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How To Get More Legit Ratings!!!


Fornicola Butuzova
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I have been bashing on rWarder for a lil while now, so I thought that it would be good Karma to maybe offer something a lil positive.

The new marketplace sucks for getting ratings, lol, nice start, huh!

I used to get about 100 ratings on anything I did, now I'm lucky to get 10.

But I'd rather have 10 that are honest than 475 that customers sold to me, or were left in exchange for a gift, so here are a few tips I would like to share, and maybe somebody else has a few too.

If you want to get more ratings and reviews there are just 4 word you need to know"

"TALK TO YOUR CUSTOMERS"!!!

That's it, pretty simple.

Now I'm not gonna say that I spend 2 hours a day every day personally IM'ing every customer, you just cant.

BUT...We do not release stuff that often, so when we do it is "GAME TIME", the "BIG SHOW", insert your own tired cliche if you like.  When we release, everything else stops.  No hunts, no RFL builds, no nothun but living to give that product a successful launch.

We are on call for installations, for emergency fixes if something comes up, for assistance for new players in working the marketplace, whatever.  For that first week every single person that buys that new product,  that starts out  buried on page 123,  gets a personal IM from us thanking them for the business, asking if everything is ok and if there is anything we can do for them.

9 out of 10 go pretty much like this:

 

ME:  "Hi there it's Forni from Pre Fabulous, just wanted to drop you a note to say how much we really appreciate your business and see how everything is going, is everything working ok""

CUSTOMER: "yep, all good, keep up teh good work :)"

 

BUT... you eventually get one of these:

 

 

ME:  "Hi there it's Forni from Pre Fabulous, just wanted to drop you a note to say how much we really appreciate your business and see how everything is going, is everything working ok""

CUSTOMER: OMG OMG OMG, this house is AWESOME *Edited for vulgarity*.  I LOVE IT.  I showed my sister and she was BLOWN AWAY.  I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS HOUSE!!!  I'm taking her to your store tonight when she gets on, she loves it too.  I have been in SL 3 years and this is the best house I have ever had.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That right thur... is what we call a "good shot" a rating, and a nice review, lol

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------MW

ME: WOW, Thanks, we work pretty hard so it is really nice to hear that somebody likes it,  So everything is ok  then? ..... Great, Feel free to IM me anytime if ya need anything at all, and have your sis IM me as well, love to help her get set up.  While I have ya here, and SLM is up, if it is not too much to ask, it really helps us more than you can imagine if you would rate us on SLM, new products are hard to get off the ground and each one  really helps us a lot

CUSTOMER: No problem, ill do it right now!  

.

.

(wait for it....................)

 .

.

CUSTOMER: errrmmm...How do i leave a reveiw, i cant find how to do it!

ME: It easy, open your recent orders or transaction history..... yada yada

 

You ahve acomplished 2 things here, well 3.

1. You have shown appriciation to a customer, and personally demonstrated you commitment to customer satisfation.

2. You have found a review that would not have been made if you didnt "TALK TO YOUR CUSTOMERS"!  As sorry a state as it is these days with such crappy service from most merchants, just talking to them leaves a ROCKSTAR impression sometimes.  They are shocked!

3. You have made a friend,  You have started a relationship with a nice person who loves what you do and will pay for it.  You need these people, success inSL biz is a priveldge that must be earned every day, and you cant earn it without people who believe in you.

She has friends and family and they need houses as well, She likes the fact that while most merchants are so uppity and elusive, you have accepted her friend request.  You have made her SL a lil cooler, just by not being a douche.

And you know what, I like her too.  You spend months building a house, toiling over every decision, failing and failing and failing until you finally think it is good enuff.  This person is the reason you do it.  Art is a language and the greatest thing an artist can aspire to is an audience. You did your best to reach somebody, ANYBODY... and here she is.  She found the message in the bottle and was nice enough to read it, and tell you she liked what it said and she will tell her friends about it.  She has given you her money, and that money lets you keep doing more art,  so you will do your best to make something even better next time around.

