Let’s Start a Positive Review Movement

Reviews on social media matter more than most of us realize. If you like something, say so! Tell others about your positive experience by posting reviews on Google, Yelp and Facebook or on a service/product provider’s website.

I recently asked my smart phone to find a business for me. It responded with: “I found (business name), located at (street address). The review rating is two stars. Would you like me to call or get directions?”

My reaction: What?! This place is fantastic. Why only 2 stars?

On screen next to the business listing, I saw it. 2 tiny stars and the text: “1 review on Yelp.” Of course, I had to click the link. The review page opened to show the solitary 2-star review. However, it was not a review at all. It was an inappropriate “rant” – much ado about the author and an isolated incident.

What if people don’t read the rambling to discover the score is unwarranted? What if they just see the 2 stars and the first few lines of a negative assault on a wonderful establishment? The ramifications to the business could be huge. I found the whole situation very concerning. But what can I/we do?

Let’s start a “Positive Review Movement!”

Retailers, restaurants, service businesses and even schools need our help with online reviews. Studies have found that 9 out of 10 people read reviews before deciding about a purchase or service. Positive reviews are especially important to small local businesses.

In support of this month’s Small Business Saturday shop local and share your positive experience with others. Your review with a high score will help that business, product or service continue to be offered.

Too often the reputation of a business is unjustly tarnished by a disgruntled employee, a purchase that didn’t work out, or an ill-mannered customer. If you read a negative review, be sure to notice how or if the business responded to the author. Perhaps it was only an isolated incident.

If your experience is not good, take time to think about whether your specific occurrence should be shared in an online review. Addressing a negative matter in real time or off line is likely the better choice, followed by a review about how the matter was resolved. If you can offer input that is helpful to future customers without being damaging to the service provider, everyone benefits.

The next time you have a good experience, use your favorite online platform to let others know about it. Be nice. Be brief. Be relevant. Many businesses will extend a special “thank you” for your positive review.