There can be no arguing the fact that customer reviews can be an incredibly valuable resource, both for businesses and for consumers. They offer straight talk on a product. If that product does what it is supposed to and is reasonably priced, it is a good move for a business to use the endorsement of a customer to promote the product.
On the consumer end, reviews can be extremely helpful when it comes to deciding what to buy. If they read that other people have had good experience using product X to clean their townhouse as they research the product, they are more likely to spend their own dollars on it.
Today, the Internet has made it possible for anyone to research virtually any product or service through customer reviews only. Some sites, such as Amazon, build their marketing plan around reviews offered by customers on specific products. In this information age, it should be pretty easy to see which products are good and which are duds, right?
Well, not quite. The unfortunate thing about the Internet is that it gives absolutely anyone the chance to say whatever they want about anything. Everyone has an opinion, and they are not all equally valid. Let's take a look at a few things you may want to consider as you read customer reviews.
First, can you be sure it is genuine? Who is to say that a negative review about a wedding photographer wasn't posted to craigslist or some other site by a rival? Business is pretty cut throat, the more so since the unregulated Internet came into the picture. If a review sounds overly critical, it may be suspect.
Next, you can't be sure that a review wasn't posted by the business itself. It's not too hard to get people to write a good endorsement of a product or service that they have never even used. With the labour pool the Internet offers, you could get literally thousands of reviews for very little effort.
Then of course, there are the negative people out there. These people are in desperate need of an anger management course in their day to day lives. They expect the world on an oyster shell, without paying for either item.
So what good are reviews anyway? Well, if you take them for what they're worth, they can still be valuable tools. Don't go on the advice of only a couple of reviews. Look at ten or more, and always balance the information you find with your own research.
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