What Makes a Good Review?
Remember when we had to rely on word-of-mouth to learn about how good something was?
The internet has paved the way for anyone to give their $0.02 about something (like Yelp, Trip Advisor, Google and Facebook). Because of that, it’s getting hard to weed out the good reviews from the bad ones. Here’s what to look for to decide if you should REALLY be taking a particular reviewer’s advice…
What a Review Actually Is
According to Dictionary.com, a review is…
Reviews are a great way to let people know about something; to give insight on a topic to a group of people that want to know about your experience.
With that said, reviews are intended to be informative, rather than persuasive.
Why do we read reviews? In our opinion, it really comes down to value. We don’t want to spend our hard-earned money on something that isn’t worthwhile, right? So… who better to ask than someone who has been there, done that and learned from their experience? After all, we need the facts before we can start forking over any cabbage!
The thing is, a crappy review can actually turn us away from making a great purchase without realizing it.
Watch Out for the Bad ones…
Here are a few 1-star reviews for a haunt that were given on Facebook:
Now, before we jump into, “Jeez, who would want to go there” mode, take a look at what the reviews are actually talking about. Not much, right?
What about the actors? Did they at least make a good effort? What about the props/special effects? Scene detail? It goes without saying that not everyone scares very easily, but did they at least try to entertain you somehow?
What’s the background behind the “customer service” issue?
Did this person approach the staff with an attitude, hellbent on getting their money back and having their feet kissed? Or were they peacefully looking for help with a problem? Granted, it doesn’t excuse the staff from acting professionally, but we can definitely see how a staff member might have very little tolerance for BS if a customer walks up snapping their fingers and struttin’ like a runway model.
We won’t even get into the last example… smh.
The point is, there are a LOT of unanswered questions with these 3 “reviews.” Did we mention that we skipped over about ten times as many 5-star reviews for this haunt just to dig up some bad examples for this article? On a side note, this haunt was the highest-rated attraction (by us) in its State last year.
Hold the Phone!
Social media reviews are pretty darn easy to write… maybe TOO easy. The fact that anyone can pull out their phone and submit a review for the world to see in about 20 seconds is absolutely incredible. That also means a lot of personal feelings can be put into what is said, whether they’re good or bad.
For haunted houses, those good feelings are great! They WANT you to tell the world about all of the awesome details. But when those feelings are “bad,” we’re sure they’d just prefer you keep your feelings to yourself.
However, there’s still not much to keep us from getting online and saying what we think, right? Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but we ask that you consider a few things before you submit your next review…
1. If you’ve had a bad time at a haunt, at least do your readers (not to mention the haunt) some justice by waiting until the next day to voice your opinion. By then, you will have had some time to think and be more informative about what happened.
2. Be fair. Whether you had a good time or not, your readers are looking for an accurate description of what THEY can expect to experience. Haunted houses are theatrical and strongly based on actors and mechanical props, so they can be different from night to night and, sometimes, even hour by hour. People get sick, the actors can have bad days too, customers can vandalize the scenes, props and effects can break or malfunction, the list goes on and on. If something happened that really wasn’t normal, it’s likely that not very many people will have that happen to them too, so is it really worth mentioning? If so, let your readers know instead of just saying, “It sucked!!”
3. Don’t forget to mention a particular actor or actress that really impressed you. Most of them read the reviews that are put on their haunts’ Facebook pages and seeing their character being mentioned can be very rewarding to them! It can also give other customers someone to look forward to seeing when they visit.
4. Score appropriately. About 9 out of 10 reviews are either 5-star or 1-star. This goes back to some of the other things that we talked about above, but if something happened to you that wasn’t normal, how much did it really affect the entire show? If everything else was great, then they probably don’t deserve a 1-star review. Scores can often tell people a lot more about your experience than just your words can.
Write a lot of reviews? Tell us what you write about in the comments below…