Why I Don't Trust Reviews

hasseman marketing online reviews Maybe I just have trust issues. More and more, we are seeing a proliferation of “reviews” that influence the way we make decisions about purchases.  Whether you are buying a car, booking a vacation, or looking for a restaurant, we check the “reviews” of a business before we are willing to set foot in any place.   Not only that, but sites like Amazon, Facebook, and others are actually moving companies up and down in their search criteria based on the number (and ranking) of their reviews.  And in theory, I get it.  It’s nice to be able to take a quick look behind the veil to make sure we aren’t walking into a scam artist.  I like the idea that each of has “a voice” in commerce.  If we have a bad experience, we have a way to “warn others.”  But is that really what you think happens?  I don’t.  Here are (just a few) of my issues with online reviews. Who are these people?  Again…maybe this goes back to my trust issues.  But why is it I should value the opinion of random strangers on the internet?  Don’t get me wrong.  If EVERYONE has had a bad experience at a place…that helps me.  But it’s human nature that we are attracted to that one bad review.  If a friend tells me they have had a bad experience, it might hold value.  But…who are these random strangers again? Who validates them?  The answer is…no one.  As a matter of fact, Facebook and other places are making it even harder to take reviews down.  If one of my customers has a bad experience, I do want to know.  But I DO want it to be one of my customers!  The last time I went to our Facebook page, we had 3 “featured reviews.”  There were 2 5-star reviews.  There was 1 1-star review.  It’s fine…except that NONE of the 3 were customers.  Some people can’t be pleased:  We all know them.  These are the people that are pissed off if they can’t find something to be mad about.  So…how many of those people do you think just LOVE to write reviews?  My guess…a lot of them.  So how much should I value their take? Have you ever noticed that a 1 star book review on Amazon is never written by a best-selling author?  Why?  First, because they don’t have time to mess with that.  But more importantly, they know how much work creating a book takes.  I don’t know what that tells me…but it tells me something.   Make sure you are happy by signing up for our VIP newsletter.  Each week we send out an email with all of the content we create each week.  Sign up here!

Written by: Kirby Hasseman

Kirby Hasseman is the CEO of Hasseman Marketing & Communications. Kirby hosts a weekly Web show called Delivering Marketing Joy where he interviews business leaders from around the country. Kirby has published four books. His most recent is “Fan of Happy.” His book, called "Delivering Marketing Joy" is about doing “promo right” and is perfect for people in the industry and customers. He also wrote “Think Big For Small Business” and “Give Your Way to Success. All are available on Amazon.