etiquette than out if touch "experts" who are unfamiliar with the culture.
 

msop04

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 3, 2011
Messages
9,768
Do you think that positive PSer reviews actually improve business for vendors?
Absolutely. That said, even incredibly gifted vendors with bad reviews have the opposite effect. No one wants to work with an a$$hat... regardless of his/her talent.
 

msop04

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 3, 2011
Messages
9,768
What is the best you can say when you've bought one diamond? "X vendor was really helpful, patient, went the extra mile, very positive experience, lovely diamond, would love to work with him/her again". That sort of thing sounds genuine.

When people start writing things like "X vendor is a deeply wonderful person, a true gentleman, I would trust him with my life, I KNOW their diamonds are the absolute best BAR NONE" after one experience... that sets off alarm bells for me. OK, one person writing it, maybe it's just their personality and over the top writing style. But 4+ people?
I'm sure there are certainly some seemingly "shill reviews." That's pretty obvious -- especially when the OP is new or hasn't really contributed that much on PS. That said, I've written such "lovey-dovey" reviews (on different vendors), so I have to disagree to a point. I can be very indecisive, fickle, and probably a PITA sometimes when it comes to making big decisions, so buying custom jewelry tends to give me a certain level of anxiety. When a vendor makes me feel at ease through the process and is incredibly patient and understanding, I feel the need to share that in my review. When several PS members feel the same way and have written reviews for the same vendor(s) over the years, I feel it is justified... just a few newbies, not so much.

If I had the opposite experience (and I have), I would post about that as well (and I did). Maybe that's just my personality?...
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,537
Having read the posts in this thread i think most agree that asking for a testimonial on a site like Pricescope (as opposed to asking for one to be posted on the vendors site) comes across to many as a sign of good words for some benefit provided by the vendor.
I see many very happy new bling owners raving about their decisions and experiences in choosing / designing their jewel. That's great. And many times it reinforces the great vendors we have here. I also see people giving kudos to vendors who are not contributing to the costs of running Pricescope.
Sometimes it seems that a benefit might have been offered in return for the helpful posting. But as someone wrote - this often is easily identified by many.

What works better as a review is when things go wrong, and we hear about a genuine recovery from dodo bobo's. Human nature being what it is - we remember those negatives that turn positive and I believe that has a far greater influence on a businesses reuptation here on PS and in life at large.

So kudos to this place because I can not remember a single incident where a consumer found their bling here on PS, and even after a disaster of some sort, that our vendors did not sort it out and win over a customer for life!
I think I'd disagree with that last paragraph. I can think of a couple of times where that was not the case. I can think of two members that had trouble with a formerly very popular ringmaker who advertises here who I and many others no longer recommend due to his strange behavior.

I agree with the rest of your post!
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,061
Garry- I have to agree with DS.
There have been horrific cases of vendors acting like total a$$es. ( beside me:)
A smart vendor would pay super close attention. A great learning opportunity.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
14,919
I think I'd disagree with that last paragraph. I can think of a couple of times where that was not the case. I can think of two members that had trouble with a formerly very popular ringmaker who advertises here who I and many others no longer recommend due to his strange behavior.

I agree with the rest of your post!
I would hope no one can find an example where the dispute was not resolved in the case of an advertiser here.
We have expelled several such vendors over the nearly 2 decades. And if anyone knows of such instances, please let Andrey, Ella or me know.
From my recollection the highly talented slightly eccentric crafts person you refer too (if I am right) had some suggestions from behind the scenes and issues were resolved.
if not so - lets have them publicly or privately :)
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,537
Garry, I don't know if that vendor was contacted by PS or not, but the issues with that vendor were not exactly able to be resolved through PS intervention. One member here had to contact an attorney and another jeweler helped intervene because he wouldn't release her stone after not creating a satisfactory ring design after several months. Then around the same time, another vendor happened to tell me he had a client who had bought a stone through that vendor and the vendor would not release the stone they paid for because he wanted to make the setting! (It came up in the context of a conversation about ring makers.) I don't recommend this vendor anymore because I find those practices totally unacceptable. His popularity went down here a lot, so I guess many have moved on to other ring makers. In that respect, I guess the problem was resolved.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,061
From my recollection, cases of unresolved problems with vendors who post is so rare, I can't remember one.
But there have been cases of unresolved issues where the seller never posts here on PS.
Interesting strategy because then we only have one side of the story. Of course when you've heard the same type of thing over and over from the consumer viewpoint it seems to back up the one side which is posted.
But remember too that if a vendor posts a policy and sticks to it, PS mgmt is doing nothing wrong.
If a vendor lets clients know "it's my way or the highway" up front then people still work with that vendor I'd say PS is totally absolved.