Its all good!

 

EDIT, and for gods sake get that message that says "Im too busy to help customers, send a note card to my "alt"...ummm, imean my "Business Manager", out of your profile, really people?

 

 

 

 

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Fornicola Butuzova wrote:

I have been bashing on rWarder for a lil while now, so I thought that it would be good Karma to maybe offer something a lil positive.

 

EDIT, and for gods sake get that message that says "Im too busy to help customers, send a note card to my "alt"...ummm, imean my "Business Manager", out of your profile, really people? 

 

Excellent advice  The personal touch is always best. I know Mickey had a great post about this in the Jive forum. Maybe she will add to this too.:smileywink:

 

 

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For that first week every single person that buys that new product,  that starts out  buried on page 123,  gets a personal IM from us thanking them for the business, asking if everything is ok and if there is anything we can do for them.

 

Good practice there, Fori, and thanks. In the past I could not have considered adding something like this to my new product release routine, because I had no partner and no help, and that is a real limitation. However, I recently hired a PT (RL) asst., so something like this is now feasible. I like that you are writing specifcally to check that everything is okay, etc., and wait for your cue to ask for the review. I have never been comfortable with the idea of a mass mailing asking for reviews, and this avoids that awkwardness.

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Fornicola Butuzova wrote:

I used to get about 100 ratings on anything I did, now I'm lucky to get 10.

 

I looked at your items. I see one with 98 ratings, but I don't see any others that support your above statement. Did you lose your ratings in the migration from Xstreet? It's very sad if you lost all those 100s of ratings :smileysad:.  If this happened to you I can understand your obssession. But look on the bright side :smileyvery-happy:you seem to be doing very very  well getting them back. I checked out your newest item and you have nothing to complain about. Be happy :smileyhappy:, you are doing much better than most. Not need for greed.

 

As for talking to customers with the aim of scoring a rating or two - I am often in long IMs with customers receiving praise for my creations and then getting on to other topics. I am invited to visit their sims, which I do and I compliment them on the decor and landscaping. I have gained many new friends this way, But I have never and will never impose on my customers by asking them to rate my items. I think it's rude. If a merchant asked me to rate an item I bought from them, even if I did say I love it, I would feel uncomfortable with the request.

 

 

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The best way is to make the review function more visible on the website. And a little reminder which invites the customer kindly to rate the product would help. This reminder should also explain in one sentence why a review would be so helpful for everybody and that it’s a good thing.

So, come on LL.

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I don't think you do understand my "obsession", it is not to collect a ton of ratings, it is to maintain and grow a business.  A life of creating stuff, without cubicles, or traffic, or some snippy supervisor harassing me all day is my obsession.  Where I get to to say things to people and if I do a good job, and people believe in what I'm saying, I get to continue.  Tthat is my obsession.

Complaining, no, I have the good fortune of making art for a living in my pajamas.  What I'm trying to do here is help others by sharing a lil bit of how I got there.  This is not a bitch.  We have sold thousands of retail store buildings to merchants in every category imaginable, so we have talked with more merchants about selling in SL than anyone, including LL I bet.  Many of them, despite having great products, have no clue about how to grow an SL biz.  That is understandable, SL brings out the creative juice in people, and they love expressing that.  But most people have little experience with business, from the product management and marketing side anyways.

To some it is not important, they don't really care about growth, they are just happy to be creating things, or sell enough o cover tier, or support an RP sim, but this is a commerce site, so it seems relevant to discuss how to grow a biz here.

Well I have been here since 06, hit the ground building and selling Pre Fabs.  Most of our products that received the most ratings have been discontinued, but in our tenure we have had many products that sat in the top 3 slots overall, for a long time, in all categories, Castle Gothos, The Soho Skybox and The Manhattan sky box to name just a few.  Only Gothos is still listed because after 4 years and about 1500 sales of that product, it is still selling, but there is a new castle on the way, so it will be gone too.  Still going strong, 2011 has been a record year so far.  So this is not sour grapes?

