Good, Bad, Ugly of Business Reviews

The Ranch & Table

Podcast Notes

Good, Bad, Ugly of Business Reviews

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All right. Welcome to the podcast today. I am Lee Wells and I'm here in the studio talking about one of those subjects. We really don't want to talk about, but we can't get away from it's one of those days we're going to talk about the real live, hard truth of owning a business. And we're going to talk about reviews.

Reviews are one of those things that we would all love to just have more control over. I think we would love to have a say so in them and the nature of reviews Is that we're powerless to affect what other people say about us? And I think The thing that bothers business owners so much about it is they're forever.

They will live on the internet from now on and there's nothing we can do about it. You know it's even been said that some review companies sites that host reviews, their algorithms even keep our negative reviews. alive and towards the top for, for years to come. I was talking to one of the major companies.

One time they had called me and kept calling me and kept calling me. And so finally I just, I had a conversation with one of the guys and I asked him, I said, Hey. Why is it that I would spend money with you if you will not let my negative reviews die? You just keep bringing them back to the surface.

You keep bringing them back up. And then I've got five star great reviews from people who review other people, not just first time reviewers, but an assortment of five star reviews that are hidden. That are not seen and he said something that I think if it was recorded and maybe if I had recorded it I could have gotten a lot of money for but he said You know nobody Nobody wants to read three or four pages of five star reviews, and our company wants people reading reviews and reading drama is the only way to keep people on the page longer.

And he was the first person I've ever talked to in this business that was honest with me that day. And he told me how it was. He said, our algorithm is designed. It's designed to keep an assortment of reviews. I think is what he said available to the reader to keep them on their pages longer, to keep them going to page two, three, and four, which is the whole trick of the internet anyway, to get you onto page two, three, four.

So it makes sense. What he said does make sense and is believable. It really is. So. You know, the review companies do not have the small businesses. It's they don't, they don't have our backs. They, they honestly admit that they're in it for themselves. They're in it for the drama that they can stir up and the amount of views that.

they can get. And so they're not for us. It is just what it is. And it seems statistics say that 95 percent of people who have had a bad experience will Most likely be the ones to leave a bad review, while only 87 percent of people who have a good experience will leave a good review. So the odds are stacked against us from a couple different angles.

I think everybody understands that when you have a bad experience, you're driven to tell someone about it. While a lot of your happy customers that keep coming back and have been faithful and, and supportive and tell everybody about it aren't as likely to, to get on and do a review, they're just keep coming back and, and keep voting with their feet and their dollar.

And we appreciate that, but it doesn't always help the reviews as they stack up at least percentage wise. And so. The disgruntled person, the mad person, the upset person is going to be more likely to get out there and tell everybody about it. I think the old saying is bad news can make its way around the world before good news gets out of bed, gets his pants on or something like that.

And so I think that we see this in the nature of reviews that, that we, that we see in our businesses. And so by that nature, we don't like it. We, we can't do anything about it. You can fight reviews and one out of a hundred, one out of 200 maybe one out of 500 might get knocked down. If there's a technicality somehow I had one of our very first one star reviews was in our soft opening.

So when we started the business, when we started a Wells Cattle company restaurant, we did a three day. Soft opening. We sold tickets to our three days of one at one. First day was for a certain group of people, family, friends. A second group was for our existing customers of our beef company. We opened up the tickets to them on the second day and the third day was open to the community.

And we sold all of those tickets out within just a few minutes of, of making them available, which was very cool. But somehow somebody got in on one of those days and. Left us a bad review. They said the menu wasn't even up there. There was I mean They just went down this whole list of things that was wrong The dessert was cold and it was just various things and it was a set menu and a set It wasn't it was a set menu.

So there wasn't a need for a So I reported that and, and the company that, that review was on, they acknowledged that it wasn't a fair assessment of the company. So they were able to take that one down. Well, it made the person mad. He came back on. And left another one. Then he got banned from leaving any reviews on our site.

So that was a good thing. That's, that was one of the, probably the, one of the best things that has ever happened on a review site, but it's just the nature of being able to, I guess they, they, they see it as. An ability to keep things honest or keep things straightforward to not allow us as business owners to fight every bad review we disagree with.

