August 11, 2015

BLOG TALK: Review Posts

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.


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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? 
I think I'm done for now. So the bottom line is this: reviews are opinions and are not meant in a malicious manner - at least that's not my intent. I know that running a business isn't easy. However, business owners should know what their customers' experiences are like and strive to improve on any shortcomings. I think it will be easy to distinguish between an overbearing customer who just feels like complaining and one who genuinely had a poor experience.

Thanks for reading and have a nice day :)

14 comments:

  1. Preach Berry!
    And yes to erring on the side of honesty
    I used to feel guilty sometimes, but my experience is my experience and it doesn't mean your product or your place is all bad. It's all subjective, it could be horrible for me and great for somebody else. I even feel someway about good reviews sometimes when someone says oh she tried this or that on my recommendation and it was crap. But that's life. Focus on your product and your service. I once reviewed a product once and it wasn't a good review. In the days that followed, I had new commenters talking about how much they loved it. I suspected that that was the work of the product manufacturer, being shady/ childish but oh well. It's really not personal.

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    1. You're absolutely right, it goes both ways - sometimes you like something, and based on your recommendation a follower tries it out and hates it. Other times you dislike something and another person loves it.

      Yeah, I also think that some business owners make up fake IDs to say good things about their product. I remember on a food blog, one particularly bad review had a ton of people come to attack the writers and saying the restaurant food was great.

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  2. Truth is bitter you know. It would be hard for a biz owner to see a negative review but as you said, these things are subjective. I think we (biz owners and reviewers) should all learn to grow with critiques and improve on our services in the said areas sometimes, no one (biz) can perfectly satisfy everyone but we can try tho.

    www.dleonalife.blogspot.com

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    1. I agree, no business can satisfy everyone or be perfect - that's just a simple fact of life. That said, there are some shortcomings that can be completely avoided or improved on, e.g. a hotel I stayed in didn't have a bath mat in the shower and I slipped and almost fell.

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  3. Hey Berry,

    I prefer honest reviews. Personally, I depend on reviews to help me decide prior to purchasing certain goods or services- imagine if someone gave a less than sincere review of some really expensive lipstick and I went ahead and purchased it.

    The truth is that businesses who are more keen to hear about the critical reviews over the glowing reviews are the ones who really want to make an extra effort to improve. That's really what counts when it comes to customer retention.

    Thank you for sharing this well written post.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Nedoux. I too would prefer an honest review so that I know what to expect if I decide to patronize the business.

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  4. Berry,

    I love the idea of this post because it points out a lot about reviews from the readers end and the writer. I think language is important especially from the writer perspective. Also being honest helps, you need to be an open book to write a review or own a platform like this and others.

    I loveeee this post. A lot of people need to read this.
    www.livinginlekki.com

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  5. You are right. Whats bad for someone might be good for someone else. We should learn to take criticism as an avenue to be better and do better. It should encourage you to work on yourself and your products or services .

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  6. Thanks Berry for your honest reviews. I prefer when i can put a face to a review on products or services. Because I don't trust online reviews conpletely. Why? I can't put a face to the comments and it could be a promoter, rival or just bad belle putting them up. No matter how it may be, I love when people critic me (constructive) though than the praises. It keeps me on my feet. Too much praises can make one complacent. But most naija businesses are just sinply complacent with how their customers feel about their services regardless of if the reviews are good or not. Biko, give us more reviews.

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  7. A business that is open to growth should not get upset about negative reviews. They should use the review to make the necessary adjustments in their business. Nice post!

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  8. Great post Berry! As a business owner I know how heart wrenching it can be to see bad reviews but I try and use it as a tool for figuring out where we can improve our services. No one can be perfect 100% of the time and people's tastes differ too.

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  9. I'm usually scared about reviews for our African Naturalistas products. But honestly, it is these honest/candid reviews that put us on our toes to do better. We wouldn't have improved this much if not for the fear of negative reviews, lol.

    Modern Day Religious Manipulations

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  10. different strokes for different folks... give your opinion. whoever wants to complain, na him sabi.

    Favour Moyse Blog

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Reading your comments ALWAYS makes me smile. I hope you smile when I reply :)