Monthly Archives: April 2014

When you are looking at product or restaurant reviews, which ones do you read and why?

(Originally posted on Quora)

Original Question:

When you are looking at product or restaurant reviews, which ones do you read and why? Do you only read the 1-star reviews? The 5-star reviews? The ones in the middle? All of them? Why?

For restaurants, I tend to read all of them but I start with the 1-star reviews to see if there is a pattern in terms of what people complain about for a particular establishment. If multiple reviewers have similar complaints about that same restaurant, then I will tend to ignore the higher-star reviews. Too many poor reviews would be a red flag for me and I would not want to visit that establishment if I have never been there.

Unfortunately, for some reason I don’t follow the same principle when it comes to product reviews. Several years ago, I saw numerous poor reviews on Amazon for a camera of a specific brand. I chose to ignore those reviews and bought it. Sure enough, that camera had the exact same defects that others had mentioned about.

I think the difference, though, is that with restaurants, you probably want to give them the benefit of the doubt since you don’t know, let’s say it was poor service, if that came on a night when they were short-staffed. Perhaps on other days, the service is way better. You just ever know. For consumer products, on the other hand, it’s probably more clear-cut. Somehow I have been doing it backwards when it comes to restaurants vs. consumer goods, hence my little situation with the camera.

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Customer Service: Why is it important for a business to have quality customer service?

(Originally posted on Quora)

Nowadays, we all have a tendency to want to post bad customer service replies online for everyone to see, whether it’s taking screen shots and publishing it on blogs and whatnot, or tweeting about the poor service we received. There are even websites that rate companies in terms of the services they provide, giving them scores and letter grades (like A, B, C, etc.)!

Furthermore, with people having more and more choices with the advent of online stores and also doing a lot of comparison shopping, if prices are more or less the same, shoppers would be more willing to give their money to stores and business that treat customers well.

Given the number of choices we have as consumers, every little detail matters. Even things like taking too long to respond to inquiries reflect poor service. Here is one example I will provide below, where I finally received a reply from this particular company’s customer service department more than a week after I emailed them:

Hello KP,

We apologize for the long wait for a response to your inquiry. Due to a perfect storm of higher than expected support case volume combined with spring break in our local schools and a debilitating illness circulating through our office we are quite behind in response times.

As it has been more than 5 days since you submitted your request, you may have already found a solution and moved on; however, if you are still in need of assistance, please reply to this email and we will respond within 3 business days.

I found the response to be unbelievable on many levels, but yet thought it was amusing too.

If businesses do not provide quality customer service, they will find that customers will be willing to go elsewhere.,,, unless their prices are significant lower than their competitors’. If one does have to wait more than 8 business days to get a proper response, then yes, companies will find that the potential customers may indeed “move on.” 🙂