It’s important to remember that reviews are a subjective opinion of a consumer’s experience of a service or product, and for other consumers reading reviews, they don’t just focus on the number of stars – they read the text of the feedback itself. So, what makes a good review and what key things do consumers look for in them?
The best communication is where words are used to convey a message that is easily understood – clarity. Reviews are short stories that portray an experience and ensuring that that story is told simply, and directly, is most effective. Long, rambling, confusing and contradictory feedback achieves nothing, shares nothing, and is quickly and easily overlooked.
One of the key facets of every single exchange is communication and it is something readers of reviews look for. Did the person who carried out the work communicate the parameters and the particulars of the job in a clearly understood manner? Good and excellent reviews will always express the high level of communication offered by a service provider. Everything is on the table and nothing is left of it. That will always guarantee no disappointments about things that may come up later -such as hidden costs or problems that could not be solved correctly and satisfactorily.
On the other hand, one of the dominant parts of negative reviews is a distinct lack of communication – where a job was done in such a way that the consumer was left in the dark throughout the whole process. When someone is carrying out work at a house, nobody wants to be unclear what is happening. It is their home, and they want to know precisely what is happening.
When we commission someone to do work for us, we expect that they will do it to a particular level and in the way that they say they will. That’s the key – do exactly what they say they will. Human beings all have different skill sets. When we cannot do something ourselves, we commission someone else to do it for us and we expect that they have the requisite skills and training to do it to a high level. Reliability is not a difficult concept or a far-reaching ideal.
Some consumers will be fixated on price and looking for the cheapest quote. The majority will be looking for something else – high quality work at a price that reflects the delivery and completion of the project. What consumers will look for in reviews regarding price is transparency and honesty – that the price was communicated at the outset and adjusted before completion if unforeseen problems arose. Most people understand that quality has a price and will happily pay for it. The adage about paying peanuts and getting monkeys is invariably true.
Great reviews contain one ingredient beyond the usual – that expectations were not only met – but surmounted. It makes sense that consumers have an idea in their head of how something may be and when it is idealised beyond their expectations, then they tend to be incredibly effusive in their praise. It is often little touches that establish this. Communication about something they may not have considered, or even known about. An issue that could be solved that would make the overall job better and longer lasting. It could also be about the demeanour of the person/people carrying out the work – that they were engaging, friendly, considerate.
Human beings are story tellers, it is an inherent part of the way that we communicate with each other and reviews are no different. Potential customers reading reviews want to connect to the story of a review so that they could imagine that they too could experience it. They want to know that someone will be reliable, communicate well, do great work at a fair price and perhaps even surprise them by exceeding their expectations.