How effective are online reviews and what are the consequences?


Here is a hot topic for all small businesses. Online reviews can make and break companies. We have been in business over 27 years and do well over 2,000 projects annually. We do have a franchisor that independently surveys all of our customers and we score quite well. When it comes to social media and online reviews, the game somehow changes.

I sit on several business boards and have a chance to meet and listen with business owners across various industries. There is a common frustration today with the power and severity of  consequences that are associated with online reviews. There is a cliche in business that when someone is happy with their purchase, they may tell someone. When someone is unhappy, they will tell everyone they know.

Social Media has taken the is concept to a whole new level. People are so venomous that they often try to destroy a company single-handedly and do not realize the damage they do not just to the owner of the business, but also all of the employees, vendors, and even down to local charities that are supported by these companies. The reviews often stop potential prospects from even contacting a company if the reviews resonate.

What is the answer? Online reviews do serve a purpose. When done well, they are very constructive and informative. The downside is the highly inflammatory nature of many of them and even to the point where consumers use reviews as a “bargaining chip” or what legal experts refer to as “extortion”. It would be wise if people took into account the damage they may cause and really think through the end goal. Is it to be informative and constructive, or to be destructive? There is way too much negative in our society and I for one will NEVER post a negative online review as I am painfully aware of how damaging they can be. My path is to deal directly with the vendor and work through challenges. Any responsible company would gladly work with me!

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