ETA- the type of behavior DS is describing goes beyond the type of thing I was talking about.
 

Modified Brilliant

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Messages
1,481
Companies like Yelp have rules that prohibit merchants from soliciting reviews ( which of course are unenforceable, so they get broken all the time)
The reason is to allow a more neutral picture as opposed to clients writing what the seller would like to see.
Personally I don't ask. Maybe that's a mistake.
How does everyone feel about Vendors soliciting reviews on PS?
Interesting question David. I am a one owner business providing a very specialized service to my clients. I pride myself on giving my clients an "outstanding experience" so that they will leave my office with a positive feeling. My type of business is not geared towards social media like Facebook, Instagram, etc. but I do ask my clients if they would like to leave a review. It is always optional. Leaving a review for a small business owner helps tremendously because our marketing budgets are limited unlike a larger jewelry vendor, for example. I appreciate reviews very much and most of my business is from reviews and referrals. Again, I believe it is a huge help for the small business owner and it is the way of the world.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
14,919
Interesting question David. I am a one owner business providing a very specialized service to my clients. I pride myself on giving my clients an "outstanding experience" so that they will leave my office with a positive feeling. My type of business is not geared towards social media like Facebook, Instagram, etc. but I do ask my clients if they would like to leave a review. It is always optional. Leaving a review for a small business owner helps tremendously because our marketing budgets are limited unlike a larger jewelry vendor, for example. I appreciate reviews very much and most of my business is from reviews and referrals. Again, I believe it is a huge help for the small business owner and it is the way of the world.
Hi Jeff, I think because your billing is small compared to a merchant selling very expensive diamonds and jewels, the opportunity for handing out a under the table kick back is very limited.
You are not likely to be able to bribe a consumer for a positive review here.
I do suspect that there are businesses that do not list or pay any money to Pricescope that attempt to 'influence' or 'induce' consumers to support them. I try to identify them from time to time, but when they are one off's its hard to nail them down.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,061
I'm with you Jeff. As a small business the prime focus is making sure everyone you serve is satisfied.
It just seems that lack of negative reviews is not enough
nowadays - specifically for those of us who devote time and recourses to this forum. And likely even for a independently owned business like mine or yours.
Since I've been here I have found that my experience and knowledge is sometimes different than other tradespeople. At times this has led to me being attacked for simply expressing an alternative opinion.
I've always fallen back on the knowledge that we don't have negative reviews here. But it's getting to seem that's not enough.
 

Niel

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
18,767
I'm with you Jeff. As a small business the prime focus is making sure everyone you serve is satisfied.
It just seems that lack of negative reviews is not enough
nowadays - specifically for those of us who devote time and recourses to this forum. And likely even for a independently owned business like mine or yours.
Since I've been here I have found that my experience and knowledge is sometimes different than other tradespeople. At times this has led to me being attacked for simply expressing an alternative opinion.
I've always fallen back on the knowledge that we don't have negative reviews here. But it's getting to seem that's not enough.
Rather than seeing yourself the victim it could be beneficial for you to objectively read some of the things you post.

Vendors who are active on this thread, or other social media, should be wary of how they present themselves. I know more that one vendor who has been sworn off by many PSers because of the rude and/or offensive remarks they make on public sites.
 
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