I am always on the lookout for new techniques being used by organizations to improve customer satisfaction processes. Here’s an interesting technique to  help an organization gather reviews (also known as testimonials or references) : Run a contest.

Word of mouth (and with the internet, this has become World of Mouth) is having a bigger and bigger effect on who customers chose to do business with.  One of the key sources of information consumers use today are ‘reviews’. So how can a business enhance its ability to gather customer reviews?

Lenovo’s Rate and Review Sweepstakes:

Lenovo, a large PC manufacturer, has announced a ‘Rate and Review Sweepstakes’ for its customers to write reviews of their PCs. The PCs are chosen from a drop down menu and include Laptops, Desktop and accessories. The Grand Prize is $50,000.  There is also what they call a ‘First Prize’ which  is a high end All in One Desktop and they are giving one away, once a month for 4 months (November through February 2011).

Lenovo has the right to approve each of the reviews it accepts but if a customer write a review, and if is accepted, they get a coupon worth 10% off any product on Lenovo.com. So even though they call this a ‘second prize‘, in fact, everyone  who writes and gets accepted wins.

The contest closes February 25,  2011 and is open to customers in the US only.

Some of the terms of the contest posted on their sweepstakes page:

When writing reviews:

  • Focus on the product features and your experience with them.
  • Provide details about why you like or dislike the product.
Note: Lenovo reads all reviews before posting them. Lenovo will not post reviews containing any of the following types of content:
  • Obscenities, discriminatory language or other language not suitable for public forums.
  • Advertisements or references to their competitors products, offers or web sites.
  • E-mail addresses, URLs, phone numbers, physical addresses or other forms of contact information.
  • Critical or spiteful comments directed toward other reviews posted on the page or their authors

Questions and Observations:

Do you think the prize of a Desktop will generate much buzz? Most people prefer laptops. Desktops don’t seem to be in style at the consumer level, at least judging by what is being promoted by the big retail stores.

I wonder if they will post any negative reviews.

It is interesting that I learned about this contest from an email sent to me by Lenovo. I am located in Canada so I cannot take part in this Sweepstakes. Yet, they sent me the notification of the sweepstakes anyways. I wonder if this is a mistake (they should have asked to find out where I live before sending me a geographic specific contest) or maybe it is intentional! Any ideas?

Does your organization have any contests, or other unique marketing techniques to gather testimonials or reviews? Share your story in the comments section below.

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Adele Berenstein

Adele Berenstein is an Experienced Customer Satisfaction Executive, recently retired from a Large Global IT Organization after a long productive management career including Sales, Marketing, Services, teaching and education center management and most recently, 19 years in customer satisfaction management. She turned around divisions with customer satisfaction problems, implemented measurable improvements and management systems, and implemented programs to prevent problems from ever affecting customers.

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