Today consumers have the most power and variety when choosing products or service providers that suit their needs. With the rise of social media, cell phones, apps, internet search and review engines -and other modern advance- we now have access to all the referential information we need to choose one business over an other and rate a company. In the case of consumers, using reviews to make decisions is a huge advantage, one that many businesses are willing to harness to their benefit. After a transaction, emails beg you to rate a company immediately. Unfortunately, with the creation of information we also have misinformation. As market places become more crowded and competitive, some questionable companies have turned to using less reliable review sites, or have decided to spread misinformation themselves-all in an attempt to win over unsuspecting customers. So what can you do about it? Here are some tips on how to know if you can trust a company’s ratings.
1. Do they have many ratings?
A company with a great reputation who is providing a valuable service with an excellent customer experience, should have many four or five star ratings and a high volume of reviews and testimonials. When your most reliable review sites show numerous positive ratings even with many reviews, it is a good sign that the reviews are real and accurately reflect the customers’ experiences.
2. Are the reviews overly positive?
Often times, when a questionable company is trying to increase their business, they will hire writers to post overly positive comments or reviews on search sites and the webpage. If the comments you are reading don’t have a shred of objectivity in them, they may be fake.
3. Are there only a few of them?
If you see only 1 or 2 positive reviews on a business that has been around awhile, they are likely deleting all the negative feedback in what is known as “cherry picking.” Unless the business is a start up and getting off the ground, take a closer look and see when the business was established and how many reviews they have.
4. Do the reviews read like an infomercial?
If the reviews that are found for the company in question are few and read as though the head of the marketing department wrote them- they probable did. It is more and more common for the companies themselves to pose as customers praising the company. Too often though, the people writing the phony reviews don’t take enough time to step away from their writings and they inject too many product descriptions and use verbiage taken straight from the marketing material. If it seems like a cut and paste from a brochure, than it likely is a fake review.
5. Does the business respond to negative reviews?
You see it more often these days, a customer will post their negative testimonial and complain on a popular review site. As you read the follow up comments you will notice that the business themselves read the review and personally apologized and offered to fix the issue. Real reviews are used to improve a business and develop relationships with customers. If you see the business responding and fine tuning their customer satisfaction skills, you have a real review.
Using these tips you can make sure you spend your time considering only the information that comes from real informative and accurate feedback.
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