I really fell behind publishing this blog. I spent far to much time reading and researching about consumer websites like Yelp. I have discovered that 70% of posted ratings are unreliable. Forbes contributor and consumer advocate Christopher Elliot has it right "You Should Not Trust Online Review". The reason, new reviews are not weighted better than old reviews, even though newer reviews are more accurate on current conditions.
Makes you wonder the value of rating websites if they are unreliable? Used wisely consumer websites are a great communication tool. Businesses are dialed in to them more than the consumer. Bad reviews can make or break a business.
Personally, I have zero patience to write and publish reviews. I did turned to Yelp when a incomplete driveway project fell apart. I asked my contractor for months to finish the last step of a job; tampering and chemically stabilize the loose decomposed granite, DG, on a ribbon driveway. At the most it was 3 hours of work including the commute and $60 of material. So simple, yet never on the contractor's schedule.
I went to Yelp for help. I posted a picture (middle picture) of the muddy washed out driveway. I added an honest short comment and NO star rating. The contractor called me back that day. Instant contact, faster than 911.
Reviewers and customers should take this responsibility SERIOUSLY, and voice their opinion fairly. In my case, the contractor was a hands on guy and willing to make it right. This is a wonderful example of a company improving and doing a better job. The company deserves an honest review on how they perform today, not yesterday.
Whatever ratings platform you select make sure you can make your review dynamic. It is critical you can update and change the rating. Moving a rating from 0 stars up to 2-3 stars, informs the business and public that improvement is happening.
Be responsible for timely updating. If the contractor performs that day, correct the review within 48 hrs. Be fair!
Leave the rating and review clean. Yelp posts each review edit. The public can see or read the progress of each edit. The final posting should be the final product or end result. It does mean extra work by the reviewer. In yelp, the entire review must be deleted and the final recreated and published.
My final Yelp review, only included the clean finished driveway (far right). I made sure to clean up and delete old history.