Feedback Rebate is a form of discount businesses can offer to their customers in exchange for their honest reviews. This is by far the fastest way to earn online reputation and promote products and services.
How important are Customer Reviews?
You can see for yourself, or I can save you a lot of reading by just saying this… Reviews are absolutely essential for the success of any business today. People just don’t buy anything anymore without first looking at the reviews.
According to this Nielsen study, Customer Reviews are more powerful than ANY other type of marketing or advertising! That makes sense. You wouldn't buy tickets to a movie with a 1-star rating, no matter how great the Ad is. Unless, of course, a friend talks you into it. ;)
What's the best way to get reviews?
There are many options, but none of them are nearly as effective as a Feedback Rebate. Not even close!
By offering a Feedback Rebate, you're essentially telling your customers that IF they buy your product AND write a review afterward, they will get some of their money back. This will not only help you sell more products and services, but it will also get you a review from almost every customer!
To put this into perspective, you can get more reviews this week using Feedback Rebates than you got this entire year using any other method or platform. Nothing beats this!
Let's look at an example...
Suppose you're selling a $100 shirt. To sell it faster, instead of a typical “$20 Off” sale, you decide to offer a “$20 Feedback Rebate.”
- Your customer buys the shirt for the full price of $100.
- She gets an email with a special review link (almost like a receipt).
- She clicks the link, writes her review and instantly gets $20 back.
That's it! No need to beg or pray for customer reviews anymore. It happens automatically without any effort on your part. [wpvideo O95MprLo] What happened here? At the end of the day, the customer paid the same $80, as if the shirt was on sale, and the business got a valuable customer review essentially for free. In other words, with a discount you just get the sale; with a Feedback Rebate, you get the sale AND a review!
Nice, isn't it!
Now let's talk about some common concerns...
Has anyone tried it?
Yes, and it works!
Taobao (the largest online marketplace on Earth) and millions of its merchants have been using Feedback Rebates since 2014 with amazing results. How amazing?
Feedback Rebates Increase Sales by 30%!This is taken verbatim from the recent (2016) empirical study at UC Berkeley. They used data from Taobao, a platform with nearly 500 million users. Here is what they found...
“Reputation is critical to foster trust in online marketplaces, yet leaving feedback is a public good that can be under-provided unless buyers are rewarded for it. Signaling theory implies that only high-quality sellers would reward buyers for truthful feedback. We explore this scope for signaling using Taobao’s “reward-for-feedback” mechanism and find that items with rewards generate sales that are nearly 30% higher and are sold by higher quality sellers. The market design implication is that marketplaces can benefit from allowing sellers to use rewards to build reputations and signal their high quality in the process. JEL Classifications: D47, D82, L15, L86.”
By Lingfang (Ivy) Li, Steven Tadelis and Xiaolan Zhou Buying Reputation as a Signal of Quality: Evidence from an Online Marketplace
You can also check out this awesome Bloomberg article about Feedback Rebates and their effects. Virthium is the only network that provides this service in North America.
What about fake reviews?
Just like you wouldn’t be able to return a product without a receipt, you wouldn’t be able to leave a review without first receiving the special review link. This means that reviews attained through Feedback Rebates are automatically validated and verified.
In short, there is no "form" online for just anyone to fill out. Only your customers can leave reviews. Hence, no fake reviews!
Are these reviews biased?
Let's take the example above. Say your customer bought the shirt "On Sale" for $80. She came home, washed the shirt, and it fell apart. Obviously, she would be disappointed. After all, she spent $80 and expected a good quality shirt. If you asked her to write a review, what would she say? Would she feel compelled to write a good review just because she got it "On Sale"? No, of course not.
If discounts are not biased, neither are Feedback Rebates, because it's the same deal for the customer either way.
In fact, reviews from Feedback Rebates are actually more reliable exactly because they are incentivised. Let me ask you this. Who is more trustworthy; someone who got a discount for sharing her honest opinion, or someone who's sharing an opinion for no apparent reason? You be the judge, but ask yourself, when was the last time you wrote a positive review for no reason?
"RFF (Rebate for Feedback) induces buyers to write more detailed feedback but does not bias the feedback toward positive feedback."
