Reviews are time consuming. First I have to remember that I want to do a review. I have to sit down at my computer or pull out my smart phone. Then I have to pick the site on which to leave the review. Next I decide what to say. Then there are the bunny trails. As I log in, I start to browse the web…I read everyone else’s reviews…I start coupon shopping…the list of distractions goes on. Why bother in the first place?
As a small business owner, I can testify to the importance of reviews…even negative ones. Reviews make my internet advertising dollars grow exponentially! Google and other search engines love reviews, good or bad. The search engines are, to put it simply, programs that look for key words. So when you review my company, my company’s name is put out there one more time. If others “like” your review, my company’s name spreads. The next stranger to search for a window cleaning company online naturally finds mine, because my name is high on Google’s search list. It’s very helpful, I must say.
“How can a negative review be good?” you may ask. Well, it does get my company name out there, which helps. But it also gives me the chance to respond to a dissatisfied customer. Most reviews come directly to me, and I have a chance to reply. I can reply to the customer if I did not know there was a problem. Or I can reply to the public in general, stating my apologies, letting them know that we’re working to resolve issues, or even defending my company if appropriate.
We recently received a negative review from a customer who quit communicating with us in the middle of negotiating our way through her problem. It was very frustrating to be dropped in the middle of negotiations, and then even more frustrating when her anger went “public”. But it did give us a chance to defend ourselves “publicly”. It brought an end to an ongoing issue, even if not the end we had hoped to achieve.
So my request of you, the consumers, is this: Please take the time to review the companies you like, services you enjoy, the food that tastes fantastic, the employee that went above and beyond. It can really help a small business grow. You can make their advertising dollars count, and keep the good businesses around for the long term. I know it’s a hassle, but the time you take to write a review is very appreciated.