Review systems are slowly losing value with potential customers. When searing for products and services, we're finding that a lot of reviews are created by robots or created by overseas companies who "sell" reviews. These types of reviews are quite popular with big online sellers of which many can be rather entertaining. For instance, how about the guy who leaves a one star review for an electric toothbrush because it takes electricity to make it work. :(
Yeah, we've all seen those types of reviews. But, planning a wedding and researching for large purchases takes a little more skill when sifting through reviews.
Here are a few tips when trying to decipher wedding vendor reviews.
This post is directed to the couple who has booked a DIY venue, meaning she will provide all of the services and planning herself. The venue only provides the space.
Questions to ask are:
Is this reviewer an actual client? Or are they randomly dropping reviews for Google points and badges?
Is this a guest or family member who has no idea what arrangements were made between the venue and the bride?
Is this a bride who dropped the ball when communicating with her venue and is now blaming the venue to her friends to "save face" for her poor choices?
Most, if not all reviews fall under these 3 categories.
Let’s dive a little deeper.
The review system has become so diluted with unverified reviews. "Unverified" reviews are from people who were never actually a client of the business. They were probably a guest at a wedding or a friend of the bride who was never privy to the contractual arrangements signed and agreed to by the bride.
Unverified reviews can also come from someone who combs through Google maps and drops reviews for "Points" and "Badges" to random businesses. These people are easy to spot and are detrimental to a review platform.
In addition to unverified reviews, you may come across reviews from "actual" customers. For example, the bride who dropped the ball when communicating with her venue. She may even need to save face after her unsuccessful event by blaming the venue for her decisions. This is rare as most couples/brides are really good at knowing what is included in their package as well as what to expect from the venue. They ask questions, take notes and are eager to read everything the venue gives them. Venues are great about providing tons of information to help them be successful. There will always be an exception. There will always be the bride who is…well, she’s different. Even at the expense of her wedding success. This will never be a good outcome.
Sometimes the bride is embarrassed with her choices or poor planning and blames the venue by leaving a review with some very colorful details added in to validate her point. It's dishonest but, we totally understand why she does this. No bride wants to look like a failure at planning her own event. Many venues would never recommend a couple plan their own wedding. It gets too crazy on wedding day. It's like being a star in a glamorous movie and also having to be the camera man. The bride simply can not do it and it's never a good outcome.
If you're a guest and had an unusual experience, just remember, she is doing the best that she can. If she blames something on the venue, and you feel like it's important enough to call the venue with questions, the venue would really appreciate the opportunity to share their policy.
It's always best to contact the venue if you have any questions versus leaving a review on a public platform which ultimately overshadows our bride's beautiful day and all of her hard work...forever! Your review will be seen by many people who are especially smart at figuring out whose wedding you're referring to. If you leave a fake alias, that too can be figured out by Google which could ban your account.
If you are a potential customer or client shopping for wedding venues for your event, the best thing to do is to bring the review to the venue's attention during your tour. Explain the points you're most concerned about and ask how can you eliminate this from happening at your event.
If you're in love with a venue, make an appointment to schedule a tour. Write down any questions you may have. There will be a special time set aside at the end of the tour to ask these questions or bring up any concerns. You may find a lot of answers are actually given during the tour. Sit down and visit with the tour coordinator and ask her about the reviews you're concerned about. She/he will gladly explain what happened and how to make your event a successful event.
Reviews are meant to be helpful. Unfortunately, public platforms can attract varying sorts of behaviors and etiquette. Always schedule a tour with the venue so you can see for yourself and to also get a feel of the vibe from the tour coordinator. Remember, they have the experience of hundreds and even thousands of events and provide tons of information before, during and after the tour to help you plan an amazing event that everyone will be talking about, In a good way!