And I get that to some degree. But the ones that come in and say I've never even been there, don't like this place, don't like the owner. I had one during a certain period of our history in our country. Where we may or may not have agreed with all of the restrictions that might have been a placed upon restaurants I had a few people get mad at me for voicing my concern really of the loss of our rights and You can fill in the blanks here on this story, but there was a group of them that got on And began to trash us with bad reviews and these people had never even been to our restaurant.

They were just in a certain group on the internet and happened to all agree that I was you know, a horrible person. And so they left all these reviews. Well, I tried to fight them and there wasn't enough proof to get them reversed. And so, you know, those are frustrating times when we know what's going on, but there's not enough proof for the.

review company to dismiss them. So it's, it's just, there's a lot of things that we don't like about reviews and, and rightfully so. We work hard every day. Most companies, most businesses, we have a lot invested and we hate we hate for things to be torn down in public. We hate for those things to happen.

And so if you follow me or follow this podcast or follow me on social media, you know, I have a book coming out and that's not a secret. I make that known every podcast. And often on my website, I've worked on it all summer and just as an update If I look tired today, I've been sequestered in my office for about three days many, many hours early in the morning until early in the morning going over that manuscript and I got to send it off last night to the publisher.

So I've been working feverishly to get that in so that it can hopefully be back out to us printed by in time for Christmas. So the deadlines have come and gone. But I've, I've been working on that. So this today, this podcast comes from a portion of that book that I've been writing about business.

And it, it's it's a whole chapter about. Or subchapter about reviews, and I just want to go through it because I think it's good information for all of us to ponder, to think on. And I start out by saying there are three different types of negative reviewers as far as I can tell in my experience.

And this isn't exhaustive, of course. I'm not a psychologist. I haven't gone through. You know, years of training to study all of this. It's just from observation. I believe there's three major types of people who leave bad reviews and, and I just want to go through them real quick. And maybe this will make sense to you.

Maybe it'll help some of what we face when it comes to bad reviews. Number one is the unhappy person. So the unhappy person is very quick to leave a review. I think statistics that I mentioned a while ago. Bring that to light. Secondly, the disgruntled person. And then finally the disappointed person.

And I want to go through those real quick with you and just explain the differences. And I think knowing information and knowing what we're up against sometimes can help us understand it, help us combat it, help us maybe even resolve it. If we can recognize it in time before it leaves our building, before it becomes a review, sometimes That's the, the window, you know, that's the window they say in a missing person's case you have, what is it, 24 hours, the first 24 hours, first 48 hours is when you have to act well in bad reviews and bad situations, you have to pretty much act before that review is pinned because usually they're very slow to remove a review.

I've, I've tried to go into the DMs or private message of the sites. Try to talk to people about it and rarely that that works. It just rarely doesn't, it just doesn't normally always work out. Well, they're, they're they're more, I don't know, more staunch about it. If you try to reach out and try to make it right in my experience, and maybe I'm going about it wrong.

I've tried different approaches and. Pretty much by the time someone has, has written and submitted that review, it's very hard for them to undo it for whatever reason. But the unhappy person is a person that walks in with a frown on their face. And if you've been in business a week, a month, a year, you know, this person, they come in just, just unhappy.

Their life is, is unhappy. I feel sorry for their spouse because I feel sorry for their children because they are just unhappy people. You can see it on their face. You can see it in their countenance. You can see it in their posture. They're just they're just unhappy with life. And, you know, it's the saddest kind of folks in the world that I'm talking about because you're not going to do anything.

You can have a list of jokes. You can have a list of stories to tell. You can, you can do your best to try to turn that person around, but there's a deep seated unhappiness that is, that is down deep in their soul. And they're waiting on an opportunity, it seems, to lash out, to retaliate. Against anything that moves or anything that comes up that they can be because they're just not happy people.

Let me give you an example. If I go into a restaurant, I'm having a good time. I'm enjoying my company, my family, whoever, my guest, whoever I'm with and, and somebody messes up. They, the kitchen messes up. The the wait staff is, it messes up. Somebody just makes a big mistake. They, they forget my order.

They mess up my order. They don't cook my steak right or whatever. You know, if I'm having a good time, if we're enjoying life, I'm going to say, Hey, can y'all fix this? We, we missed this. I missed, you know, you miss bacon on my burger. You miss the cheese whatever it is. Could you, could you fix that for me?

And they're man, sure. No problem. They bring it back. I may be delayed a couple of minutes and you know, I have to catch up with everybody else or they have to wait on me for a moment as I finished my steak or whatever, but it's not the end of the world. I'm good. You know, I'm, my life's good. I'm enjoying myself.

