Recently I posted a public submission form for people to ask questions related to word of mouth marketing and word of mouth referrals. That form has produced a number of questions around this topic.  Today I wanted to address one of those questions.

If you want to ask an anonymous question, you can ask your word of mouth marketing question here!


How do you get people to leave good reviews for you? It seems like the people who are upset with us don’t hesitate to badmouth us, but we’ve gone really above and beyond for some customers and nothing.

I’d like to address this question in a few different ways.  

First, we need to be sure that we understand the human complex around reviews and word of mouth marketing.  People rarely go out of their way to say positive things about companies…and people too! It’s actually quite a learned skill!  We know, as a society, that bad word moves at a much more rapid pace than good word. That’s because the good word isn’t sensational. This is often the case with the nightly news. They actually use a term in the TV industry “If it bleeds, it leads”. People love the story of the train wreck.

It’s only when presented with an opportunity that people will refer. They will rarely go out of their way to comment, review, and refer.  

So…how do we get more reviews? That’s the key point of this question that this person asked.

I believe you do this through multiple touch points. First…the experience must be good and it must represent an Over Delivery.  To be clear, the person asking this question indicated that “we’ve gone above an beyond for some customers”. While that is how you (the business owner) may feel, that may in fact not be how the customer feels.  Even if they acknowledge that you have gone “above and beyond” they won’t always leave a review online.

In this INC business article, Author Andrew Thomas talks about the math associated with getting good reviews. He says “In my experience, only one in 10 happy customers leaves a good review.” That certainly seems about right to me. Andrew believes that the answer is to focus on Customer Happiness. 


We approach this in similar ways with slight tweaks. Andrew suggests it’s Product Quality, Customer Service, and Educating Users. YES!!! AND… I believe that all falls under Over Delivering!

If you can educate your users (customers) by asking questions about their needs, then having a dialog about what their needs are, you will uncover their expectations, at which point you can determine if what they are looking for or expecting is realistic.  If it is not realistic, then you will have an issue over delivering!

My suggestion is to start looking at your touch points from the time the customer starts interacting with you.  What’s the phone inexperience like? Who is answering the phone, how quickly? How long does it take to get a callback?  What’s the transaction like? Do you have a follow-up process after the transaction so they hear from you within 24-48 hours? Do they hear from you at 7 days? 30 days? 90 days? 1 year?

I’m not intimate with every business, but there are ways to build in touch points that ensure that you stand out more than any of your competition, and frankly other companies that this customer is doing business with.  If you stand out…more than others…you’ll get reviews…and referrals.

If you want to ask an anonymous question, you can ask your word of mouth marketing question here!