The Review topic has been a big one lately. Do you give reviews? Do you write them for good service? Bad Service? Any Service? Do you read reviews? Where do you go for your reviews?
Until I was a business owner, I was not great about writing reviews, good or bad. Sometimes I would use Yelp. TripAdvisor did not really start getting popular until recently. If someone asked me to write a testimonial or something and reminded me a few times, I would totally write whatever was needed. However, I never knew just how much businesses, especially local business relied on reviews to help their businesses.
Now, as a business owner, I am getting it. Reviews are HUGE.
I try to ask every guest on my tour how they found me…
The primary answer “I googled and you were one of the first that came up.” This usually means my website, TripAdvisor and Yelp.
Me: “Do you remember what you googled?” The answers vary
Second most popular answer “I read your reviews on TripAdvisor and Yelp.”
Third most popular answer “I found you on some Santa Babara site.”
All of the answers make me smile. Not so long ago, when my business first launched, you could type in the exact business name to google and the business did not show up until the 3rd or 4th page. I felt slightly hopeless. Then I learned a little bit more about the google machine. But I digress, we are talking about reviews.
I try to sit down a few times a month and write revewis on both Yelp and TripAdvisor for the new and old places I have been. I generally try to keep everything on the positive side…let’s be honest, I am a pretty positive girl 🙂
I had an interesting experience a few weeks back. I went to a restaurant a couple of times, the first time was mediocre, the second time was straight up awful. I wrote a very honest review highlighting both the negative and the positive, because let’s face it, I can find positive in almost anything. Within 15 minutes the GM of the restaurant contacted me via Yelp and profusely apologized and gave me a gift certiciate that woudl never expire and asked for more details about the experience. The acknolwedgement from the GM alone made me think differently. A few weeks later, a little nervous to head back to the establishment and it was very interesting. The GM introduced herself, after asking what the problem had been and once she introduced herself, I instantly felt less nervous about my food being spat in. The kitchen manger even came out and introduced himself. All in all, the experience was very different than the previous two…the meal was pretty good. Will I go back? Probably not. Will I update my review, YES.
The moral of this blog is, reviews help small businesses. So I ask you, do you review?