The Internet is filled with review sites like Yelp and Opentable that allow customers to provide their insight on products, services and businesses. Many consumers use these sites to not only leave their own feedback, but to also help them make smarter purchasing decisions.
But review sites should not have any impact on what products you buy, what stores you visit or what companies you like, and here’s why.
Some reviews are fake.
It’s not that hard to believe, but most review sites today are made up of fake reviews. Many customers embellish their experiences in order to create a more effective review, and some are just plain lies. Many companies have been found to write fake reviews on their own business in order to make themselves look better, and some companies have even gone as far as writing bad reviews on their competition in order to make them look bad. So if you end up not visiting a business because of a bad review you read, it could be a fake review that is keeping you from an actually wonderful experience.
Not everyone’s needs are the same.
Your idea of great Mexican food may not be the same as another customer, and if you allow their bad review of the food at a certain Mexican restaurant keep you from visiting that establishment, you could be missing out on some great food. Not every person has the same standards in mind when it comes to businesses, products and services, so you cannot allow another person’s review of a place sway your decision one way or another. You have a mind and an opinion of your own, and if your experience with a certain product, service or business was great, you shouldn’t change your mind because other reviewers felt the other way.
Companies have bad days too.
Nobody is perfect, and you need to remember that no business is perfect either. Things happen that can put businesses off their game, and this could be the reason why they received a bad review. For example, it’s possible that a restaurant was not expecting a swarm of high school kids coming into their establishment after the prom, and they may have been understaffed. A regular patron whose service was interrupted by this inconvenience may leave a review saying the service was awful when in fact the service is generally great. Now, other customers, including you, are going to read this review and assume the restaurant always has poor service, and if you allow this to be a reason why you never visit the restaurant, you could be missing out on a great experience.
Review sites are meant to be helpful, but it’s important that you make your own decisions and never let the opinions of others deter you from visiting a business or buying a certain product or service. Make decisions for yourself and use your own experience to decide whether or not that company will earn your business again.
Lauren Williams is an expert review tracker. He shares ideas about online reputation management through writing and blogging.