Vetting commercial service providers, such as cleaners, handymen, plumbers, and electricians, can be a difficult process, especially if the companies you’re evaluating don’t have a robust website or social media presence. Websites like Yelp, Google, and other third-party review platforms can be a crucial tool when researching vendors. Online reviews are quickly becoming indispensable—according to a recent study about business procurement practices, 41% of business buyers read user reviews when they are doing online research. However, these sites can also be overwhelming to sift through.
Before you start reading every single review, it’s important to understand how to identify useful and honest feedback from generic comments and sponsored content. Here are five elements to look for in an online review to determine whether a facilities service provider is a good potential fit for your office:
1) Would they hire the service provider again?
The most important piece of information you should look for is whether the client would use the same vendor again.
Some websites will even aggregate this metric. For example, on the Managed by Q dashboard we have an “X% would hire again” rating for all vendors that gives our clients a quick summary of the vendor’s overall performance. Next to each review you can also see whether or not that particular reviewer would hire the vendor again.
This gives you a quick way to identify the positive and negative reviews so that you can decide which ones to read in-depth for more details on the experience.
2) Did they provide details about the project or service?
The more details, the more useful the review. Generic reviews that just mention a provider did a ‘good job’ won’t help you determine if a vendor could be a match for your specific project.
For example, the review below provides in-depth feedback about how the provider fulfilled the service.
The reviewer mentions what tasks the movers performed, the challenges they had to overcome, and information about how they accommodated the request during the busiest time of the month. These details paint a fuller picture of what to expect when working with a vendor and can help you decide if they will be a good fit for your needs.
3) Was the vendor responsive and professional?
The actual quality of service is just one aspect of working with a service provider—the experience you have with a vendor is also important. For example, if someone does a great job fixing your lights but never responds to phone calls or emails, it can be a very frustrating experience.
Look for mentions of whether a service provider was quick to respond, polite, and professional in communicating with the client—or if there were serious issues in this area.
4) Was the service provider on time?
Showing up on time is critical when you’re dealing with office emergencies like a leaky faucet or a broken AC unit. Knowing that a service provider can quickly accommodate urgent requests is a sign that you’ll be in good hands.
It’s also important to know that vendors that provide recurring services, like ongoing cleaning, will be reliable and follow a set schedule.
5) Did the vendor deliver what was expected?
Finally, a good review will point out when a vendor met expectations, went above and beyond to delight a customer, or failed to deliver services. If multiple people have similar feedback, you’ll get a pretty good sense of that provider’s track record.
Read the right reviews
Just as you might read about a new restaurant on Yelp or headphones on Amazon, online reviews can reveal details about a service provider that you won’t find elsewhere. Whether you’re in need of an electrician or a moving service, do your due diligence before you commit to a vendor and see what other offices have to say about the service. Managed by Q’s dashboard includes reviews of our vetted service partners so you’ll be able to assess whether a provider is right for you before accepting their quote.