Reviews – Good, Bad or Indifferent

Reviews – Good, Bad or Indifferent - Smart Hospitality Supplies

“We cannot please all of the people, all of the time”

Timeless words spoken by poet John Lydgate, and later adapted by President Lincoln. This is so apparently true when reading reviews on companies, who have done nothing worse than to have had the misfortune of obtaining a difficult client.

Online reviews can be an excellent media, but also quite damning – so how do you handle the odd bad review? Basically, you take it on the chin! There is absolutely no point in getting into some sort of slanging match with the disgruntled customer.

What if you are designing a website and all the design artwork has been signed off and agreed and then your customer ‘changes their mind’, this can cause one major headache for your company and, unless treated with kid gloves, the customer can see your reluctance to just scrap all the hard work you have put into the project and start again, as you being difficult.

On the web there is an array of review sites, some good, some bad and it is a minefield determining which site offers a genuine, unbiased means of submitting reviews, ensuring that competitive companies do not just attack their opposition with near libellous criticism, as a means of making themselves appear superior.


Should I encourage reviews?

Every business should build a strategy for encouraging reviews, as today’s knowledgeable and savvy consumers seek online reviews and many rely upon what is said in the reviews before making any purchase decisions. Having negative in addition to positive feedback, somehow builds trust amongst consumers, who, according to a study conducted by US Company Saurage Research, would rather do business with a company who has an average of four stars from ten reviews, than five stars from five reviews.

Apart from actively encouraging reviews, companies should also monitor, respond to and take action on their reviews, listening to the voice of the consumer can make remarkable improvements to your business as there is nothing more powerful than the voice of the consumer. It has been observed that online reviews do influence visitor’s behaviour and reviews that are factual and relevant are evaluated better, as are negative reviews, which are perceived as more trustworthy and of greater use to the consumer.

Finally, the order in which the reviews appear on your website is of critical importance, with the first couple of reviews having a far greater impact than any subsequent reviews – so this is a case of not keeping the best till last.