Views and Reviews

What do you think about reviews? What springs to the mind of this former church guy is the feeling that reviews are too darn much like hope-draining judgment. I am fine as long as people, laws, and gods judge me favorably. Find me falling short of the mark, however, is decidedly a bummer. Words like “sinner” come to mind.

There is unquestioned benefit in learning from one’s mistake; being called to account for failure or neglect. There is also benefit in positive encouragement. Both matter, the latter perhaps most of all.

Now, in the world of websites and Google ranking, one’s business can stand or fall on the basis of reviews. I have included a few positive testimonials on my own website. And I am perfectly willing to have folk I trust constructively critique what I have done or said in the website design. Yet, what are reviews unless one is willing to listen to both crazy good and crazy bad?

Last year I was contacted by a business person who was asking me to write a positive Google review for their business. I like the guy, and believe he sells a first class product. The review was not hard to write. There was, in fact, someone who was writing unfounded negative reviews, and this guy’s Google ranking stood to suffer as a result.

What does one do?

I recently set up a Reviews section for one of my clients. When reviews are written they will show up first in my mailbox—and I then decide whether or not to “approve” them. This feels a bit tricky, and I know that I’ll need to let through some of the negative. I’m not sure what “some” will look like, however.

So, what do you think about Reviews? Trip Advisor? Yelp? Google Reviews? The endless stream of review requests from every vendor you have contact with? It is a bit—a lot—much, but it is the business climate in which we now live.

Shall I tell you about the hot fudge sundae I had for dessert at dinner this evening? There’s a winner review, almost by definition. How can you go wrong with whipped cream, coffee ice cream, chocolate kisses, and hot fudge? Forget the cherry. The rest of it—All good! 

Peter Pierson