By Lingfang (Ivy) Li, Steven Tadelis and Xiaolan Zhou Buying Reputation as a Signal of Quality: Evidence from an Online Marketplace
Isn't buying reviews unethical? Your customers get their Feedback Rebate for buying the product regardless of whether they are satisfied or not. You're not getting a "good" review, you're getting "a" review. Whether it's good or bad depends entirely on the quality of your product or service.
Imagine a restaurant owner coming to your table and offering $10 off your bill for your review. Is he cheating?
What if the reason you’re at his restaurant in the first place was a huge sign above the door reading “$10 off to ALL customers for their reviews!” Yes, that includes the dissatisfied customers. And, yes, that’s exactly what Feedback Rebate is. The sign could have simply read “$10 Feedback Rebate.”
Then you would know that he is an honorable man who truly values the opinion of each customer and bets his own money and reputation that you will love the experience and have something good to say. That’s not just ethical, that’s admirable!
What if someone decides to cheat?
Virthium is a 100% transparent network where each member is verified. This makes cheating nearly impossible.
Anyone can see who is offering the Feedback Rebate, who is getting it, and when. If someone decided to cheat by, for example, offering it only to their “happy” customers, it would be like advertising “$10 off”, then refusing to give the discount. Even if they tried to hide the fact that they are offering rebates, the reviews themselves are the proof of them doing so.
Besides, who in the right mind would hide a discount from potential customers and then waste more money on something that could have been easily earned for free just by doing a good job? That would make no sense whatsoever. If your competitor decides to do that, congratulations!
On Virthium, each review can either be a source of pride, or an obvious and undeniable proof of fraud. That’s why honest businesses who use Feedback Rebates will never have to worry about their competitors' cheating.
Feedback Rebates protect honest businesses and their customers from unethical marketing practices of their competitors
What if I get a bad review?
Remember, with Feedback Rebates you're getting a review from almost every customer. This means that, if you run a genuinely good business, an occasional bad review cannot possibly hurt you.
If thousands of people watched a movie and it got 9 stars out of 10, that's a great movie! Even though some people didn't like it.
There is a huge difference between getting a bad review when you only have few reviews, and getting it when you have hundreds or even thousands of them.
Again, if you run a genuinely good business, Feedback Rebate is probably the safest option you have when it comes to reviews.
What about rude comments?
As I mentioned before, only your customers will be able to write reviews. They also have to join the network and verify their mobile phone number first. Each member has a public profile where all their reviews are listed.
Because Virthium is first and foremost a Reputation Network, this is also their professional profile where their roles and contributions are listed as well (more on this later). Think of it as a LinkedIn profile or a resume. Leaving a negative, but well thought-out and respectful review is one thing, but if someone is rude or inconsiderate, it will hurt their own reputation.
I highly doubt anyone would do that to themselves, but there are also ways to remove a rude comment as well.
Is this going to annoy my customers?
Feedback Rebates are provided by Virthium, which is a private network, not a marketing platform. This means that there are absolutely no Ads of any kind. Unlike other social networks, it is not affiliated with any third-party advertisers, so the only messages your customers will receive are the Feedback Rebates you send them.
Your customers will need to sign up and verify their phone number. After that, it literally takes three clicks to leave a review.
I bet your customers will be delighted! Try it and see for yourself. We would love to hear your feedback!
Click Here to get the Feedback Rebate Experience and see what other people thought.
How much does it cost?
Virthium charges a transaction fee to send Feedback Rebates.
When you list your product or service, you specify the total amount you’re willing to pay for a review. 80% of that amount will be your Feedback Rebate offer to your customers, and the remaining 20% is the transaction fee. In our shirt example, we had $20 Feedback Rebate. Here is an easy way to calculate the total amount: $20 / 0.8 = $25.
You decide how much to pay, when to offer the rebate, and when it expires. You will only be charged if and when your customer actually leaves a review.
If only 8 out of 10 people on average write a review and claim the rebate before it expires, your reviews will literally cost you nothing. Why? Let’s look at the math…
That’s right, you just got 8 reviews for FREE just by offering Feedback Rebates instead of discounts!
Even if every one of your customers writes a review and you end up paying a little more, wouldn't it still worth every penny?
Can I use this at my company?
Feedback Rebates can be used for almost any product or service:
- A restaurant might replace its "happy hour discount" with a Feedback Rebate, so every customer leaves a review after a meal.
- A dentist might offer Feedback Rebates to new clients to increase their confidence and signal high-quality.
- A company may create a listing for its internal IT team and send Feedback Rebates to its employees to increase engagement and foster internal recognition.
