Anytime you need a kind of business you’ve never used before, you always face the same problem. Which one should you choose? Depending on the available information, you may be debating between businesses based on cost, range of services or even how long the business has existed. Most people lean on their social network or friends and family for recommendations, but that’s a limited pool of information. Anymore, review websites serve most of the same functions as your social network in selecting a business, but they provide other benefits as well.
Volume of Information
Say you bought a house a few years ago and it’s time to replace the roof. You may know a handful of people who got it done, but there are likely hundreds or even thousands of people in your local area who got their roofs replaced. A lot of them will have written reviews of the roofers and contractors they used for the job. The simple volume of information means that if the business you’re looking at has an overall positive score, you’re probably going to get decent service. Finding a wealth of information in this day and age is as simple as searching as specific as “Lexington Law reviews” or as vague as “best mechanic” and scrolling through the top options.
Reading reviews also let you dig into the way a business operates. Take a restaurant with outstanding food, but a mediocre wait staff. Some people may ignore the so-so service because their main concern is the quality of the food. Other people will prove less willing to overlook the issue and make some noise about it. Reviews can also serve to point out specific traits of people you’ll have to deal with. Say you’re starting a business and want a logo. You narrow down the options to two graphic artists. The reviews claim, and their portfolios confirm, that both artists are talented. Artist A is a prickly personality, but always delivers by the deadline. Artist B is very pleasant to deal with, but frequently misses deadlines. Being armed with that kind of information lets you make decisions based on your own preferences.
Alerts You to Changes
Sometimes, a once stellar business takes a turn for the worse. Maybe they’re under new management. Maybe they made some bad staffing decisions. Whatever the reason may be, reading reviews can alert you to these kinds of changes before the information seeps into general knowledge. If a business you’re considering has racked up several bad reviews in recent weeks or months, it can serve as a warning sign to look elsewhere for a similar service. On the flip side, if a once mediocre business starts getting love notes in recent reviews from customers, that can also serve as a signal that the business might be worth considering
A business’s website is, for all intents and purposes, an advertisement. Its function is to give you information the business wants you to have. This may include things you care about, like whether they offer the product or service you want, but it will also include carefully crafted language and hand-picked testimonials meant to paint the business in the most positive light. Reviews are more likely to reflect the experiences of customers like you. They offer you a snapshot into how a business treats customers who spend at different levels or were only gathering information.
Finding a good business to work with is harder than it sounds. You’re often overwhelmed with choices between businesses that seem to offer the exact same things. Online reviews provide an informational window into those businesses. They highlight where businesses shine and where they can stand to improve. They can alert you when things have started to go sideways or when a strong personality is at play. Most importantly, they offer a perspective