I'm enjoying my family. It's not the end of the world. But for someone that's just clinically or just always unhappy, it's, it's not going to be that easy. Anything that you do is going to be held against you, it seems. And then there's the, the person that's disgruntled. Now, there are a lot of times people who are unhappy as well.

But the disgruntled person has a, maybe a big reason to, to be upset. You know, they were on the edge. They were there because their spouse wanted to come eat at your place. Their spouse said, you know, we got to go here. And they were kind of. Dragged along against their will. I've seen it so, so many times, especially when we first opened, there would be guys just standing there saying, I don't know what to eat.

I don't know. I'm just, I'm not that hungry or, you know, they're mad. Cause we didn't have beer or, you know, something they're just, they're just. Well, they're just those kind of folks and and then somehow we mess up well when we messed up We did it because we've triggered that that person to be disgruntled and it's unfortunate because you know We did something to them to cause this reaction with the unhappy person.

You don't have to do much you just have to maybe not meet their expectations or maybe you just have to You know, look at somebody wrong, or there's not really a mistake. It's just, they're waiting for an opportunity to, to be negative. And then on the disgruntled guy, he just, you know, something unfortunate did happen and he's not going to let you up.

He's not going to forgive you. He's just not, he's not going to do it because you've earned now his. Bad review you've earned you know, you've broken What little bit of trust was there and you're not getting it back and kind of an unforgiving type of person and so that's that's That unhappy person yet.

You've probably done something to to earn his wrath And so that happens and it's kind of unavoidable because of the kind of person that he is And so that's just you just try your best not to make those mistakes you try your best There's people who've come in to our restaurant and I'm like, hey I go to the kitchen.

I say, Hey, don't mess this one up. These guys are on the, their hair triggered. I mean, they're on the edge. They were short with me, you know, do everything you can do to get this order right and get it out on time because I don't want a bad review today. And those things have happened because you kind of, you kind of see that coming.

And then you try to avoid that mistake from ever happening. And then the third kind of person in my experience is the disappointed person. And the disappointed person is a guy who has his expectations way too high. I mean. The hype guys, you know, this didn't live up to the hype. Man, you know, I don't like it when people say things like this didn't disappoint.

I don't like that saying, if you say it, stop saying it, please stop, stop saying it in your positive reviews. This didn't disappoint. Please, please stop that. Because what that means is you're set on disappointment. First, you're walking into a place expecting to be disappointed and you weren't, well, we say that as if it's a positive thing.

Without even realizing that we're walking in expecting to be disappointed. Now, I understand that there are eating experiences and businesses that don't, they don't seem to care. I understand that quality has gone downhill and prices have gone way up. I get it. But I don't ever want it to be said of me that I walked in looking for a disappointment.

And, hey, you surprised me. You didn't, you didn't, you didn't disappoint me today. I mean, what kind of marriage would that be? If we were married to the love of our life, yet every day we were expected to be disappointed and we say, hey, today didn't disappoint. I mean, what if you said to your kids, hey man, good job on that test.

You didn't disappoint. What? We're not going to do that. We're not going to act that way. And I don't think we should act that way towards businesses, regardless of the number of times we have been disappointed. And you know what? I'll get off my soapbox, but I felt like I need to tell you that from my heart today, I really don't like that saying.

I think it sets us up as negative people instead of walking in, expecting for the positive and looking for the best. So that's, you know, delete that out of your thoughts if you don't like it, but. I think it's worth talking about. Disappointed people are people who have unrealistic expectations. I get this a lot.

People come in, we have good reviews. I'm thankful for our good reviews. We have a good reputation. I'm so thankful for it. We do a lot of hard work every day to maintain it. We don't take days off. We don't, we don't mail it in. We don't just. Just coast we I'm pushing on on my guys every day to be the very best they can every order every single burger goes out It better be hot it better the fries better be hot, you know things like that.

We've just worked really hard I'm not saying we're 100 percent I don't know any restaurant that is but for the amount of food we put out We do a pretty good job and we try hard and so we try not to disappoint, but the disappointed person walks in with unrealistic expectations. And when I see this in people, they're like, Hey, we drove however many miles and we read your reviews and we saw how many best burger awards you've got.

