Wednesday, February 5th, 2014 by Brad Wazlavek
We live in an age of technology and it’s hard to know who to trust when it comes to hiring a contractor to do work on your home. As a consumer myself, I rely on review websites on a daily basis. I use them for things as simple as buying a blender or as complicated as finding the right plumber. There are so many review websites available for people to use that it’s easy to get confused. Over the past three years working for a local contractor I’ve seen the power of consumer reviews and how easy it is to be ‘fooled’. I’ve put together a list of a few tips that seem to work; maybe one of them will help you in your search.
1. Look at both the positive and negative reviews
A good company will often have a lot of excellent reviews from happy customers. The trick is to look at the way the company handles a negative review. No one is perfect and the old saying of “you can’t please all of the people all of the time” certainly holds true. If a company receives a negative review and addresses the customer’s concerns so that both parties are happy, it’s almost better than having a positive review in some cases. There really is nothing like a trustworthy company that is willing to do everything in its power to solve problems.
2. Trust your instincts
If you are reading reviews and you see a lot of the exact same kinds of input, there is probably a good reason. If you were reading about a specific product and the negative reviews talked about the same flaw over and over again, it becomes hard to ignore the problem. On the other hand, if you see a lot of positive words about a company’s call center or sales staff being courteous and respectful, it probably means that you will have an equally pleasant experience.
3. Look for the sites that have the least to gain
This one can be a little hard to follow. Some review sites charge the user, the company, or both to publish feedback. Most of the time it isn’t really a problem, but wouldn’t it be great to know that the input you are receiving comes with no strings attached? The people leaving their opinions for future customers should be free to express themselves and know that they are potentially helping someone make a difficult decision.
4. Check multiple review sites
If a company has bad reviews on one site and positive reviews on another, wouldn’t they try to promote the good instead of the bad? It’s only human nature to do this, but why not try to fix the issues with the negative reviews so that those folks change their opinions? It just makes sense to try and fix things that are broken instead of hiding them.
As a consumer, you deserve nothing less than the best. One of the worst things that can happen is you regret your decision and feel cheated somehow. On the other side of that is the best feeling, knowing that you are valued and the company you chose has your best interests in mind.