I Get Anxiety Over This Type of E-mail

There’s one type of email that I loathe above all others.

Can you guess what it is?

I bet it’s not what you’re thinking.

I hate ’em. Seriously, I’d rather read hate mail. I’d rather read Tea Party literature hand-curated by Ted Cruz, or ad-copy from AT&T explaining how bundling my cable, phone and Internet could save me $300.

The interesting part?

About 75% of the time, what’s inside these emails…

Is glowing. Overwhelming positive. Even raving

Yet the anxiety still seizes me like talons around testicles the moment I see the number (1) in the sub-category I keep for these emails, like a raised middle-finger, reminding me it isn’t going anywhere until I click.

Do you experience this kind of anxiety around your e-mail inbox?

The e-mails I hate… more than any other emails are:

E-mails telling me:

“Someone on Yelp just reviewed your business”

restaurant review emails

Ugh… kill me.

We own three restaurants in Albany, New York. I read all the reviews that come through, and as you can see from the inbox, focus on the ones that come through Yelp.

Like I said, we’re fortunate that 75% of these reviews are overwhelmingly positive. We’re lucky to have a strong fan-base.

15% of the review are critical. If not constructively so, then at the very least, they’re fair.

Like these:

a fair review

No one’s ever happy about a 1-star review. But I know for a fact this happened, so it’s what we deserve.

fair yelp review

Again not favorable. But fair.

But it’s the remaining 10 percent that create anxiety for me…

Like these:

shitty yelp review

People give shit reviews, not understanding the full impact

In the above example, the reviewer gives us 1-star because:

“I had higher expectations based on location, atmosphere, crowd, and new-ness of the restaurant.”

Uh… those are all positive things… so explain why it’s a 1-star review again?

Or this one:

shitty yelp review 2

“I don’t want a reply”

No one’s happy with a 2-star review, but based on his experience, this sounds like a fair review.

It’s the last line that gets me:

“I do not want a reply from the owner or owner’s agent to this review.”

Um, Last Time I Checked…

Yelp is a public forum. Not anyone’s personal message board/blog to write restaurant reviews.

What if I entered your home or place of business, walked around, then wrote down my thoughts on how you could improve on a couple of Post-its and left it on your desk?

Then, had the gall to say, “Oh, by the way, I don’t want you to respond to this.”

Each time I get one of these emails, it feels like I’m back in second-grade, getting dragged to the front of the classroom by Ms. Williams, right before she chucks a chair at the window.

Then I have to physically pause — let that feeling happen, watch it, a little amazed at how much I loathe these emails, and then it passes — and I go to work. And reply.

Photo Credit: Consult PR

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