And, you know, we're so excited to be here. And you know, I'll tell them, look guys, it's just a burger. It's it's it's not gonna heal you it's not it's not gonna save your soul. It's a it's a burger We're a burger place now. I hope it's good And if it's not good, you let me know if it's not cooked to your satisfaction You let me know but it's not some You know, mountaintop experience necessarily, it's not spiritual, it's just a meal.

And sometimes you got to bring people down out of this fantasy world that it's going to be something otherworldly. Now, if it's delicious, if it's the best burger you ever had, if it's, I mean, awesome, I love you. Thank you. But let's, let's bring our expectations down to at least an. Acceptable level that we're not looking to be disappointed.

And so that disappointed person has come in and man, they're, they're thinking this thing's going to put their marriage back together. You know, this burger is about to, you know, make my kids a straight A student. I mean, no, come on now, it's just a burger and and don't let your. your expectations of it being fantasy land.

I mean, let, let's be realistic at least with what we're doing. And so a lot of times you can't help the customer's expectations when they're too high, when they're expecting it to be something that is not It's just, it's just nothing you can really do about that. Other than when you see it, you can say something to them.

You can, you can make a joke. You can try to bring it down to where, you know, it works. Out good for everybody. No sports team wins every game. I mean, no, no franchise wins every title. I mean, that's not the way it works. Sometimes restaurants have a day where they make a mistake in order that doesn't come out perfect.

And we need to be, we need to be realistic in our expectations. We don't need to be looking to be disappointed, but we also don't need to be looking for a fantasy world somewhere in the middle there. I think is where we, where we need to walk into a, to a business where we need to walk into this thing because it will help temper how we review, it'll help temper how people respond.

And, and so these are just some things that I've learned over the last several years of watching reviews. I, I was if you caught our last podcast last week I was talking to a business owner, a restaurant owner, and he said, I don't like reading reviews. I try not to read reviews. And I came back with, I read every single one of them.

And I do for five years, I've read every single review that has come in on Yelp and Google and Facebook, every single review now I don't look into there's a, there's a bunch of reviews that come in on DoorDash and Uber Eats for us and, and I'll glance through those sometimes, but there's usually there's nothing I can do about those.

If there's a mistake that was made, if there was something happens. Those are I don't have the information a lot of times to be able to rightfully answer those so There's so many of those sometimes and I think those sites ask for one every time we're on another group another program with Some kind of rewards.

It's a rewards platform, and so and they ask them every time someone does a transaction with us, they ask him for review one through five stars. And and I and I watched those. And if I see one come in negative, I'll try to answer it. But for the most part, I don't answer every one of those either. Because those are asked for every time and TripAdvisor, I don't really worry about TripAdvisor.

I, maybe I should, maybe, maybe don't listen to this part of what I'm saying. Maybe but to me, TripAdvisor is, is is a different deal. If I were, if we were some kind of you know, James Beard award winning you know, food network, something, you know, some kind of destination, international destination or something, if we were a resort or a hotel, maybe.

Maybe there's a place for it. I've never felt that for myself in our restaurant, but I could be wrong. I could be completely wrong, but that's just how I do it. I, everything comes in on Google and Yelp and Facebook. We look at we review the review, we answer it. And we give an answer back every single time.

I thank you. Thank you for five stars. Thank you for your compliments. You know, if it's a negative thing, we try to address that. We try to apologize first. Sorry that that happened. Please let us know next time. We'll be happy to remake anything that you didn't like. I, I don't understand why people don't speak up more.

I've said this before in a previous podcast, but I think it fits right here. I don't understand why people feel like it's polite to eat something that They didn't order or eat something that's not the way they ordered it and consider that being polite, especially if they're going to go run their mouth about it later.

So the quandary that I face is, okay, if it's polite to eat something that you don't like, then that's where it ends. You're being polite. You're not going to say anything, but you're also not going to say anything. So if you're at somebody's home, maybe, and you're eating something and they serve you Brussels sprouts or asparagus, or, you know, they serve you some kind of mincemeat pie or something, and you don't love it you're just going to eat a few bites and be polite.

I guess that's where it comes from, but when you're paying for service, when you're paying for food and a product, and you've asked for it to be a certain way. You have every right to go back and ask for it to be done right. There's no one saying anywhere in the world you know, God doesn't say it. The, the etiquette manuals don't say it.

There's nobody saying if you paid for something. And, and you ordered something a certain way that you can't expect it to be delivered the way you ordered it. That's just common sense. If I try to be a nice guy, I'm a great, I'm a great customer. Owning a restaurant, owning a business will make you a better customer.

