Stop suing review sites and work on your business.

Posted Tuesday, August 13, 2013

It’s obvious for anyone who follows my posts that I am not a fan of Yelp! “elite” culture. I don’t subscribe to the idea of armchair connoisseurs who self-appoint themselves to the position of judge, jury, & executioner of local businesses.

At the same time, my heart pumps piss for crybabies who blame online reviews for their business failing.  This article is such a bunch of self-pity inspiring nonsense from business owners who suck at what they do.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/08/02/the-dark-side-of-internet-freedom-how-bogus-online-reviews-can-sink-small-a-business/

People who subscribe to this don’t understand technology and don’t understand customer service.

We all deal with the same pool of assholes. The assholes who leave bad reviews because you won’t perform a service for free will spread their disease EVERYWHERE. Do you really think there is only one asshole in town, and that this one asshole will ONLY visit YOUR business? Are you so far off the deep end that you are deluded by your sob story that everyone is out to get you, and only you?

The reality of having a business in the center of Manhattan is that we occasionally attract asshole customers who post BS reviews. However, so does Dr Brendan, so does LaptopMD, so does L2 Computer, so does BnyTech. Every local business has to deal with the same pool of assholes because the same pool of assholes will come to all of us. We all get slandered by nonsense. It’s on all of our review pages.

As a result, it’s not going to be a deciding factor for most people. All of our businesses have 1 or 2 or 3 miserable reviews from people who conjured up everything they wrote, and since we all have a few of those, they cancel each other out.

Customers who are discerning enough to do online research & read reviews are not idiots. Start thinking better of your client base. Remember how your 1st grade teacher could tell when one person did everyone’s book report? Yelpers are the same way. If the same review is posted by the same person 3 times with two or three words swapped around on the same day, Yelp readers will see it for the bullshit it is, the same way your fourth grade teacher did your book report you paraphrased from sparknotes(been there, done that).

Business owners who want good reviews must learn the difference between happy and content customers. You want your reviews to change? Start impressing people. Start doing more than saying it’ll be done in two weeks for $300. Go above and beyond. Break your back enough that content customers become HAPPY customers. I

You think you’re making customers happy, but often, you’re not. You’re making them content. People who are HAPPY will actually put off watching their Seinfeld rerun, or rolling their evening joint, to sit there for 5 minutes verifying their new Yelp! account to rave about how awesome you are. People who are content will go “OMG, THANK YOU!”, then forget about you the second they leave. You did what they asked, and they said thank you. This just isn’t enough to motivate people to choose to spend 5 minutes of their time helping your reputation after they’ve received what they’ve paid for. You need to provide more if you’re going to compete with everything else they can choose to do with their free time.

I am tired of hearing business owners say “but that’s not fair to us” or “it would be a nightmare to offer X in Y timeframe.” Fine, keep thinking like that. I’ll keep breaking my back doing work that “isn’t fair” to my time; where I may actually risk working five minutes outside what I billed the client for. You don’t have to do that. You also don’t have to have a good online reputation. 

You’re welcome to Google us – it seems to be working.

And don’t stand there and tell me you’ve been doing that. Don’t tell me you’ve been in business for five years and can’t bum one good  review. Seriously? Come up with some promotion or some service that will make people happy enough to leave reviews.

Every dime you spend on an attorney, every second you spend in court; a waste. This is time & money that you could put into improving your business, and you’re spending it crying to online “journalists.” I do not see the sky falling when I receive a bogus bad review, because I understand a reality of social media. If it’s not the norm, it’ll be buried under the truth in no time. I don’t put time & effort into suing the douche who made something up. I put time & effort into impressing people who walk into our business so that the negative sinks to the bottom. If I am doing my job right, that’s where the negative belongs.

I’m very direct, and do not come off as the traditional “professional.” We’re not the cheapest. I wear a t-shirt to work. We have no gimmicks, a very plain looking store in contrast to many slick looking competitors. Yet somehow, we maintain an amazing online reputation(at the time of this writing, at least). My point is not to brag with this statement. Rather, I want to get across the point that if I can do it, so can you. Put down the lawsuit and take charge of your business.

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