Answering reviews & building customer relationships

Knowing how to interact with your audience is one important factor that can make you a successful author. Here we give you some guidance on how to act reflectively on reviews.

Tes Author Team

Reviews and customer relationships

How to take positive and negative feedback on board

We all like positive feedback! It’s great to hear that people appreciate what we’ve done and that we’ve helped them out in some way. Good reviews will, of course, lead to other potential buyers considering your resource. If all feedback were like this we’d all feel great about what we do but, sadly, it wouldn’t help us to improve.

Teachers tend to understand the value of negative feedback in improving students’ work and it is important that as an author you see negative feedback in the same way. As reflective professionals, teachers are encouraged to constantly adapt and improve teaching methods, and this approach is equally useful when creating teaching resources. Even if an observer has viewed you teach the lesson resource and given you an outstanding rating, this does not mean that the resource is set up in a way that enables all other teachers to achieve the same results. So be prepared to make changes; just because your resource is published, it doesn’t mean it’s finished!

Low ratings can provide constructive feedback but they can also be frustrating when you don’t get an explanation for it. We addressed this issue in 2019 by making it compulsory for any new 1 or 2 star resource reviews to be accompanied by a comment. We have also explicitly stated that any issues with the website and download process should be reported to us and not left as a review. This means that you will receive feedback from your reviewers for any potential issues, enabling you to rectify these.


The importance of responding to reviews

You have to act as your own customer service agent when it comes to quality assurance. Reviewers would not take the time to respond if they didn’t think that their feedback was important. Bear in mind the cliche that 'the customer is always right' - it is important not to react defensively about your product but instead to investigate the issue that your customer has raised.

Reviewers are helping you to become a better author: they have tested the resource for you and can give you advice that you would not be able to ascertain on your own. However, don’t only be reactive - be proactive, too. Think about your customers’ advice with respect to your other teaching resources as well - could you make similar changes that might make people appreciate your other items more?

You can publicly respond to a comment left on your resource to let the reviewer know that you have taken their comments on board. If you’ve updated the resource as a result of their feedback, you can let them know that they are now able to re-download the updated resource. This lets your buyer know that you act on feedback and may persuade them to buy more of your resources in the future. These public responses also let prospective buyers know that you are a reflective author who changes, updates and improves their work.

Removal of reviews

We must remind authors that, as stated in the author code, all communications between authors and buyers are expected to be civil and professional in nature. As per the website terms and conditions, Tes reserve the right to remove any content deemed to be inappropriate. If you believe that your resource has been reviewed unfairly or inappropriately, please use the ‘report’ button next to the review in question and our Customer Service team will look into the report and take further action if necessary. If Customer Services remove the review, the star rating given will no longer contribute to an author’s overall star rating. However, if a resource has been deleted by an author, any ratings this resource has received will still contribute to the author’s overall star rating. This is to prevent authors from manipulating their overall author rating by deleting and reuploading resources that have received legitimate negative feedback.