I'll go to anybody's restaurant, I'll go order a 20 steak or a 50 steak and, and I'll be, I'll be, I'll tip well, I'm going to probably take a picture of it, post it on social media for you. I'm going to be, I'm not going to run my mouth. I'm not going to give you a bad review if it's not good. But if I order a steak medium and I talk to the waiter and I say, Hey, look how this is how I do it to circumvent.

Any, any issue that may come up, I say, Hey, how are they running tonight? How's the kitchen running? Are they running a little under, or are they running a little over on the steaks? What are you seeing? Are you taking a lot back that are overcooked? Are you taking a lot back that are undercooked? How, how does, how's the kitchen?

How's the, how's the cook doing? And so if they say, ah, they're a little under tonight, they're, they're leaving them a little, they're leaving a little pink, I'll say, you know what? Say medium plus. Because I don't want, I personally don't eat the purple meat. I don't want it purple inside and so that if you don't agree with that then then you're wrong and we can talk about That later, but I eat a medium steak and that's what I don't want it burned up.

I don't want it medium Well, I don't want it gray in the middle. I don't even want a thin line of pink I want it. I want it pink throughout, but I wanted the grain to change into medium. So I'm kind of kidding around there. If you can't tell, if you're just listening to this, I'm, I'm, I'm halfway joking and halfway serious right now.

But if, if I ask them how it's going and then I try to. Adjust my, my order preference based on how they're running. So I'm doing everything I can do. And then I'll tell them, especially if I'm spending 40 bucks for a steak I'll tell them, look, I want it medium, make sure and communicate that to the kitchen, because if it comes back medium rare or rare, I'm not going to want you to put it back on the grill.

I don't want you just to go throw it back on or throw it in a microwave or whatever, because what happens is when you take a Cut a meat, a nice cut of meat, and you heat that to temperature, and you're cooking it on, you know, from cold, from room temperature to cook, and you take that off, put it on a plate, walk it out to the table, I cut into it, get your attention, you come back, you take it back to the kitchen, that has gone back down too far Below cooking temperature.

And when you put it back on the heat to bring it back up and cook it some more, it might as well be a cheap hamburger steak because the flavor is all gone. All of the richness of that cut of meat and the marbling and the juice that's going to be in that, that cut of meat is going to be gone by the time it goes through that whole process of coming back up to temperature cooking on.

Usually they overcook it and then they bring it back out. And, and it's not worth eating. It's certainly not worth 40. So I won't go into all of that with the waiter, but I'll say, Hey, if it comes out two under. I'm going to ask y'all to make me another one because I expect it to be medium and that's, that's how I like to eat it.

Can your guys do it? And of course they say, of course our, our cooks are the best. And so if it doesn't, I'll let them know. And then we handle that. I believe that's my right. I believe that's the right of any customer that has paid good money. To be able to get what they paid for and ask for if somebody comes into my restaurant and they ask for a burger to be medium and it comes out well done or even medium.

Well, if they asked for it to be cooked a certain way, I have no problem taking that back and giving them a brand new burger bun. Patty, toppings, cheese, all of it. We'll throw the other one in the trash and give you what you want. I believe that's fair. I believe that's what you asked for. Now, if people come in and they don't specify, and we typically, we try for medium well, because we don't want them burned up either, but sometimes when it, when the, when it gets busy and the grill's hot and, and they're, they're waiting on buns to toast, sometimes they can sit just a little, I mean, it's, it's.

A few seconds too long is too much on our meat sometimes and it can, it can get there. Well, if you didn't ask for it to be a certain way, I can't read your mind or ask you what you expect if you didn't tell me. So sometimes hitting a moving targets real hard, but back to the review side. If I, if I do ask for something to be done a certain way, I, I don't think it's polite to just sit there and eat it another way.

I think that it's, it's only right to do what, do what anybody would do. And that is let them make it right for me. Since they're not going to take, take it off my bill. They're not going to say, well, we'll just eat what you can and it's on the house. They, they don't do that anymore. They're still going to charge me 40 bucks for that steak.

And then whatever else, everything else costs. It's just the way it is. And so if you're going to charge me for it. Give it to me the way I want it to. And if, and if a company will do that, if a restaurant will do that, a company of any kind will do that. There's no reason to to be ugly. There's no reason to give a bad review.

