Small Business Reviews and Testimonials – Are they Trustworthy?

When you are looking for services, most probably you are going to Google to search for one.  You find one, then you start digging further.  You look to see what others are saying about the business.  You find some good reviews and some bad ones.  Now you are really confused because you do not know who to trust.

Do you trust Small Business Reviews?

I will tell you a story about one of my clients.  Let us call her Amy.  Amy had a flourishing construction business.  Naturally the competitors envied her.  She listed her business in online directories and other local directories.  One day one of the largest online business, (of course I cannot name them because I do not want to get sued) called her.  She had her free listing with this business.  They told her ‘no need to advertise with Google, just advertise with us’.  Amy said she did not have the budget to advertise.  A few days later she looked up her free listing with this business.  She was horrified, there was a bad review about her.  Worst of all she did not even recognize the name.

Amy sent an email to this online business asking them to remove the review.  The online business snapped at her saying ‘This is what people think of your business.  There is no way we will remove this!”.  Amy then wrote back and suggested her free listing be removed.  The online business refused.  They said they would not  remove her listing.

As if this was not enough, Amy noticed she had another bad review in Google.  This time an ex-employee had written about her business.  They had said that she was a cheat. The person said not to use Amy and advertised another company’s name. To top it all, a jealous competitor added another bad review in Google saying how Amy almost stole his client.

By this time Amy was so devastated, she was worried about the future of her business and regretted adding her business to all these online places.

Amy came to me for assistance.  Frankly I do not have any authority with Google or other online places.  I asked Amy to ask her clients to submit reviews about her, since almost all of them loved her.

Small Business Reviews from Clients

Amy’s clients were wonderful.  They submitted online reviews.  However this online company filtered all the good reviews and left the bad one online.  Frustrated with the situation I asked Amy to write an email to the person who wrote this review and make it public.  I told Amy to ask the person who he/she was so that Amy could rectify any mistakes she had made.  A few days after Amy asked the person to publically state their name, the review was removed (obviously it was a fake review!).  Thankfully Google was better about listening to Amy.  Amy sent an email to Google letting them know that the reviews were from a malicious competitor and ex-employee. I am glad everything turned out to be okay with Amy.  After seeing what she went through I do not believe in the reviews and testimonials I see online.