With a wide range of companies offering professional cleaning services in every city, it can be difficult to know which will serve your needs the best and whether the claims made on the each company’s website are accurate reflections of the service they provide. Many people rely on reviews, testimonials and personal recommendations as the deciding factor, having narrowed the choices down to a shortlist of 3 to 5 cleaning companies. Independent review sites were set up to help with this sort of choice, providing a place where customers can leave reviews for any sort of professional service. The popularity of these sites grew rapidly, and good customer reviews quickly became seen as crucial to success of small and mid-sized businesses. This has had the unfortunate result that many companies now pay people who have never used their product or service to provide them with a positive review. They will tell the reviewers what details they’d like included and pay for a positive review. This practice has become widespread and makes it difficult to know which reviews to believe and rely on. Below we have put together some things to look out for when reading reviews of cleaning services to help you steer clear of fake reviewers.
5 Star all the way
The first thing to notice is if a company has nothing but five star reviews on the review site. Since everyone has different needs, wants and priorities, even if a company provides the exact same level of service to every customer there are bound to be some people who see this as everything they could hope for and others who find it wanting. If reviews are provided by real customers, they will typically range between 3 stars and 5 stars for a good quality service. Look for companies that average at about 4 to 4.5 stars over all their reviews.
Similarities in tone or style
In some cases, a company will pay one writer to provide several reviews using different usernames and accounts. At other times, someone from within the company may leave fake reviews under multiple pseudonyms. In either case, these can be spotted easily if every review of a company has a very similar tone and style. Reviews from real customers will vary in length, detail, focus, tone, grammatical correctness, spelling ability and style.
Excessive use of punctuation
Many people who are asked to write a fake review of a company or service go overboard with punctuation to compensate for their lack of knowledge of the product or service. They use punctuation as a means of expressing enthusiasm for a product that they have nothing real to say about. If the review contains little detail, but has a lot of exclamation marks at the end of simple sentences it is likely to be fake. Real reviewers rarely feel the need to express their opinions using exaggerated punctuation.
Beware of reviews that focus heavily on design features and technical specifications. Honest reviews will generally focus on the user experience and make claims about feelings toward the product or service. If a review states that the cleaners were friendly and communicative immediately putting the reviewer at ease, it is much more likely to be genuine than if it says “the cleaners used a C5000 super steamer with a 5000w plug and extendable head joint”.
Use of marketing jargon
Real reviews will rarely use marketing jargon such as ‘state or the art technology’, ‘cutting edge design’, ‘speed of light delivery’ or any other snappy sounding terms most often bandied about by advertising execs!
Search Engine Optimisation I the art of getting a company or website to rank higher in the results produced by related Google searches. This often relies on key terms being repeated frequently throughout any text relating to the company. If you notice the company name being repeated regularly, the name of a location (e.g. London) being added randomly, or a specific service being referred to again and again – this is probably a fake review written for SEO purposes.
Check public profiles
Reviews can be extremely helpful, particularly if the person providing the recommendation is a trusted friend, colleague or acquaintance. In most cases though – the reviewer will be a stranger: you know nothing more about them than their username. Many reviews sites will link you to a profile for the reviewer if you click on their username. Look at how many reviews of different companies they have provided. If they review everything under the sun and many of their reviews contain similar phrases or points, these are probably written by a ‘professional’ reviewer.
Trust website hosts
Lastly – look out for red flags added by the website administrators. Most independent review site owners have some way of monitoring reviews and checking whether they are genuine; after all, their continued success depends on accurate reviews. If they have suspicions about a reviewer or a company, this will often be stated as a warning on the review or company profile.