The Great Sphinx of Giza has over 10,000 reviews on Google, with a total of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Not bad for one of the greatest accomplishments in human history.
Still, you can’t please everyone.
“Much smaller than expected,” stated one visitor of the 73m long Spinx. “I hated this place because it was way too hot,” noted another visitor of the Spinx, located in the middle of the desert. A gentleman named Dale also rated the Spinx 1 star, his reason being that “it is in Egypt”.
We live every facet of our life through online reviews. I can’t remember the last time I stepped foot in a restaurant before I thoroughly Googled, Instagrammed and Yelped the venue. Internet reviews have changed the way we consume products and services. But research shows that online reviews are less trustworthy than we think.
The credibility of reviews is questionable. A 2016 study by Winder and Fader (linked below) found very little correlation between online reviews and objective quality rated by unbiased product testers.
Reviews are subjective, and the tiny subset of people who leave them aren’t average.
Very few people write reviews – it’s about 1.5% of all consumers (Anderson & Simester, 2014; linked below). And the opinions of consumers who DO write reviews are tainted by emotion. Consumers are more motivated to write a review if they have a negative experience than if they have a neutral or positive experience (ReviewTrackers, 2018).
Put simply, we shouldn’t trust online reviews because emotions are involved.
Another reason to be wary is that roughly one in fifteen people review products or services they HAVEN’T purchased or used (Anderson & Simester, 2014). These people write speculative, negative reviews to offer ‘feedback’.
With this in mind, the meaning and credibility of reviews quickly goes down the drain.
Don’t get me wrong; I used to pour over the pages of escort review forums each day, furiously clicking to see if what was written about me. It turned into a mild obsession. If someone posted something negative about me, it shattered my self-esteem. Being called fat online by someone you had sex with only a few hours earlier puts a bit of a downer on your day.
But still, I felt like I couldn’t reject the escort review forum culture. I was scared my business would fall apart and that I would get no bookings without reviews.
Then, I realised something: not all clients care about reviews and the culture of review forums.
Only 1.5% of clients write reviews. That is a TINY percentage. And some of those reviews aren’t even real (remember, one in fifteen negative reviews are written under the guise of ‘feedback’).
And the ones that are real are often driven by an unusual level of emotion. Remember the dude that rated the Spinx 1 out of 5 stars because it is in Egypt?
Yeah, that’s the same dude that’s going to rate an escort 1 out of 5 stars because the lightbulb in her bathroom was too bright.
That’s not a joke. That’s an actual complaint a client wrote about me in a review.
As if that dude’s opinion matters.
In my experience, the vast majority of clients pay NO attention to reviews. They are not interested in the review forum culture. They simply want to book a sex worker, have a nice time, and go back to their lives. And these are the type of clients you want – low drama, wanting a bit of fun and not scanning your boobs to make sure your nipples are the same size or he’ll rate you 3 out of 5.
In Australia, the main review forum, Punter Planet, is now behind a paywall. You have to post a certain number of reviews or pay a fee to read reviews. Do you know what that means? The 1.5% of clients who write reviews are the ONLY ones reading them.
If that doesn’t convince you that reviews don’t matter, I don’t know what will.
I’ve recovered from addictive refreshing of review forums and have been review-free for over a year. Now, before I see a new client, I let him know that I am a private person and prefer not to have information about our private-time posted online. Most clients respect this.
And I can tell you now, after a year of operating with no reviews, it’s had NO impact on my business.
In fact, I’m making more money now than I did before I had a no-review policy.
So, the next time you are reading a review and wondering why the reviewer is saying you are a size 16 when you are a 10, I want you to remember that: