Free stuff for reviews. Good or bad?

Several years ago I had a little fun with the airlines. I developed my own survey for them to rate me as a passenger. We’ve all received surveys from hotels and airlines wanting to know about our experience. How was your flight? How was your stay? How was, How was, How was? Tell us, Tell us, Tell us!

One day I was in a mood and decided to turn the tables. A couple of tweets later the folks at JetBlue were first to take the bait (here’s my rate me as a passenger survey) and had a little fun with it.

I’ve always thought that if I’m buying your product or service AND THEN you want me to fill out your survey or review you, you should give me something. Especially if customer loyalty is important to you. In the case of hotels and airlines how about some points? A free snack bag with my next stay? No one took the bait. HAHAHAHA. Recently I’ve received surveys etc offering a couple of hundred points here and there.

Or better yet, how about those patient experience surveys. HAHAHAHAHA! So recently I developed the Healthcare Provider Patient Experience Self-Assessment (you can find those here). Why don’t you rate yourself first?

So imagine my excitement with three of my recent Amazon Purchases. In the packages were notes, somewhere along the lines of ……….If you write us a review we’ll give you a free gift.

Yippee!!!!!!!!

So when I ordered this Palm Tree Float (with detachable coconut beach ball)…

My review got me this for free……

And when I ordered a men’s grooming product and a pair or cycling sunglasses, I received these two free things for those reviews………………..

But it makes you wonder. Are they just looking for good reviews? What if my review wasn’t great? What if I thought the product was crap? Would they still send me the free stuff? Was my review skewed because I wanted the free stuff?

Regardless, to me this was a smart move in the world of retailing. It got me to write a review, talk about them with friends and clients, and even write a blog entry. But more importantly for one of those companies, I already made another purchase with them. I’d say free stuff for my review is a good customer retention and loyalty approach. What do you think?

But the real point here……..What little extra can you give people to get them talking about you or coming back?

Okay, time to go recruit neighbors for the pool volleyball league! And maybe use the coconut as a second ball to make it a bit more fun!

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