When is it a good idea to hire someone who has bad reviews and when you should steer away from them?
About a year ago, I got a one-star review on Google from someone who never actually booked ThistleBEA; she had inquired, we met, I offered some free help along with the service I was offering (I was just getting started in business, I was dying for experience beyond my friends and family), and they wanted to book me. They never did sign their contract or pay the deposit, yet they were “firing” me for poor communication. It’s odd how you can be fired before you’re even hired. Anyway, I suppose they still felt sour when, four months later, they left me a one-star Google review. No words with the review, they just clicked the one star and nothing else, and really, that’s more of a rating. Some people suggested asking Google to remove the rating, as the couple had never officially been my client, but I thought about it, and realized that removing the review was not something I should do.
Have you ever taken a look at a restaurant’s Yelp reviews before choosing where to eat? I don’t know about you, but when I take a look at these reviews, I go immediately to the one- and two-star ratings so see what are the worst things people have to say about the place. These reviews are so much more valuable to me than the people who are writing and are over-the-moon happy with their experience. Don’t get me wrong, if the reviews are swamped with nothing but negativity, I’m likely steering away from them; however, if they are rated overall three stars or better, I’ll probably give it a chance.
I get two things out of reading the bad reviews (or three, if you count entertainment value). First, I can see the negative aspects of the establishment. If the food is cold or there are rats in the bathroom, I can gauge on these experiences how comfortable I am visiting a spot like this one and I learn what to watch out for, should I choose to go for dinner. Second, I learn about the type of attitudes the owners (or at least the person in charge of the reviews) has towards their business and their unhappy customers. As a business owner, client experience is very important and if someone is unhappy I want to know why, what I can change in the future, and how I can turn that experience around for them. Some people have the same attitude, and I want to support these people. Other people respond with negativity, name calling, and vulgarity. These kind of people are not ones I seek to support with my business.
This, I believe, should hold true for wedding pros. Hell, I decided to get my engagement ring resized at a place with a horrible one-star review because of the way the owner responded. These people are taking care of you on your wedding day and you are spending a whole lot of money to throw this party. You deserve someone who respects their business because then they’ll respect you, and provide you with an awesome service. Do yourself a favor when booking wedding pros; look at their rating, then dive into their reviews, because while the rating might show you an average of 3.7, when you read through the reviews, you may learn that you’d rank the business much higher.