You may be hurting your City List rating by proactively asking your customers for reviews.

City List’s recommendation software is designed to highlight reviews from people inspired to share their experiences with the community. Most businesses only target happy customers when asking for reviews which leads to biased ratings, so the recommendation software actively tries to identify and not recommend reviews prompted or encouraged by the business.

The businesses that do best on City List are the ones that provide a great customer experience to everyone who walks in the door without any expectation or encouragement that they write a review.

Here are some tips to avoid hurting your City List rating:

  • Don’t ask customers, mailing list subscribers, friends, family, or anyone else to review your business.
  • Don’t ask your staff to compete to collect reviews.
  • Don’t run surveys that ask for reviews from customers reporting positive experiences.
  • Don’t ever offer freebies, discounts, or payment in exchange for reviews — it will turn off savvy consumers, and may also be illegal. City List has a Consumer Alerts program to let people know about businesses that engage in this sort of activity.

Your best bet to get high quality and unbiased reviews about your business is to provide a memorable and amazing customer experience — not by asking your customers to post on City List.

For a more in-depth look, read our official blog post on why you shouldn’t solicit reviews. For other tips on how to put your best foot forward on City List, check out the DOs & DON’Ts for Business Owners!