Most of us have used the opinions of strangers to guide us. Maybe we crossed a movie off a list because we saw a bad review on television or went to a new restaurant based on a review we read in the newspaper. The Internet lets us all be reviewers and almost anything can be reviewed. You can rate books on amazon.com, local businesses on yelp.com and DUI attorneys at gotdui.com. And you can use those sites, and countless others to help you chose a book, a restaurant, or a lawyer.
Of course, any review is subjective. For example, The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown's latest book, has over 1400 reviews, almost 500 of which are positive and about 650 are negative. Also, the quality of service at any business can vary. So before trusting a review, read carefully.
If you own a business, you need to understand that your next customer might review his or her experience on the Internet. Just as bad reviews in the New York press can doom a Broadway show, then a bad report can seriously hurt a business.
How do you combat the bad reviews? The first thing to do is to try to not get them. Be on top of game as much as possible. If you see that a customer is dissatisfied, try to find out why and do something to satisfy them. Be honest in your advertising so that customers don't expect one thing and get another.
The second thing is to try to get good reviews. Encourage your satisfied customers. Publicize your good reviews and their sources.
Here are ten other things you should consider.