It really bothers me when we have done all of that. We've thrown their burger in the trash. We've made a mistake, we've admitted a mistake. We've given them one check to make sure they like it, and then they still hold that infraction against us. I believe that's ridiculous. I believe that is a horrible person that would do that.

If we've done as a company, as a business, we've done everything we can do to make you happy, to give you what you asked for, make it right, even though there was a mistake then we should be good. We should be good. There shouldn't be an infraction left to talk about. And so it really does bother me when people are disappointed by something or just they're mean and ugly.

And then they, they say everything's cool in person and then they go off and leave a bad review. There was one time that I talked to this couple, I mean, it was an older man and woman and, and they had owned and operated a restaurant over in Mesquite, an old established restaurant. I think it was Mesquite Garland, somewhere over there.

And we stood out on the front porch talking about the business, talking about restaurants. For probably 15, 20 minutes. I don't know. I don't remember. It was, it was quite a while. I mean, nice, nice people that sucker gave me a, like a one or a two star review when he got home, I looked, I looked him up, I looked him up on Facebook and I almost went and visited him.

Now I'm probably telling something I shouldn't hear. I'm probably should just shut up, but I tell you what, that ticked me off because he stood there. 10, 20 minutes shooting the breeze, talking about running restaurants, talking about the ins and outs cutting up. And he never once mentioned he didn't like his burger.

He never once mentioned that whatever the infractions were that we had created, I don't know what they were. I don't remember, but whatever it was to cause this person to leave me a bad review after the fact and not bring it up when I'm standing right there, he knows I'm the owner. We're talking about business restaurant ownership.

I'll tell you what, the grace of God, I didn't go look that guy up and show up at his desk and turn his desk over on him because that's just not right. And there's sometimes. When a review comes through, you just have to say that person right there is just not right. There's, there's nothing you can do about it.

There's nothing you can say about it. And you just have to move on and try to create some more five star experiences so more people will go out and do some more reviewing for you. Because that's, that's really all you can do. I'll tell you this little tidbit about reviews and this is something that's kind of scary when you think about it, but it takes 40 positive reviews to undo the damage of one negative review.

Think about that. It takes 40. Five star reviews to undo one one star review now I started this podcast by saying the deck is stacked against us. It is it is Unfortunately an unfair world of reviews and I just illustrated exactly why that is because you can have two negative reviews it takes 80 Positive reviews to undo what that one negative does.

I mean, it's not even two to one. It's 40 to one And the reason for that is, is review sites, they love the drama that's produced by the negative reviews. People want negativity more than they want to see positivity. I mean, look at our news stations. Look at. I haven't watched the news in years. I will not watch the news.

I question people who watch the news every day. I'm sorry. I'm being too honest on this podcast. But I, I, I question, I question people's motives when that, all they do is soak up negativity. There, I was, I was on my way to work one day and it was a, a 20 minute, I think it was a 20 minute news It was on one of the news stations on, on a radio and I counted it up and there were 10 news stories that were, I was keeping count in the, in my truck driving, there were 10 news stories that were in a row.

And I guess that's the format for the news break, 10 news stories and nine of the news stories were completely negative child abduction murder. Just. Just nasty, negative, horrible stuff. Nine of them. One was not negative. And it had something to do, the news story was something about Elon Musk giving a thousand dollar rebate on his certain car that was coming out.

I mean it wasn't negative, but it certainly wasn't positive. But that was the tenth news story. And nine of them were atrocious, horrible things to talk about. And one of them was just average, who cares kind of something. And the entire news break was negativity. I don't understand people who. Enjoy that, but it's the way the, the world is programmed, I guess.

It's the way humanity can be programmed. I fight that I fight against that. I think we all should. That's what we see when it comes to, to reviews. More people are more, they're more apt to leave a negative review than a positive one. And I'll, I'll finish up this podcast with, with this, we all know the beauty of five star reviews.

We love them. We love five star reviews. Everybody wants five star reviews. They're coveted. They're what we work for every day. And rightfully so everybody appreciates a pat on the back and a thanks for, for working hard. And that's. That's, that's good. That's, that's what we should be doing. But I want to tell you there's three levels in my opinion of a great review.

Number one is giving five stars. Now that's kind of your basic, basic best review. Five stars. You don't have anything to say. It's just five literal stars. You click the five star and walk, you know, submit and walk on. It's better. If people would leave five stars and a reason that is a more powerful review.

