The Power of Reviewers
Business-rating websites serve the primary purpose of informingclients about good and bad service providers. Some sites can deal ina myriad of services while others such as ratemd.com are specifictowards one type of service. These sites dwell on the reviews ofclients who have had the opportunity of receiving the services of thesaid service provider. In addition to providing a platform for thecustomer to share his experience, most of these websites make aprovision to allow customers to rate the service providers usingstars. In most cases, five stars are synonymous with exemplaryservices while one star signifies pathetic. However, the questionthat lingers on the minds of many business owners is are thereviewers independent. There have always been worries of reviewerswho are paid off by competitors in order to tarnish the image ofanother business. This essay addresses the limitations of reviewersand why they should be limited.
Reviewers on sites such as ratemd.com and Angie’s list are notlimited about what they can say about the respective services. Thereviewers can give a positive or negative comment based on how theyfelt about the services. It is not alien to find on service providerwith numerous negative comments and poor ratings on the side. Forthose who offer plausible services, they always get positive reviewsaccompanied by high ratings by the satisfied customers. The presenceof both positive and negative comments regarding the same business,is evidence enough that the reviewers are not limited on what theycan say. However, most of the sites do not allow reviewers to usefoul language in reference to the services they received. The sitesare also open to all who have had contact with the said serviceprovider.
Reviewers should be limited to some extent because some of them couldbe making the reviews with the wrong motive. When looking throughsome of the reviews for some prominent business, the visitor cannothelp but notice that several comments come from the same reviewer.This observation raises eyebrows because it could be that thereviewer is paid by the business to write positive things about theservices it provides. According to (Corliss, 2015), potential clientsare worried that some of the reviews are from paid contributors orfellow members of staff disguised as satisfied clients. Theadministrators of such sites do not have a mechanism to separategenuine reviewers from the rest. All that a person has to do beforebeing able to review a business is sign up and then they are good togo.
The websites should limit the number of reviews by one reviewer,especially if they are negative. Sometimes minor misunderstandingshappen that lead some customers to spew vitriol on these reviewsites. A single comment from a single reviewer should be enough topaint the image of the business to potential customers. According toSandstorm (2014), the reasons user-generated reviews are not reliableinclude fake reviews, incentives, and demographics. Limiting thereviews by a particular account will not solve the entire problem,but it will go a long way in weeding out the fake reviews. Maybe infuture website developers should match a review to the IP address ofa computer in order to find out the reviews from fake sources.
Corliss, J., 2015. Doctor-rating websites offer helpful but limitedadvice. Harvard Health Publications. Retrieved from<http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/doctor-rating-websites-offer-helpful-but-limited-advice-201508138178>accessed June 14, 2016.
Sundstorm, A., 2015. What are the main flaws and limitations ofreview sites like Yelp.com? Quora.com. Retrieved from<https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-main-flaws-and-limitations-of-review-sites-like-Yelp-com>accessed June 14, 2016.