Working in an online world I often get to see the negative side of having reviews and content at our fingertips. Of course as consumers we like to have perfect service and quality products from our providers and we all allow for the odd slip up but it seems to be a common trend to complain online for all to see by posting on Google reviews, Tripadvisor, and Facebook etc.
Bad online reviews can kill a business it as brutal as that for some.
I live in a place that is frequented by tourists, in the summer it is a thriving village and in the winter the village relies on locals to fill their restaurants or buy from their shops. One of my friends recently had some bad service from a local restaurant and posted about it on facebook and many people told her to post a negative review as they felt these businesses rely on us during the winter months and we deserve better. There is no doubt in my mind that a business should be told that the service is not what is expected but I do believe we should think twice before pressing the post button with a complaint.
The reality of posting a negative review on a restaurant that usually has a good reputation is that it creates a bad impression to visitors who use these sites and possibly then cause the business to struggle and in those months that the business is normally busy thus then making it even worse for them at their slow time of year. The reality is if a business shuts down in a small village this then has a huge impact on the rest of the village depending on what type of business.
I have watched my home town over 10 years gradually fade away and now it is full of pound shops with hardly any passing trade. Of course this isn’t just down to negative reviews but as businesses close down for one reason or another the footfall to a once popular shopping/tourist destination goes elsewhere for a better shopping destination.
I have many clients who have received negative reviews, rightly or wrongly, but I feel some of these reviews could have been handled in a more private way giving the business and the owner a chance to put things right without having their reputation damaged online.
I know far too many people who make a judgement on a business based upon online reviews and I find that particularly worrying for businesses that may suffer the odd review because of a difficult time within their business.
We all make mistakes, no business or person is perfect and I do believe we should all think twice before posting negative reviews about a business.
Shop local and think twice before posting a bad review.