And yeah it is a hard decision to take down something that has been so good to you, but when you have done something better, and there is something that is a little, or maybe a lot, long in the tooth, you gotta do it.  So soon I will be losing another 98 ratings, but they are old ratings and it isn't really accurate anymore anyways.   

Spending about  buck or less on a boat is a less significant investment to most players than spending 20-60 USD on a home, it carries less of an emotional connection, so yeah you might feel like it is overkill to you.

But what I think I'm getting at here is that SLM and being a merchant is different than just playing SL.  It is a commercial activity whether you like it or not, whether you know it or not,  .  The marketplace is here for business, and I think many people are limiting themselves by  not really understanding that there is a difference between the two. That is if they even care about the business aspect, but many here do.

There is nothing is rude about anytthing unless you intend to offend somebody.  Reminding somebody who loves you and your  products to help support you is in no way rude.  If you believe that you have provided great service and value you should never be ashamed to remind of people that.  If you know that they believe in you and your products asking for help to continue is never rude.

If you are proud of what you have done, if you have really done your best to make it the best product it can be, and there is somebody out there who praises you for that, you are a fool not to.  If they are demonstrative that your product effected them in a meaningful way, if you have made a friend in the process, why wouldn't you ask them to help you be able to continue doing it. 

In 4 years of this I haven't offended anyone who I asked to help us, they are happy to do it.  they take pride in doing it because they believe in us.  In most cases it makes them fell like they are part of your team, helping somebody they respect and admire to succeed and continue.

If not offending or imposing on people was my main motive, I wouldn't take their money, I would just give my stuff away, but once you put a price on something the relationship becomes one of commerce.  You are taking money.  It is business.  To really succeed you need to make friends with customers, you really do, but underneath all of it you are transacting business.  They want you to stay here, they like what you do, they are a part of a symbiotic relationship, so it is not a breach of trust to ask them to help you.  

If I didnt do this full time, if I didnt care about growth and sales, if this was just a hobby, if all I cared about was creating stuff and making a few friends along the way, then sure, I can see why you might feel comfortablune.  Why it may seem like an imposition. 

But I do,

If my products didnt reach people in a meaningful way and if my customers didnt let me know that they appreciate my work, I could see that as well

But they do.

SL has been very good to me and I think a lot of merchants both serious and hobbyist alike would like to hear from somebody who has managed to survive and grow for years, how they do it.

I seriously thought to myself "Why should I share my ideas,  they are what sets us apart, why tell anyone".  But at the end of the day we need SL to be a thriving place to spend entertainment dollars.  We need successful merchants selling every kind of product that people want to buy. 

I have been bashing at rWarder for along time as well, so I wanted to show new merchants that you can succeed without gaming, and how to do it.

I  really didn't expect a challenge on this thread, just others sharing how they have been successful.

But since my strategy and record have been questioned and challenged, ill share just a lil more.

You mentioned our latest release, it is a beach house.

We didnt do tropical homes for along time.  There are so many, and so many of low quality that the segment is kind of stigmatized.  There were BIG players there that do quality stuff already, so why try to crack that nut?

Well because our customers kept asking us to.  So we did. 

We talked to our customers, expressed sincere gratitude, confirmed that the product was meeting their needs and working as promised.  We made ourselves completely available to them, we installed dozens of new homes on their sims.  We answered questions and gave advice to many new and first time home buyers.. 

When they thanked us, and told us what a great experience they had, we reminded them that we need help their to keep going.

We do not pay them, we do not pressure them, we do not coerce them, we just ask them for help.  They are never offended, they are never uncomfortable and they happily share the joy they have experienced with others in the form a review, and feel good about doing it.  They like to help us!

We have two different strategies, yours is non-intervention, ours is to ask those who like us for help.

