Review Boards in the sex industry are quite common and there is a wide range of opinions about their effectiveness, legitimacy and the wisdom. Reviews are a forum for users to share both positive and negative opinions. RTR does not arbitrate disputes and we have never deleted a review. We only edit reviews that are abusive or threatening. Online reviews are not set in stone and can always be updated by the reviewer and is a great reason to respond to any posted reviews—whether positive or negative. While no one wants to get negative reviews, they sometimes happen.
Here are 10 things to keep in mind when reviewing organizations, and what you can do about negative or positive reviews on RTR.
- Respond promptly. Promptly responding to negative reviews shows the client that you care and value their opinion. It may also be the catalyst that results in a person who had a bad experience with your business or organization into giving you a second chance.
- Be Polite. A negative review, particularly one that expresses a strong opinion, may stimulate emotions that could lead to a sterner response than necessary. Take time to collect your thoughts and respond by saying something like, “Thank you for your valuable feedback. I would cherish the opportunity to speak with you about your experience. Please contact me at your earliest convenience.” If, after talking with the person, you find there is merit to his comments, take proactive steps to remedy the situation. When warranted, provide restitution in the form of a coupon or discount or an apology. Never undervalue the merits of a sincere and heartfelt apology.
- Read the review with an open mind! Reviews give you an opportunity to see how you or your services are perceived by other potential consumers and donors and you can benefit from both positive and negative reviews. If your organization or business has received multiple negative or positive reviews about similar facets of what you do, take some time to consider the content of the review and expand programs or services that received praise and make adjustments or discontinue products or services that were harshly critiqued or intent or content.
- Take negative reviews seriously. In most cases, people who leave negative reviews aren’t out to defame you personally. They merely want to express their opinion about their experience. Take such reviews on their merits, as they may reveal an area of your business or organization that could benefit from improvement. And couldn’t we all benefit from improving? Additionally – if you are providing rescue or exit related services to the sex trade – and you have never been a part of the sex industry – you need the feedback provided on RTR.
- Control your online presence and claim your business or organization on RTR by clicking on the link at the bottom of your listing and request “ownership” of your listing. This will allow you to edit the activities and services your business or organization does and keep consumers aware of changes and upgrades. This will NOT give you the ability to remove or edit the reviews left for you but it WILL give you the ability to update your business or organization profile.
- Make sure everyone in your company is aware of reviews you’ve received, both positive and negative. Not only will that help to ensure you prevent similar problems in the future, it builds a client-centric mindset among employees and volunteers.
- If someone leaves a POSITIVE review for your organization, your services or you personally, show your appreciation! Keep in mind you are accepting a review and not an award, so simply say thank you and let them know you appreciate them as well. This is just general courteous behavior and should go without saying. People who leave positive reviews on consumer websites are few and far between and they will appreciate being recognized for their contribution.
- If you are a rescue organization and don’t understand why anyone would leave a negative review, read the following documents – Problems with the growing Rescue Industry – 10 Questions to ask a Rescue Organization and 10 Questions before supporting a Human Trafficking organization. Reconsider how you can best serve the target population of your mission.
- Don’t engage in “trash talk”. Every review board in the sex industry has comments after the reviews that are often more salacious than the actual review. Many times the focus is taken off of the business or organization and the reviewers start firing shots at each other. As entertaining as this may be, its not really productive and sex workers are far smarter than you give them credit for in that they can recognize crackpot reviews quickly and know which ones are real and which ones are not.
- Resolve to “do better”. Review boards are not perfect. But they aren’t going anywhere. RTR is committed to allowing the sex workers from every walk of life to police the businesses and organizations that claim to serve them.