On Ratings & Reviews
Before I buy a product online for the first time, I'll check the one-star reviews. Maybe the twos. This is where honest customers will let you know if the product isn't as advertised or if it shows up in a weird size or if it shows up at all. This is usually more helpful information than glowing five-star reviews.
Oddly, this doesn't translate across to reviews in the service industry.
I have a policy - I won't leave a public review unless I'm going to put a five-star rating on it even if my experience with the venue wasn't five stars. That little star rating is crucial to most businesses - often the difference of thousands of dollars each week in revenue - what right do I have to compromise it?
Review sites like Yelp, Trip Advisor, or Google have ruined our ability to deal with problems in front of us. Instead of going to the source of the problem - the restaurant or service provider - to get a resolution, we bring the problem to the public, hoping they will provide some kind of solution.
Obviously, nothing ever happens.
Read enough reviews from dissatisfied clients, and you'll find most of what is written is a personal frustration - an age-old problem that will likely only be resolved with therapy, all spelled out for us under a dull two-star rating.
This public venting rarely helps.
Glowing revues will ensure the place gets so much business; it eventually becomes a problem to patronize.
If a place is truly under par, the free market will take care of it.
We had a comically bad experience at a venue in Denver several years ago. It was the kind of afternoon rife with bad service and garbage food that I could have easily panned online for my 40 some-odd followers. Instead, I wrote the president of the restaurant group that owned the place. I figured if they had so many locations, then surely they are doing something right and my experience was a fluke?
He thanked me for bringing it to his attention, sent me a Visa gift-card to refund my meal, and also sent me a fistful of tickets for a concert they were representing.
How's that saying go? You catch more flies with honey?