Now we're thankful for the five stars. Don't get me wrong. Four stars confuse the fire out of me. Four star reviews bother me. I don't understand. I always say, and my team always says, please tell us what we can do to earn the fifth star because four stars is like, yeah, everything was great, except for something I'm not going to tell you.

Or you could be like the college professor who says no one's ever perfect. So no one's going to get a 100 in my class. That guy needs to be throat punched because that's not the way the system works. The system doesn't work as there's no way anybody can be perfect. So nobody's ever getting a five star review.

That's that's asinine. That's not the way it works. Five star review means, man, everything was great. I'll come back here. I'll tell my friends about it. If you have an experience that's great, that you'll come back and you'll tell your friends about that's a five star experience. Even if the bathroom had a piece of paper towel on the floor, that's still a five star experience.

Even if you had to walk in and flush someone else's, Bathroom that, that, that's not necessarily a reason to, to have a star removed. A four star review is very confusing. A three star I get, this is a pretty good place. I'm, I'm down with it. I'll come back from in the area. I'm, you know, a two star is probably something wrong, really, really bad, but they didn't want to be a one star kind of guy.

The one star people. We've already talked about them and they're just, they're just usually miserable or the place of business has done such a bad job. They truly have earned it. There's one time on Yelp that I gave a one star review. There's only been one or two times in the history of my reviewing that somebody earned a one star review and it's never on the first time around.

It's never without talking to somebody about remedying the problem. I will never leave a one star review on one, on, unless somebody comes out of the kitchen with a knife trying to, you know, cut my throat or something. I mean, there's just no reason not to give somebody a second chance. There's no reason why not to go back and, and try to see if maybe they, they were just all having a bad night, an off night.

I wish more people would wait. On the first visit and come back and give somebody a shot at redeeming themselves. Look, the first time your wife cooks for you and burns everything up, you don't, you don't throw a fit and say, I'm never eating your cooking again. I mean, that's a good way to. End up in the doghouse forever.

And I mean, when the guy's grilling steaks, I mean, I want to talk to the guy that gives me a one star review on a, on an overdone burger and didn't tell me about it because I want to see your perfection and your perfect record on the grill at your house, because you don't have one, you have overcooked steaks, you've undercooked steaks.

You have had mistakes in your own life, but you're easier on yourself. You aren't everybody else. So why not give somebody. second chance. I've never left a bad review on one on a, on a first time in summer. There was one time I did, and it was after many times of going back. I, I talked to the management.

I talked to the staff. I enjoyed going to this place, but they were going downhill and then even called corporate and talk to them because I really. Just did not want them to go out. I didn't want them to go downhill. And after, I don't know, several months, I finally just, I had had it one day in there and that was just horrible.

It was just horrible food, horrible service. They were just kind of throwing stuff at you. And finally I pulled my phone out and I said, one star don't ever come here. I've tried my best to help, I've tried my best to communicate, and they continue to just go downhill, it's not worth your money, go somewhere else.

And that was after a lot of effort trying to help them. If people would give just a general common sense and common courtesy to restaurants and businesses, I think that we'd live in a better world. I think we'd have a better existence, all of us. And so there are times. where restaurants and businesses deserve a one star review.

My, I had a company put up a building for me. And they were the worst company I have ever worked with. And so you know, I got one more thing that they've got to finish up and they'll probably end up getting a one star warning review. I have had probably no, no less than 20, maybe 30 people asked me who built the building.

It ended up being a beautiful building because we worked very hard with the install crew in spite of all the mistakes the company had made. Wouldn't listen. Just, they were, they're jerks. I'm, I'm real sorry. I'm just really too honest on this podcast today. I guess I need a guest in here to bring the, bring the room back up, I guess.

But. It is. This is not a positive, it's not a real happy subject sometimes on reviews. And I'm just being honest. I can count on one hand the number of one star reviews, but I promise you they've earned it. Over time and over experience that they've earned that one star review. So there are times when people deserve a one star, two star, three, I'm not sure about fours five star reviews.

People earn them. And they need to get them when they earn them, but they need to have a chance to be right. They need to have a chance to make things right. We need to forgive we need to be As as kind as we can be about the things that that are going on. But anyway I'll end with this. There's there's the three kinds of good reviews.

So the five star review I kind of digress there the five star review with just five stars and we're thankful for those everybody is but it means so much more whenever there is a A reason given there is a man, these guys knocked it out of the park. I got a review today. They said, are my burger blew my mind.

