The Impact of Reviews and Small Business
The Impact of Reviews and Small Business
Yelp, Google and other review sites
You just left the barbershop after your haircut and are unhappy with the result; now, all you can think about is warning others, and immediately jump on Yelp to leave a one-star review.
Before you do that, STOP, breathe, and read on….
Have you traveled around the United States recently?
If you have, you may have noticed that you can drive from Los Angeles to New York City, and every place in between looks almost identical. It all seems to be one big strip mall.
If you haven’t, drive around your own town. Take a gander at the different neighborhoods that surround you.
Wal-Mart, Target, Supercuts, Best Buy, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Starbucks, Burger King, Chili’s, Applebee’s, and on and on. Recently I had a client describe his disappointment on a trip to Moscow. He expected to arrive in this foreign land and be surrounded by miraculous wonders of this far away place. As the driver navigated along to the city, they drove through suburbs of Russia. RUSSIA
He told me that he could have been anywhere in the USA, because it looked eerily familiar as they passed Ikea…
What does this have to do with review sites you ask?
Growing up in Brooklyn, New York I was surrounded by mom and pop shops as well as neighborhood small business. When 7-11 first arrived in our neighborhood, I was in awe of the fact that I could finally get one of those Slurpee’s I had only seen on TV (in commercials); It was a marvel. In 2001, I left NY to join the Army; five years later I returned for a visit and barely recognized my beloved city. 10 Years later I returned again, and I wasn’t even sure I was in the right place. All of my favorite stores, restaurants, and music venues were gone and replaced with Applebee’s, Starbucks and other big box stores.
The future of America is bleak, and we must stop actively participating in its destruction.
Now, to the matter at hand.
You just left Sam’s Barbershop and you HATE your haircut.Obviously the barber sucks, the barbershop sucks and you should warn EVERYBODY about this place.
You should review them immediately on Yelp and Google, and anywhere else you can.
You need to make sure that anyone that considers going here knows how much this place sucks.
Think and breathe.
Clearly something went wrong somewhere.
Think objectively and consider these possibilities:
Did you accurately describe how you wanted your haircut, or was there some confusion or miscommunication?
Perhaps you said I want it “shorter”, but didn’t know how short, and the barber had to take an educated guess (missing the mark)?
Did you show a photo of a haircut you liked and wanted to duplicate, but the person in the photo has thicker hair, thinner hair, lighter hair, or darker hair than you?
Maybe they had a different head shape, hair texture, curls, or straighter hair?
Perhaps the haircut is the same as in the photo, but one of the above factors make it appear different on you?
Or … maybe the barber is just having a shitty day.
Or … maybe they really do suck and the owners of the shop are trying to figure out how to let that person go.
The possibilities are endless.
One bad experience with one person shouldn’t reflect the business as a whole.
But…you are really unhappy.
Now you have to spend double the money to get the bad haircut fixed.
You want justice.
Try giving the shop an opportunity to make things right.
Don’t like confrontation? Send them an email and include some photos; a problem can’t be fixed if they don’t know what the problem is. If the shop tells you to go pound sand and doesn’t offer a remedy, then it’s obvious their customer service sucks and your crappy review may be justified.
Every time you leave a bad review you discourage another consumer from patronizing that business. You are participating in the destruction of another small business and are contributing to the next corporate chain.
Bad reviews have little impact on big box stores (they have the enormous budgets to afford reputation management and mass marketing campaigns) it’s the smallest businesses that really suffer.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20% of small businesses fail within the first year, and 50% fail within the first five years, AND that’s without the added stress negative reviews put on a business (2021).
Give them a chance at survival, give them a chance to make things right, consider your actions as a whole, and how as one person you have an enormous impact on a small businesses survival.