Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find out how a business will treat you. In the digital age, those recommendations from friends and family members have been somewhat replaced by online reviews. Submitted by the public and accessible to everyone, shoppers can use them to make sure that the business is everything it seems.
Here’s why you should always take the time to read them through.
They Can Help You Avoid Disaster
The most important reason to read business reviews is also the most obvious: they can prevent you from wasting both your time and your money.
The age of internet shopping has been a boon for shoppers since they can now order what they need at a click of a button, but that does involve some faith in the company you’re going through. Once a product arrives broken or a service is delivered unsatisfactorily, it can be tricky to arrange a refund. One negative review can highlight those problems and help you avoid them.
They Can Point You in Right Direction
Sometimes a negative review will prevent you from going with a business that is untrustworthy, but other reviews – even highly positive ones – can help you make the most of your purchase by offering advice.
For example, you might read a review that talks about how well one service works with another offered by the same company, that the location of the activity you’re booking is just a hop, skip, and jump away from a good place to eat, or that the restaurant you’re going to provides a certain unmissable dish.
They Are Usually Trustworthy
Review sites really go the distance to ensure that the information provided by users provides an accurate picture of what they are reviewing. Stringent criteria are used to make sure that reviews are genuine and well-founded, and business owners are able to remove those that are not.
On the other hand, a business’s own website and promotional material is controlled exclusively by them. The information that they provide will be accurate 99 percent of the time, but it’s worth reading some reviews to back up that information and make sure you don’t get conned.
They Can Give You an Idea of the Business Owner
With that in mind, it’s worth remembering that some business reviews will be untrustworthy, or at least exaggerated. People who feel they have been poorly treated may tend to massage the truth in their favour, with a 5-minute waiting time stretching to a whole hour.
Alternatively, a negative review may simply be based upon a mistake of the buyers – for example, they may have misread the product information. In cases such as these, a good business owner will have seen that the comment is helpfully responded to. If you see negative reviews that have been quickly and constructively dealt with, it paints a positive picture of the business in question.
They Can Get You Excited
Finally, don’t forget that business reviews can get you all pumped up about the product you’re buying or the experience you’re about to enjoy, especially the latter. The fact is that most people who go to the trouble of posting an online review are more than happy enough to employ their creative juices to really let other people know how much they enjoyed the product, service, or activity.
If you’re going to be taking a trip to Venice, it can get you all the more excited to read someone’s description of how perfect the view from the hotel was. If you’re buying a video game, it’s great to know that other people are already enjoying it.
If you’re going to be spending your hard earned money at a particular place of business, it makes sense to read through their online reviews. Doing so can help you avoid problems, give you an idea of the company, and genuinely improve your enjoyment of the product, service, or experience that they are offering.
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