Can you really trust online review sites?
Being in the painting game for over 30 years, we’ve lost count of how many happy clients we’ve completed work for. Whether it’s a residential home, commercial space or strata complex, our aim is always to ensure the best result for our customers (even if that means going above and beyond the usual call of duty).
A recent development since the dawn of this wonderful technology called “the internet” is the possibility for customers to share their experiences with a company – good or bad. Previously, if a customer had positive or negative feedback about a business, they could generally share it with a close circle of friends and the buck stopped there. Now we all have the potential to share our reviews to anyone interested in finding the information – be it locally, nationally or even globally!
Whilst it’s great that our happy customers can sing praises of Summit to a much larger audience, it also means addressing some of those not-so-happy customers who, regardless of what effort you’ve gone to keep them happy, simply can’t be pleased. And quite often, it’s these customers that like to take to the internet to share their frustrations (warranted or not). What’s more, there are cases of competitor businesses using these wonderful review platforms to slander businesses, in the hope of gaining deflective business.
This begs the question, can you really trust online review sites? We’ve put together a few top tips to help you decipher online reviews of trade contractors.
Check for a name
Many online review sites, such as Yelp, require reviewers to use their legal full name. This hopes to weed out fake reviews vs legitimate ones. If you’re using online research to determine whether to hire a contractor or not, make sure the review you’re reading use a real name (not an alias, or a nickname).
Has the business replied?
If there was a negative review, what has the company done to address the issue? As with all things in life, sometimes things go wrong. The key to finding a good trade contractor is seeing what they do to rectify a negative experience. Often all it might take is a 1 hour visit to the site and the problem can be fixed!
Whilst it would be great to have a 100% positive feedback history, we know it might not be realistic to keep every single person happy. For example, as strata painters, we don’t just consider our client to be the strata manager or the members of the executive committee, but every single resident and owner in the complex. And when we’re working on multi-storey apartment blocks with over 100 units, that can get tricky! We’ve had reviews from strata residents in the past who we didn’t even know existed until their review popped up and diminished our 100% positive score – the issue was of course dealt with but it goes to show the power of online reviews! As a rule, if the majority of reviews about a trade contractor are positive and you’re dealings with them so far are favourable, don’t let one or two bad reviews change your mind.
As trade contractors, we’re not saying that every negative review is false or should be disregarded – we know there are many businesses which deserve the negative review they’re given, however the trick to deciphering these online review sites is to look at a few elements to determine how legitimate each review is and of course to trust your own instincts!