3 Reasons to Give More Positive Reviews
When was the last time you got a positive review?
How about the last time you GAVE a positive review?
It might be hard to remember since our brains naturally focus on the negative.
Our brains are still wired for survival – survival from the weather, large life-threatening animals, and other dangerous humans.
Who knew someone’s words would make us feel like we’re being attacked by a knife-wielding psycho?
Disclaimer: This is NOT an article about giving ONLY positive reviews, feedback, or compliments.
Constructive feedback + info-based reviews from unsatisfactory experiences have value, but when you have a good (or GREAT!) experience, I’m hoping you’ll speak up about it more … and here’s why:
Reason #1: It Feels Good to Give Positive Reviews
This one is simple and adorably selfish: it feels good to say good things about other things.
Earlier this week, I went to a new-to-me restaurant that had great reviews. It was PACKED when I got there, but I got a table quickly.
The bad news is that right across from me was a group of three guys, one of which was loud enough to hear over the entire restaurant. Yeah, one of those people.
Even despite that, the server, Willa, did her best to keep a smile on her face, make great whiskey + food recommendations, and even followed up when I specifically wasn’t eating anything to ask how things were.
(You know that thing some servers do when they ask you if you need anything or how the food is, but they do it when your mouth is full? That’s not an accident.)
The final thing that caught my attention was when my date + I both ordered a Boulevardier – a whiskey cocktail neither of us had had before.
I’m a huge fan of an Old Fashioned (it’s my go-to cocktail), but I’m not a fan of Manhattans. I off-handedly mentioned my preference when I ordered an Old Fashioned when we first arrived.
When we ordered the Boulevardiers 20 minutes later, Willa said, “A Boulevardier is more like a Manhattan than an Old Fashioned. Do you want to order just one and see if you like it before ordering a second one?”
She didn’t have to do that. She could have just taken the drink order, said, “yay, now the bill will be even bigger and I’ll get a bigger tip,” and moved on with her night. She could have completely forgotten my random comment about Old Fashioneds and Manhattans.
But she didn’t forget. And she didn’t blindly accept our second drink order.
What she did was provide excellent customer service, and we both wanted her to know that.
When she brought the one Boulevardier for us to try, my date liked it more than me, so she asked if I wanted another Old Fashioned. I said yes + another server brought it out.
When she followed up to see if we needed anything else, both my date + I told her how wonderful her attention to detail was and how, even despite the obnoxiously loud guy at the table across from us (which had left by then), she was the highlight of the night. She took our entire experience from good to fantastic.
As we told Willa how much of an impact she had on our experience, you could visibly see the stress melt off of her shoulders. She couldn’t stop smiling. She thanked us numerous times, including for being wonderful customers (see what she did there?).
I didn’t thank Willa because I was trying to get anything from her. I didn’t thank her because I thought that’s what she needed to hear.
I gave Willa positive feedback (and a glowing review on Yelp) because she did a damn good job + she deserved to know.
Plus seeing how happy it made her (she said it was the highlight of her night) made me feel like I had two extra cocktails (happier than a kitten in a yarn store, folks!).
Reason #2: Positive Reviews = Social Proof
This one is for anyone who is, or buys from, an entrepreneur or small business (FYI: that’s pretty much everyone).
As an entrepreneur, part of my process while working with clients includes asking for feedback.
Earlier today, I got an email from the designer I worked with on my new branding + website. She was following up after our project was over to make sure everything is still working well + to ask if I could fill out her feedback survey.
I believe there are two types of people in this world: those who give feedback right away + those who intend to but never get around to it.
I’m the first type. Especially if I’m happy with the product/service/experience.
Less than an hour after she sent the email, I had filled out her survey.
She emailed me back to thank me for filling it out so fast and made it clear that she had read what I wrote because she responded to some of my notes.
Also, she’s planning to make a testimonial out of my answer to add to her website + marketing materials.
That’s the big part folks.
Small businesses have a harder time growing that Know, Like, and Trust factor. For some reason, we believe that big companies that have lots of resources are more trustworthy.
Personally, I think you can trust a small business more because they need YOUR business – not some other guy down the street, not some other gal in another country – YOU.
By taking the time to give a positive review, you’re offering up the opportunity for that entrepreneur or small business to use your glowing feedback to help grow their business + attract more epic customers like you.
We call it social proof, and it’s worth its weight in gold, platinum, and all the coffee planet Earth has.
Reason #3: Positive Reviews are Unexpected + More Impactful
You may think this reason in selfish too, but it also sets an important bookmark.
Remember that restaurant from earlier in the article, with the server, Willa?
When we had a great experience with Willa, after we told her all about how happy we were, we asked to speak to her manager.
A few minutes later, her manager comes over, her shoulders nearly glued to her ears and her body tensed up. It was clear that she had been working for hours, exhausted, and braced for the worst.
After just two sentences, her whole body relaxed and she had a big smile on her face. She said she was so grateful to hear something positive for once and was stunned that we took the time to tell her.
Here’s why this is selfish: Now, she’s going to remember me. She’ll remember how kind, gracious, and understanding I was. The next time I go into that restaurant, both Willa and her manager will remember me in a very positive light.
If you’ve ever been in the service industry, you know that you ALWAYS remember those problem customers and you brace yourself for the shitstorm they cause every time they come in.
You also ALWAYS remember those positive, understanding customers that go out of their way to express gratitude and appreciation for the food, the service, and/or the staff. Which one would you rather be?
Here’s why this isn’t just selfish: now, she has a new bookmark.
When you want to remember your place in a book or a magazine, you add a bookmark. When you want to return to a website, you add a (digital) bookmark.
The next time Willa or her manager is having a bad day, or a ridiculously busy day, or gets verbally assaulted by a customer, with a little extra thought, they can return to that bookmark – that positive review I gave them.
The more of those (genuine) positive reviews they get, the easier it will be to handle the assholes who are taking their crap out on an innocent person. Those positive reviews become a bank account of supportive memories they can draw from any time things get rough.
Why More Positive Reviews?
What’s your first reaction to a negative review?
“Oh damn, that’s awful – I don’t want that to happen to me if buy this product/service/food!”
What’s your first reaction to a positive review?
“I wonder if they got some sort of discount or kickback for writing such a positive review.”
Summary: if we take it at face value, we don’t trust positive reviews. We’re waiting for the bad news. We’re waiting to be verbally attacked or reminded of how much something sucks.
And that’s why the world needs more positive reviews – YOUR positive reviews. Your genuine, joy-filled, hell-yes positive reviews.
When you’re direct and specific about why you’re over-the-moon about a certain product, service, or place, people can tell.
A 5-star review that’s 3 sentences long doesn’t help me at all. A 5-star review that has specific reasons why something was incredible and if you’d buy/visit again – THAT is what I’m looking for.
There’s no guarantee you’ll have the same experience. There’s no guarantee that that person/place/thing is right for you, but a solid positive review will make it much easier to tell.
Plus, a positive review always has a greater impact than you’ll ever see. (Speaking from personal experience: I’ve teared up after reading some incredibly positive reviews!)