Review gating happens when companies send a message to customers asking if their experience was positive or negative. Those who indicate they’ve had a positive experience are asked to leave an online review; those who’ve had a negative experience are typically sent to a form to leave comments that will never be made public. The end result is online reviews that are artificially positive and don’t represent the actual customer experience.
As a company, Podium has been at the forefront against review gating. Online reviews are only as valuable as they are trusted. When it works correctly, reviews benefit everyone from the business to the consumer. Businesses gain valuable feedback through the experiences customers share in their reviews, and enjoy the credit for the hard work they do on behalf of their customers. Consumers have a powerful tool they can trust to make better buying decisions. Everyone wins.
Be aware that review gating can have serious consequences. For example, to remain in compliance with Google’s policy, companies may not “discourage or prohibit negative reviews or selectively solicit positive reviews from customers.” Failure to comply can mean that a business may lose every review they’ve collected on Google. You can review more of Google's policy on how to represent your business online.
If you’d like more in-depth information, please read our guide on how to maintain customer trust by eliminating gating.