I felt the need to put up this post because without fail, whenever I review a business and it's less than stellar, there are one or two comments berating me for trying to bring down said business. Weirdly enough, nobody praises me when I give a glowing review o.
I think I should put my thoughts in bullet points so that it's easier to read. I also think that most bloggers who put up review posts feel the same way about the points I'll make below - correct me if I'm wrong.
- Nobody wants to write a bad review. Think about it. Writing a bad review means that after spending money for goods and/or services, you got a negative, poor or bad experience. Does it make sense for anyone to willingly pay for a less than good experience? I think not. On my part, I go to places that I think I will like. Whatever review I give afterwards happens to be based on my experience, good, bad or mixed.
- Reviews are subjective. This means that any reviews I post are based on MY experience and I'm simply sharing MY opinion. And guess what? We cannot all have the same opinions, so feel free to tell me about your own experience but don't deny me the right to have an opinion. If that was the case I would have screamed murder after Eat Drink Lagos said they didn't like my favorite Thai restaurant (BANGKOK FOR PRESIDENT!!!). I also didn't care for what they said was one of the best burgers in Lagos - my friends loved it, and I didn't. Does that make any of us wrong? No. Keyword... subjective.
- Review Language/Constructive Criticism. I don't remember all the reviews I've posted on the blog, but I wouldn't categorize any of them as malicious or hateful, as someone said about my last review. Okay there was one review that was particularly scathing but the experience at the restaurant was truly awful. My point is that I make an effort to look for positives along with the negatives. It's not my fault if sometimes the negatives outweigh the positives. In no way though, do I try to be unkind. I know what it's like to get hateful comments directed at me so I try to use language that isn't destructive to the business.
- Review Audience. For the most part, reviews are written with the blog readers in mind - not necessarily telling them where to go or not - but letting them know how your visit went. However it was brought to my attention in my last review post, that the business owners/management may not ever see my reviews. And in that case, I think there are either of 2 options - forward your comments to those in charge of the business if possible, and the other is for they themselves to actively seek out what people are saying about their business online (which I think should be part of any reputable business' customer service drive). There's a hotel I've stayed at before that not only checks their reviews on Trip Advisor but also make efforts to respond to feedback as well.
- Honesty vs. Guilt. Sometimes when I have to write a review that's mostly bad, I actually feel guilty because it seems like I'm complaining a lot instead of being content with what service/product I received. But at the end of the day, I'm doing myself, my readers and ultimately the business a disservice if I don't speak/write honestly. My last review was quite sugarcoated - a friend who I actually told everything that happened said to me, "You were really nice on your post o." Sometimes I'm torn between being honest/candid in my reviews and sugarcoating a review. I would rather err on the side of honesty. Anybody can ask Cakes - as much as I love his cakes and designs, a lot of times, if I see something that isn't nice, I tell him straight up. He hates it and we argue quite a bit about it, but I think he (like all businesses) should get candid feedback on what they offer, otherwise how will they improve?
Thanks for reading and have a nice day :)