- A government official may offer Feeback Rebates to people in her district to inspire trust and communicate her full intention to deliver on her promises.
These are just a few examples. Feedback Rebate is a universal tool for getting feedback. It can be used in a wide variety of situations.
How do I set it up?
You just need to provide some information about your product or service and specify the Feedback Rebate you want to offer. That's it!
Once you set it up, you can manually send Feedback Rebates to your customers via email, or ask how to automate it completely, so every customer gets the Feedback Rebate automatically with their receipt. Sit back and enjoy! By the way, your new Feedback Rebate by itself will probably spark more interest and engagement from your customers than the plain old "On Sale" sign. Don't you think?
Feedback Rebates are a safe and honest way to get customer reviews fast!
But there is more. Much more...
Better Product Perception
Other types of discounts can actually hurt the perception of a product (cheap, low quality). Feedback Rebates, on the other hand, instantly signal high quality and care, because they are offered with the intention to satisfy the customer, not just to make a sale. No one in their right mind would offer Feedback Rebates for a truly bad product unless they want to get a ton of bad reviews. That’s why customers see Feedback Rebates as a sign of high quality.
The study I've mentioned above is literally called "Buying Reputation as a Signal of Quality: Evidence from an Online Marketplace." If you haven't already, check it out!
Better Customer Retention
The Cognitive Dissonance research suggests that when someone physically performs an action (writing a review), they are more likely to act in accordance with that action in the future. In this context, once your customer writes a positive review, they will actually like your product more and are more likely to buy from you again in the future.
Feedback Rebates, by their own design, ensure that the best products and services get the best reputation, no matter the size of the marketing budget. In other words, you get reviews through the normal course of business with very little, or no additional cost. In fact, offering bigger rebates or offering them more often will just get you the same result. So your best strategy is just to make your customers happy and let them do your marketing for you.
Feedback Rebates are an integral part of Virthium - The Reputation Network.
This gives your reviews much greater power...
If you chose to, and I sincerely hope you will, you can use Virthium's RoleTags to invite your employees (and yourself) to share your roles and contributions right on the listing page. Think of it as being the “cast member” of your product.
This means that you and your employees are no longer just a faceless brand to your customers, but actual people they can relate to.
In essence, every review is a story of how your work and the work of your employees affected someone's life. This connection is very powerful. It gives customers a whole new perspective and reason to buy, and you can only imagine how engaging and inspiring this can be to you and your employees.
Read Our Story to learn more about RoleTags.
Sharing Options You can display your reviews on your website or online store by embedding a widget or using one of Virthium's integration options (ask for more info). Check out our demo online store as an example.
Virthium Sales Channel (Beta)
Your product or service will automatically be listed on Virthium.com for free as long as you’re offering Feedback Rebates. This means more potential customers will be able to search for and find your Virthium listing. Think of it as a Groupon, but instead of discounts you’re offering Feedback Rebates.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
It's really quite simple. The more links to your page you have, the higher you rank in Google searches. Every review is, you guessed it, a link to your page!
Obviously, there is no guarantee where you will rank or how you will appear in search results, but having a ton of reviews will definitely help.
Your Virthium listings are “marked up” automatically so Google and other search engines can index it better and display “rich" snippets and cards that can include stars and reviews in search results.
To sum up...Why do people buy?
- They get a great deal (Feedback Rebate)
- They see that other customers liked the product (Customer Reviews)
- They personally connect with the product's story and the people who made it. (RoleTags)
Feedback Rebate will not only help you improve sales and get a review from almost every customer, it will also signal high quality, increase customer loyalty, open up a new sales channel, and engage employees.
The best part is that there is no risk in trying this out; there are no contracts, membership fees, limits, or penalties of any kind. Let's see what this can do!
Yours truly, Alex Kazlou - Founder I created Virthium as a place where we can share our experiences as customers with people who create these experiences for us - the employees, and vice versa. I believe customer feedback is more inspiring to employees than any management technique and more persuading to customers than any marketing message. I designed Virthium to capture customer feedback faster than any other platform or method in existence today. It is truly a revolutionary approach to online reputation, and I hope it will change the way we market our products and motivate our employees.
P.S. I believe Virthium and its Feedback Rebates have a great potential to help a lot of people. I encourage you to share it, debate it with others, do your own research, and reach out to me if you have any questions or ideas.