I got my first "bad" review yesterday.
My heart sank and my the words in my head swirled about.
"What did I do wrong?"
"Did I offend her?"
As a business owner, I realize that many people read "reviews" and take them into consideration before choosing a business. I do it, too!
I think most reviews are very helpful, insightful, and can certainly help in the decision making process.
But, they can also be used against a business in a very cruel way.
When I am looking for a hotel in a city I am not familiar with, I will read the reviews on Trip Advisor. I don't cringe and discard the hotel due to one bad review, especially if the review had really nothing to do with the service or hotel itself.
For example, have you ever read a review that sounded like this: "The bed was too small and the I did not like the color of the curtains. Not the hotel for me" One star.
So, because this person did not like the color of the curtains and the bed was too small, the hotel only received one star? In other words: it is a "bad" hotel.
But, is it really?
I would not discard this hotel based on that review. That is certainly someone's opinion and they obviously did not like the decor, but that does not mean it is a "bad" hotel.'
So, my point is, when you read a 'bad' review, there is usually more to the story.
As was the case with me.
It was a matter of miscommunication, I think.
It went something like this: I received a Facebook message inquiry, and I responded with my Full Session information, and told the person I would also send them info regarding my Limited Edition Sessions for the Holidays.
It took me several days to get the info to her, and when I did, she had already booked with someone else.
My response was, "Great! I am glad you scheduled something! Thanks for thinking of me!"
Meaning: I am so glad you did get a chance to schedule a photo session with someone. Even if it was not me. And, I truly appreciate you thinking of me as well.
The review on my facebook page reiterated what I said and then stated: "Unncecessary. Not the way to get customers".
So, what exactly does that mean? What was unnecessary? My gladness that a session was scheduled?
I will never try to poach a person from another photographer. If they tell me they have a session scheduled with someone else, then that is wonderful! At least they are getting photos for their family even if it is not with me.
So, I still am not sure what I did or said to offend the person, but it is water under the bridge. There is nothing I can do about it now, and in a way, just like the hotel reviews, it is the way the person felt and that is ok.
I appreciate everyone who inquires about booking a session with me, and I know that not all will lead to bookings. There is a photographer out there for everyone, and of course, I would love that photographer to be me. I also know that I am not the right fit for everyone, and that is truly ok. What I am most happy about is seeing people get photos of their families so they can share in those memories every year together. That is what is truly important and valuable, and if that is with me; I am truly grateful.