New Year’s resolutions are looming and I’ve been thinking a lot about realistic and not too time intensive habits I could begin. I wanted to focus on an act of kindness or good deed-a sort of pay it forward resolution. It all became so clear to me when one weekend my family was trying to agree on a place to eat. We turned to Yelp to read reviews. After a few minutes scrolling, I blurted out loud in frustration, “Come on, there has got to be at least one mom who has eaten at this restaurant and can give me a little insight on how kid friendly it is?” My husband charmingly replied, “Let’s go check it out, and then YOU can be THAT mom.”
It is not uncommon for me to sing the praises of an excellent customer services experience to my colleagues or to share with my friends via group text my latest obsession. It is also not uncommon for me to scroll through personal testimonials, get lost in customer photos, and read through hundreds of reviews until I find the one voice in a sea of posts that answers my question and helps me make my final decision.
Why have I never thought to return the favor? Sadly, as much as I rely on the information and feedback provided by others, I have never formally written down my thoughts, reviewed an experience, or even recommended a restaurant, service, or product for others online.
Watch out Facebook, Etsy, Yelp, Google, and Amazon my 2018 New Year’s resolution is going to be writing reviews!
- Many of the places we review are a small business or a hobby. It is safe to assume that small businesses don’t have full time employees serving as social media managers. Their ratings and reviews, although vital to their business, are probably something they are not thinking about monitoring or soliciting. Small businesses depend greatly on referrals and although word of mouth is powerful, nothing compares to a printed review.
- Omaha is a large city and the market is saturated (especially for moms). Being new to Omaha, I rely heavily on reviews for selecting birthday locations, photographers, medical facilities, social groups etc. I have found that up to date and honest reviews have been very helpful in the transition to a new city.
- Lastly, I think it is important to give back to a system that I frequently use. Providing reviews from a mother’s perspective, simply put, completes the circle of giving. Pay it forward for a fellow mom looking for a kid friendly restaurant.
TIPS WHEN REVIEWING
- Have you ever dug pages deep into the reviews looking for the one testimony that told you if the service was accommodating to special dietary restrictions, or that the cute and inexpensive swimsuit would stay in place running on the beach with the kids, or better yet that one person to tell you that it was a terrible experience and they would never go there again? Write what you value. What stands out to you in a review? Try to leave similar types of reviews that you look for when making a decision.
- Always leave a pro and con. Be honest when leaving these pros and cons. It is important to let the reader know if your negative review is a personal preference, a one-time negative experience, or is it something that has occurred more than once.
- It is important to provide comments but also to rate the review as well. Some people look for an average rating while others consider individual comments to be more helpful.
It is so easy to find a minute to complain, voice frustration, or disappointment but how often is it that we take a minute to compliment and provide support? I am so grateful for the services, businesses and the people who are behind experiences that there is no reason for me not to share my thoughts, surely there is another mom out there who will value my perspective.