Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Online Reviews in the wedding industry

Last June I wrote the below blog about online reviews. It was looking at it only from the negative side of reviews when they're not so stellar. On the flipside of things? Good reviews keep me in business and they're a huge part of the reason that people hire me. I want to remind you currently engaged couples: as much as you read reviews before you hire your team, please, please, please take the time to write reviews after your wedding. I know you think you will now, but the day after your wedding you're on to other projects.
 

Online Reviews in the Wedding Industry 
(originally published in June 2010)

Don't get me wrong, I love to google a company to see what comes up, but when reading certain sites,  I always remember to take everything with a grain of salt and know that angry people tend to be the ones to write reviews.

Why am I talking about this? Recently one of my clients emailed me back after I referred a certain vendor. In years of working with this vendor I have never had a problem and neither have my brides, yet my client asked me what was up with the nasty reviews online? Sure enough, I googled this vendor and was shocked by what I read. Had I not worked with this company, I would steer wide and clear if I were a potential client.

I immediately got on the phone with said vendor and asked for their side of the story. In a nutshell: bride booked services, signed a contract, then 2 weeks before the wedding decided to cancel. Then bride got angry that she was being held to the contract that she signed. So bride and fiance got on the warpath and wrote some nasty and untrue things online. That vendor has lost who knows how much money due to this act.

What many brides don't know is that these "free listing" sites contact us vendors telling us: "you have bad reviews, if you advertise with us, we can 'help' you". In between the lines this means: if you pay us $400 per month, we'll make you look better. Kinda smells like blackmail to me... 

Other sites (ones that rhyme with "help") only shows reviews from people who are active "helpers".   Meaning, a happy client can open an account, write a few reviews about their vendors, then never log in again. Those good review disappear after a while. The nasty reviews? Those tend to be from perpetually angsty "helpers" who like to "keep it real" and constantly review things. This site won't take anything nasty down, nor will they let a business owner thoroughly refute something, but they still want $400+ per month from us small business owners.

Brides and Grooms, I beseech you: read these sites with a grain of salt, a spoonful of sugar, a glass of wine, whatever. Just because it's on the Internets doesn't make it true.

1 comment:

Shayna said...

So completely true. And every vendor that displays the little "I won a prize from such and such" review site badge perpetuates the extortion.

Would be totally different if there was a FREE way to monitor and combat unfair reviews.

Thank you for writing this - it's SO important for people to understand.