Five star review. I'm like, yes, that is what I'm talking about. Thank you. We won. We won today by getting that review and, thank you for elaborating on that five star. Now, the third, and I think the best five star you can ever give is when you come back and do an updated review. Now, a lot of people don't think about this, but an updated review is the most powerful thing anybody can read because what it tells you is over time.

An updated review is say you reviewed. Our restaurant a year ago, and you've continued to come back and been satisfied and gotten to know everybody and, and tried the different desserts and tried the different burgers. And you've just, you just, you love us and we love you. And so a year later, you come back and say, update on that review, five stars, and you might've started out as a three star.

It might've not been as, you know, might've been a two star, might've been a one star, whatever, but you kept coming back and it might've been a five star that you come back and say, Hey. These guys continue to knock it out of the park. These guys continue to be kind and whatever you say you know, this has become a household name.

You know, when you come back and put a five star and update and you put that updated comment in there that says over time, these guys Have become our, our kids favorite place to eat. That means so much more than even just a great five star does by itself. And so there's those three levels. Think about that when you're reviewing, when you're in a place that you, you love, you, you appreciate.

You you really don't want them to go anywhere. You want other people to continue to support them. Think like that. Think, think this five star review. What can I say with it to convey to other people that this is worth it. And then if you can come back at some point and update those reviews for, for those favorites, those places that have really become part of your family, then that means so much to the ownership, but it also means so much more.

To people who are coming behind and reading. And then I guess I need to say as I closed today, that as a business owner for those business owners, I'm talking to, you really need to address every review because there's, I know we don't like it. I know we don't necessarily want to we don't want to take the time.

We, you know, we've got a thousand things to do, but I tell you when, when somebody comes along and reads that the owner is replying to those good and bad comments that come in, it shows ownership. It shows responsibility. It shows humility. If you, if you're able to answer a review in a way that is kind, understanding, humble, then you're not really even talking to the person.

That left the review. I mean, you are, but really what you're doing is leaving a message for those that are coming behind to read your response. Are you a jerk to them? Are, are you overly defensive? Are you making excuses for yourself or are you saying, Hey, we make mistakes. I'm sorry. If you'll let us know next time, we'll fix it.

If you can come across humbly and, and appreciative that, that they gave the information, even if you don't like it, it speaks to those who come behind and it builds your, your brand, it builds your restaurant, it builds your business, even the negative things. Can be come across as a positive thing to those who are choosing to come in and see what, what you're about.

And so don't run from reviews, don't, don't hide, be seen, be, be vocal, be kind. And I believe that that is one of the greatest ways that we can, can help other people come in to our business. When you see a negative review on a site, I think it's more telling how that. Owner will answer that than it is that they even got the bad review in the first place I think there's more to learn in the in the response of the owner Then there is in the person leaving the bad review in the first place And so think about it that way think about reviews as just a common normal thing Everybody takes everybody has to deal with you're you're not You're not being run down because you got a bad review.

You're not the best in the world because you got a five star review. It's just part of the, the business. It's part of people having opinions. It's part of the social media climate that we live in. It's part of just having cell phones and, and smartphones in everybody's hands. It's just part of our society.

And don't take them too hard. And don't believe all the praise. You know, somewhere in the middle, you're doing a solid business, you know, don't believe the worst guy, don't believe the best guy, somewhere in the middle, you're doing a solid job. If you're staying busy, if you're doing the things that you can do, controlling the things that you can control, then you are producing everything that you can be the best that you can be every day and try not to be too excited and try not to be too depressed.

By those things that are coming in, recognize the kind of people who might be leaving that read in to those comments. Sometimes you can see the disgruntled person or the disappointed person. You can see the, the, the sad person. You can see those that are not happy in life. And you can, you can kind of read between the lines, so to speak.

Sometimes you can read the lines themselves, but you can read between the lines that this person's really troubled or this person. Really did have a good reason to, to be upset. You know, we really missed the mark and own that. And the person coming behind to read that review will, will appreciate you for being honest and taking the lumps that you have to take or being, being gracious when they're being praised, you know, whatever it is.

Reviews are just part of part of business and the, the better you can handle them, the better off you're going to be. Thanks for joining me today. Thanks for taking your time to listen. If you made it this far, I really do appreciate your persistence and sticking with me. I hope to see you on here next week and have a great day.