When we use the word ‘best’ here, what do we mean.  It’s not the “5 Star, simply amazing” kind of review, it is the most honest and useful kind of feedback.

At miquando.com we believe the ‘best’ reviews are ones that are not just useful to other consumers, but are equally be helpful to the business too.

  • Help customers make better informed choices
  • Help businesses identify both what they do well and areas they can improve

So where do we get the ‘best’ reviews?

It’s probably easier to start with the least useful ones:

  • Paid for reviews

Consumers generally seem to be sceptical of paid for reviews and in many cases will dismiss them as irrelevant.  It doesn’t really matter if it is an honest review or not, the fact it is paid for appears to devalue it.

  • The stand out reviews

It’s not unusual to find on overly negative or positive review that stands out from the crowd.  Business owners are understandable wary of an over the top negative review, but welcome the effusively praising ones.  In reality the buying public are smart enough to realise that these stand out reviews are unlikely to reflect reality and will largely ignore them.

  • Reviews that aren’t reviews

You know the ones.  “1 STAR – don’t bother” or “5 Stars – always brilliant”.  They give you nothing useful, and leave you wondering why they bothered leaving anything at all.  We’re left thinking someone’s a grumpy git or mate of the owners – that’s about it.  Unless they just needed that one more review to earn their “Pro Reviewer Badge”


Back to finding the ‘best’ feedback?

Where can you find the most useful (‘best’) reviews?   We believe the evidence points to places where people leave feedback after having been specifically invited to do so after consuming a service, and it will come from people who feel they have something constructive to say (good or bad), and crucially, what they say can be used and acted upon by all concerned.


So to try and answer the question in the headline, we reckon ‘The Democrat’ reviewers win this one!

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There are all sorts of reasons why some people leave a Rating/Review and some do not, but it is probably fair to say that people who do, tend to fall into two broad groups with quite distinct philosophies.

Given the current headline news generated by a certain Donald Trump, it might be fun to use the topical titles of Democrat and Republican (but let’s try and keep politics out of it if we can)


‘The Democrat’

Leaves their Ratings and Reviews in the belief that it is done for the greater good of the people, irrespective of individual interests (theirs or the businesses). Having said that, there might just be a smidge of recognition involved if someone shares a helpful review.

In the majority of cases ‘The Democrat’ reviewer is responding to a request for feedback at the behest of the business concerned (either directly or indirectly)


‘The Republican’

Leaves feedback as a way of gaining a benefit mainly for themselves. It might be as blunt as getting paid to leave a review, or gaining some other non-financial reward, or maybe simply the gratification of earning that all-important ‘Reviewer Badge’ and a reputation in the community.

A far higher number of these reviews will be unsolicited by the business concerned. Indeed, they often won’t even know these reviews exist never mind have the opportunity to respond.


There will of course be the ‘in betweeners’ too, but by and large the above grouping is not too far off reality. Reviewers from each camp can, and do leave ratings and reviews that are useful to other people and in many cases the businesses themselves (should they see them).


Where do you sit?

Image that links to a Survey on Reviewer Types


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Picture of an angry customer

When someone gives you a tough time about something when you’re putting everything you’ve got into it, it’s natural to have an emotional response.

1 star review

The immediate temptation is to blast back, especially if the review is unsubstantiated.  Please don’t.  Give yourself some time to ‘cool down’ a bit and make sure you are not over reacting.

The best response (if you still feel you need to respond at all), is probably best done in private via the phone or email (which you should have with an online booking).  Your response might go something like this….

Hi, it’s ….. from …..

I saw your review on MiQuando, thanks for sharing your feedback.

Sorry, you didn’t get the service you hoped for, can you help me understand what went wrong so we can try our best to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Acknowledge their issues, don’t try make them see things from your point of view.

Invite them back, so you can show them a better experience – maybe for free!

Sometimes, you just can’t resolve a complaint like that and you may have to public in your response.  It’s essential you come across as the professional here.  Don’t be defensive, just acknowledge their issue and state what you’re doing about it.

There’s little to be gained from picking their complaint apart, so it’s best just to show you’re listening and responding to your customers.  Maybe go public with something like this…

“Hi, sorry to hear your experience wasn’t up to expectations. We appreciate and try to learn from all the feedback we receive. As previously discussed, please feel free to take up our offer to come back and let us demonstrate we’re on top of everything.”

Having the occasional (well handled) negative review, can actually be an advantage.  When customer’s see them, it makes them more whole thing more realistic and actually more valuable.  Let’s face it, when confronted with a list of only 5 Star reviews, who doesn’t get a bit cynical and wonder if they are manipulated or fake.  After all, we can’t please all the people all the time.

A negative review that is well responded to only serves to add credibility to a business, showing it cares about customer satisfaction.  If we are realistic, very few customers expect perfection, most will happily accept honesty and putting something right when things do go wrong.

In today’s online world, transparency is the best way to foster and build happy customer relationships.

5 Star Customer Review

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5 Star rating image

We all know the value of a good reputation and the pitfalls of a bad one, but what is it and how do you build your reputation online?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines reputation as…

the beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something:

“his reputation was tarnished by allegations of bribery”

a widespread belief that someone or something has a particular characteristic:

“his knowledge of his subject earned him a reputation as an expert”

So basically reputation is about trust.  Do you trust this person or business to deliver on their promise?

Before the internet people relied on various sources such as gossip (some reliable some less so), shared experiences (person to person, aka word of mouth) and perhaps an individual’s standing in the community.

The internet has opened up vast opportunities for businesses to operate on a bigger scale to a wider market than many local businesses previously dreamed possible.  The trouble is, much of this online interaction is from people distant from the business and unable to gain access to the usual reputation sources.

So how does a small local business earn and share those extraordinarily valuable commodities online:

Positive reputation

Word of mouth recommendations

Simple, start using a “Reputation System”.   E-Bay or Trip Advisor are perhaps the best known examples where people who have used the services on offer, share their feedback and ratings to help others make a more informed choice.

Many small businesses are wary of such systems, worrying (probably unnecessarily) about the possibilities of negative feedback.   This kind of thinking is a little misguided, as it is the very existence of the occasional; let’s say less than positive response that generates trust.

Think about it, when did you ever pay any attention to those glowing testimonials businesses put on their web sites to try and create trust, and does anyone really believe those Better/Best Business Guides where the ‘recommended businesses’ have all paid for that privilege.

Even better, if you do get a bit of negative feedback, at least you have the chance to respond publicly and share your version of events, unlike the bad word of mouth shared down the pub leaving you blissfully unaware of any problems.

So if you want to broaden your customer base via the internet, you should be open to using a Reputation or Ratings system, after all you don’t have anything to hide do you?

Why not start building your reputation online today.  Every business listed on miquando.com has access to a comprehensive and independent Ratings and Reviews service that is completely free to use.

Image of Miquando.com Ratings and reviewsThe beauty of the miquand.com Ratings and Reviews service is the level of detail with the 5 star rating derived from ratings given for Value, Knowledge, Reliability, Friendliness and Service as shown below.

 There is also the nice added feature where a reviewer can also say whether they “Recommend” this business.  This is a very useful feature and something often missing from other review services.

The reviews can be quickly and easily sorted on any of the ratings, allowing people to instantly see the results for what is most important to them, whether that be value for money or reliability, or just sort on the Recommendations.

Another excellent feature is the ability to embed the MiQuando Ratings and Reviews service into your own website.  Not only can visitors to your web site see a set of independent Ratings and Reviews, but they can also add their own directly from your web site.

Start building your Reputation online today at miquando.com

Read our blog post on handling negative reviews here.

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