Our strategy landed our two latest releases at the top of the listings for "beach house". at 4-80x the price of those around us, in a glutted market, fairly, honestly, to the enjoyment of our customers and without rWarder. So i am not complaining at all, i just thought new merchants might wanna know how we did it, that maybe they will see effort, and forming relationships with customers  as a better solution than gaming.

That was my main point.  That you can succeed in SL if you just work at it.  If you interact with you customers and rather than PAY them, ask them for help.

If you strat is just as effective, or even better as you are never "rude" to you customers, then do a search on "boat".  

It is a myth that you cant be successful and make friends doing it, That one comes at the cost of the other.  The truth is that you can't  be successful with any consistent longevity without it.

 

We are at this for very different reasons I think. We build and sell for different motives, but some people here are very commerically minded.  They want to hear how you can grow your sales and the relationaships with your customers at the same time, that you cant really do one without the other.     

You have provided your customers with a product that came form your heart and imagination, and they have paid for it with the proceeds their hard work in RL.  You are partners in this exchange.  You are both thankful and appriciative of the other! 

You are not a beggar on the street scaring somebody into giving up a few quarters. If you have done your job right, held up your end of this deal, you are somebody they know, like  and trust. 

Who would ever be offended by someone they know, like and trust asking them for help?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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03-11-2011 02:40 AM

The best way is to make the review function more visible on the website. And a little reminder which invites the customer kindly to rate the product would help. This reminder should also explain in one sentence why a review would be so helpful for everybody and that it’s a good thing.

So, come on LL.

 

I agree, every couple of weeks I go thru my purchases and give 5 stars to anything i really like and use.  I then go in the Vain, Inc. group and start a "If You LOVE it ...RATE it " discussion.  Peeps then chat a bit about the cool thinsg they really liked and go and rate products.

In my perfect world ratings would not count, they would just be there to help consumers and customers make decisions and share ideas.

Rwarder would se4rve no purpose, consumers still get the info, win win.

But SLM would prompt these ratings, and yes, have a little text that explains how rating a product help the creator keepp going.

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And you call that legitimate? I don't think it's even legal. As an incentive to review the product, and only as a part of my customer support, after every purchase, my magic box sends automated ANS "thank you" message with info that they are always welcome to contact me for help, and review the product . I was thinking of putting a link to the product  in the help notecard that goes with it, similarly to LM, which I always try not to put in the product box but in the help notecard. For me, anything else (including your practice) is spam and abuse. Moreover, it's almost "face to face" abuse, and I personally consider it much worse that giving customers lindens for reviews (as long as we talk about small fraction of the price).

If people need help, or they want to express their opinion, they will do it, one way or the other. My job is only to make that easier for them, not to boder them by presenting it as a "reminder" or "friendship".

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Tara Chester wrote:

And you call that legitimate? I don't think it's even legal. As an incentive to review the product, and only as a part of my customer support, after every purchase, my magic box sends automated ANS "thank you" message with info that they are always welcome to contact me for help, and review the product . I was thinking of putting a link to the product  in the help notecard that goes with it, similarly to LM, which I always try not to put in the product box but in the help notecard. For me, anything else (including your practice) is spam and abuse. Moreover, it's almost "face to face" abuse, and I personally consider it much worse that giving customers lindens for reviews (as long as we talk about small fraction of the price).

If people need help, or they want to express their opinion, they will do it, one way or the other. My job is only to make that easier for them, not to boder them by presenting it as a "reminder" or "friendship".

You missed the point !!

My post was just a suggestion for the LL! I am talking about a reminder added on the marketplace website which informs people THAT there is a review option and THAT it would be very helpful to do it. Could be shown after a purchase.

Is this spam or abuse??  I simply call it "Important information" !! (Especially for newbies!)

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This whole discussion gave me an idea.  I think I'm going to make a prim in my shop (in my Customer Service area) that says something to the effect of, "Go here to rate items you've bought on the Marketplace!" with a link to https://marketplace.secondlife.com/orders .  Then people who do want to rate purchases can easily do so, if they want, or disregard it.

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