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The Review Formula: The Ultimate in Feedback

The Review Formula: The Ultimate in Feedback

For millions of online shoppers, customer product and service reviews have become one of the most popular and useful aspects of buying from online retailers including giants like Amazon.

But, as well as finding helpful advice on pretty much every conceivable object,product or service which could be sold online, shoppers can also often stumble across ‘creative appraisals’ of the bizarre kind. Question is…would it sell more?

Some products, and their reviews, have already become the stuff of legend, inspiring their own internet memes, such as the three wolf moon T-shirt, which sparked hilarious comments on the Amazon site.

wolf tshirt

‘Don’t get me wrong, this T-shirt is ace. I just can’t help thinking an additional Wolf wouldn’t go a miss.

‘(P.S I’ve rated this 4 stars. 1 for each Wolf and 1 for the moon. If the seller wants another star, then I want another Wolf….or another moon)’

mr tickle

Elsewhere, Mr Men book reviews have attracted some of the most in-depth reviews of all the products to be found on the site.

One review for Mr Tickle begins: ‘Hargreaves’ first work, and regarded by many as his masterpiece, Mr Tickle is something of a rarity amongst the Mr Men books. Elsewhere, we see much exposition on the pitfalls of excess – such as in Mr Greedy and Mr Messy, for instance – but a distinct lack of discourse on personalities that are over- rather than under-regulated…

‘So what a glorious anomaly we find in Mr Tickle – a breath of fresh air from the unrestrained id.’

female on a laptop

This was left on Amazon for the ‘Wheelmate’ product:

My husband Brad, always warns me not to try to update my Facebook page while I’m driving. “You’ll hit another pedestrian,” he says, “This isn’t the bridge of the Enterprise, there isn’t a deflector ray.” then along comes a miracle product like this! I can now happily fly at warp speed down the streets of LA, laptop or mobile device, perched right in front of me, so I can keep both eyes on it AND on the road. It’s so much easier to ignore all the frightened screams and annoying honking when you’ve got Facebook to look at while driving. Thank you, Wheelmate!” – George Takei (yes he of Star Trek fame)


On the book ‘Microwave For One’, by Sonia Allinson, someone left this one star review :

“After only 18 minutes in the microwave, the book caught fire. It did have a nice smoky flavour, but the middle chapters caused some paper cuts to my tongue.

horse head

And a five star review left on this horses mask:

“It’s day 87 and the horses have accepted me as one of their own. I have grown to understand and respect their gentle ways. Now I question everything I thought I once knew and fear I am no longer capable of following through with my primary objective. I know those who sent me will not relent. they will send others in my place…but we will be ready.”

So in amongst all the bland 5 and 4 star reviews out there, sit these diamonds. But what should a review look like?

A good review is something that follows a formula. A great review…? I’ll come to that.

A good review should follow a fairly simple formula. I call it the ‘BAR Formula’. Unfortunately. Nothing to do with alcohol, but can get people as excited.

BAR stands for, Before; After; Result.

Before: What was life like for your client or customer BEFORE they used your product or service?

After: What happened after they used your product or service?

Result: What’s changed? How has it impacted them? What’s different?

So here’s a quick example:

“Before I went a business workshop run by FRESH iDEAS, my business was ticking along OK, but not getting the results it deserved. After spending the day at one of their workshops, in e company of some great people, I realised I was spending a lot of money on things which got little or no return on the investment. As a result, I cut out the unnecessary spending and reinvested some of it into the things that were working for me. My turnover has increased by 30% and my profit by 20%.” Ineed Urhelp, Birmingham.

Pretty simple? It says. EVERYTHING a customer or client could want. Couple that with a picture and you’re winning.

With companies getting caught out by eliciting fake reviews or even worse, paying people to leave false ones of a derogatory basis, it’s worth sticking to this formula AND regularly GOOGLING yourself and your company to weed those out.

Oh and the ultimate in reviews? Video killed the radio star…but we’ll come onto that next time!

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