Experiences vs. Reviews
You might be wondering why we talk about “sharing experiences” rather than reviews. It might be a very subtle difference, but it’s an important one to us.
“Reviews” may conjure up a more critical approach. Or that one must have specific expertise in what they are reviewing. Or skewed toward calling out the negatives. Reviews often take on an overarching focus on the business as a whole.
“Experiences” are more personal. They are something we share among friends over a cup of coffee. They aren’t always perfect, but we tend to pull out and highlight the best aspects of our experience. Going to a restaurant may ultimately be about eating a meal, but we think that should be one element that is encapsulated by the entire experience. Most importantly, we hope thinking about Experiences rather than Reviews shifts from an overarching focus to a snapshot in time focus.
Some Thoughts On Sharing Experiences
McHenry Life is more than just a local business directory. We also want to provide a venue for patrons, the customers and clients of local businesses, to be able to share their experiences. Not only that, we hope to foster communication between businesses and patrons.
With great power, as they say, comes great responsibility. Before you jump in sharing your experiences, we’d like to share a little bit of our philosophy and how we hope McHenry Life is a little different than other review sites.
- You don’t have to be an expert or professional critic to share your experience…we all have experiences that we can share.
- Remember that any experience you provide is, in many ways, taken without context here by the reader. It’s a single, one-sided snapshot.
- We’re all human and mistakes happen. Please try not to let one negative outweigh an otherwise positive experience.
- But just because it’s your favorite place, don’t feel that you can’t mention negative aspects of an experience.
- The experiences you share may be from a specific time, but if you frequent the same place regularly, you may also want to combine those into an overall experience.
The real measure isn’t when everything is perfect, or even when everything goes wrong…
But how they respond when things go wrong.
- When in doubt, please give ’em the benefit. Few businesses and employees are trying to give bad service and a terrible experience. It can be tough being customer-facing, especially when you are having a bad day yourself. We’re not saying you should ignore it, but try to balance it…are there contributing factors, how does this compare to your usual experience, are you having a bad day yourself? Remember, we’re all human, and being human means that we often blow negatives out of proportion, especially in the moment, compared to the positives.
- Try to keep the context in mind. Were your expectations reasonable? If you were dining during peak hours and you felt the time for service was long, was that based on your usual off-peak hour’s experiences, or was it truly, exceptionally long even for the situation?
- Was there anything that really stood out? Don’t forget that one bit that really set the tone, that was unexpected or delightful…that appetizer, the way they handled a problem, the care they took with your car, the amazing follow-up service, etc.