When I was young, my mother seemed to know whenever I was up to something. She could pretty much tell without asking me any questions, and if I did anything to hide whatever scheme I was up to, it only became that much more obvious to her. Online reviews are like that in a lot of ways. If you do anything to bribe your customers into leaving a good review of your business, odds are that everyone reading those reviews will catch on.

I’ve heard of some companies offering coupons or discounts to their customers who leave a good review of them online. The problem with doing this is that those businesses are coaxing the review out of the custom and leading them to over-praise the business. Getting nothing but 5 star reviews tend to look a little fishy and the written reviews start to sound a little fake.

What I recommend instead, is that if you observe a customer that appears to be having a great experience with your business, simply ask them to leave a review online. You might not get a 5 star review all the time, but the reviews will be an honest and accurate representation of your business. Getting a bad review isn’t even the worst thing in the world. Bad reviews can help you gain some very valuable perspective of your business and you can use that to make improvements in your business.

Moms know when their kids are up to something, and if a business is in any way bribing for reviews, customers will catch on to the unauthentic reviews quickly. Moms will always love their kids, but customers can, and will, fall in love with a new business.