Got the Guts to Post All of Your Customer Reviews?

Got the Guts to Post All of Your Customer Reviews?

What if you had your customers review all associates, locations, or the products on your menu directly to your website? I am not talking about raving fan testimonials. I'm talking about all of your customer reviews, about allowing customers and potential customers to see your highest-rated lowest-rated stores, employees, and products. Customers would then see things like, "Jeremy at the Hudson store was unsympathetic about our food coming out cold."

As Richard Brandt pointed out in his book about Amazon, One Click, "The Internet offers two-way communications." And no one realized this better than Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who saw he could get customers to do some of the editorial work themselves while indulging their passion for books and their desire to share their feedback.

Originally, this feedback from customers was controversial: they were allowed to write bad reviews of books. Competitors couldn't understand why a bookseller would allow such a thing. It was all part of Bezos's vision "to create the world's most consumer-centric company." Within a few weeks after starting the customer review process, Bezos said, "I started receiving letters from well-meaning folks saying that perhaps you don't understand your business. You make money when you sell things. Why are you allowing negative reviews on your website? But our point of view is we will sell more if we help people make purchasing decisions."

Total transparency!

Arnie Malham, president of CJ Advertising, allows all his employees and customers to publicly post their satisfaction scores and share feedback. All his employees can see what their co-workers are posting and how the company is doing with regard to overall satisfaction. He does the same thing for his clients. Each quarter they are asked to fill out a survey stating their level of satisfaction (1 to 5) and share any and all comments they have. All of his customers can see what his other customers are saying, and how CJ Advertising is being rated. I have never heard of such transparency!

I asked Arnie about this and he said, "Most people say I need to have my head examined for doing this. However, we like the pressure of knowing that if we don't take care of our customers, or don't react when something goes wrong, it will be made public." I have seen and read the comments and have interviewed several of CJ's clients, and they say this is one of the reasons they love to do business with the company.

"CJ is a forward-moving, robust company largely as a result of Arnie's appetite for critical feedback. While most companies adopt the 'head in the sand' approach with regard to criticism, Arnie actually goes looking for it. By asking his clients what they can do better, he puts CJ in a better position to actually get better! CJ rocks," says Carter Mario, owner of the Carter Mario law firm and a long-time customer.

Do you think your brand's customers' experience would improve if you were brave enough to post all of your customer reviews about your employees and products?

John DiJuliusJohn R. DiJulius III, author of The Customer Service Revolution, is president of The DiJulius Group, a customer service consulting firm that works with companies including Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Ritz-Carlton, Nestle, PwC, Lexus, and many more. Call him at 216-839-1430 or email

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