The good, the bad and the ugly – Review sites and Small Businesses.

We need to talk about the elephant in the room!

This can be a touchy subject for some small business owners, but I have decided to take it on, because, it’s like the elephant in the room. No one wants to talk about it, but it’s there!

Since the advent of the internet, there are numerous on-line review platforms that have popped up and that a consumer can log on to and post reviews regarding their experience with any number of types of businesses.

Hotels, restaurants, cleaning services and yes, even Home builders and renovators.

It’s always nice to read positive reviews about your business, and it’s really fun to share those reviews with the staff that helped make the consumer experience great.  Customer reviews and testimonials are very important for any business.  As a small business owner in a competitive market, we very much value and appreciate it when our customers take the time to write a positive review for not only us, but for the public to see.  At Gregor Homes we have had the very good fortune of working with so many fine customers and clients, who don’t hesitate to refer us and write those positive reviews.

Unfortunately, some consumers use the various platforms to complain about their experiences, and let’s face it, constructive criticism may be hard to swallow, but can often be used as a tool to help a business improve.  The problem I personally have with this form of reviews is they are often not constructive comments, but one side of a story. Quite often the comments are posted in spite, because perhaps, a consumer didn’t get their way in a valid dispute.

Often comments are posted even though there are legal proceedings in progress and the comments are posted out of frustration. There are many reasons that comments get posted, and I am not suggesting for a second that some, if not many, are valid.

If I patronize a restaurant and don’t have a great experience, I am likely going to do one of a couple of things; I may choose to speak to a manager and express my concerns, and my assumption is that he or she will remedy the situation if they feel I have a valid concern. I may also choose to do nothing, pay my bill and probably won’t patronize the establishment again.

In either case, if I speak to a manager and they deal with my concern, or I do nothing and just pay the bill, then I don’t think I have the right to post a negative review.

Unfortunately, there are no checks and balances for these postings, and it is up to the business to defend their side and push to have a review removed, but often that is too late, the damage is done and often, a great business has been scarred for no reason.

Just my view.

There, the elephant is now free and we can get back to the business of creating spaces our clients love.

Thanks for listening.

James Bazely, President, Gregor Homes Ltd. 

www.gregorhomes.com

1 thought on “The good, the bad and the ugly – Review sites and Small Businesses.”

  1. Well written. Thanks for writing this.
    Being a small business owner and in charge of the marketing, I stress about this, that you wrote about. I don’t believe that the internet is the correct forum to voice complaints. Maybe if all else fails, even if legal fails, but even then if there is hatred or an impulse to make the business suffer, that’s not right.
    I am not adverse to criticism when it is deserved. There is always room for improvement and changes.
    I think (I hope) that when people are reading reviews, especially the bad ones, that they will feel that it doesn’t read fairly, or it is just doesn’t add up to a “one star”. At least I do hope this is the case. I know I do.

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