As consumers, when we consider buying a product or soliciting a service, we will ask friends or family their opinions or suggestions. Generally we tend to value the references of others more than what salesmen or manufacturers tell us about their products and services. Consumer reviews typically represent unbiased, third-party opinions that can help us make a purchase decision. The larger the purchase, the more people we may consult before making a decision.
Thanks to the Internet, we now have an almost unending stream of consumer reviews right at our fingertips. Many websites will feature comment sections where consumers can submit their reviews. In addition, there are many third-party websites such as Angie’s List, Yelp, Consumer Reports and others that provide up-to-date reviews, whether they be positive or negative.
No matter what product or service you’re considering, checking out reviews can give you a sneak peak into the level of satisfaction that others have experienced when making a similar purchase. For example, reviews can help give you an idea of:
- The cost of the product/service relative to the value received
- The important questions to ask?your sales representative or service provider
- Issues or?concerns?that you may not have never considered before buying
- How the product or service stacks up to competitors
- The average level of consumer satisfaction with that product or service
If you’re a business owner or marketer, consumer reviews can be exceptionally valuable to you as well. Encouraging feedback from your customers can help provide testimonials for your products or services, or reveal ways in which you can improve to make your next customer more satisfied than the last.
In the end, your experience with a particular product or service will be unique to you, and it may not always line up with the reviews of others. However, being aware of the opinions of other consumers like yourself can make you more informed before deciding how to spend your hard-earned dollars.