Whether you are a small business owner, an investor or an entrepreneur, choosing the right companies to do business with can be make-or-break. You may be familiar with certain hidden-camera TV shows which aim to catch cowboy builders and tradesmen, which in themselves are a shocking revelation of the lengths that some people are willing to go to. We all know stories about repair garages charging for new gearboxes and clutches which never need (or even get) replacing, or the plumber quoting for a new boiler when a simple fuse replacement will suffice. It is so hard knowing who you can trust or determining if you are getting ripped off!
Reviews on Social Media
Companies have become very aware that customer service and reputation have been revolutionised by social media. From Checkatrade to TripAdvisor, the internet has provided a means of sharing consumer experiences. My Facebook newsfeed is teaming with complaint posts to various companies, often with over 100,ooo ‘likes’. These posts just go viral!
50p rise on your sandwich meal deal seems a bit steep! Also your petrol is consistantly more expensive than Asda and Sainsburys. Where is the ‘every little help’ attitude?
You would think with all the money Tescos obviously make they would get better carrier bags. Annoying, cheap & rubbish! rant over
can you belive that after Last weeks fiasco with Tesco they gave me £30 in evouchers. So my shopping arrives and they have added the £30 back on. …… thats the last time I use tesco
Just wanted to say the new clubcard vouchers that have come through are great 🙂 it was nice to look at them and for the first time since having a club card I can actually use all of them. A great idea and will definately bring me back through your doors thanks.
The above posts are a sample of what the British public have been writing on Tesco supermarket’s Facebook Page in the last 10 hours. I am willing to be that if you look at any retailer/supermarket’s page there are similar complaints.
Never has it been so easy to share your (usually bad) experience with the world. Social media and the internet has revolutionized how we make product decisions and choose our hotels for holidays. Who would have thought that Amazon customer reviews could be more valuable than press advertising or TV adverts? The bottom line ispeople trust other people.
Sometimes Consumer Reviews are Not Enough
In order for a company to do business in the UK – they must first register it. In doing so, they are also required to report various information like the registered addresses, directors, annual returns and associated companies. This information can often be extremely valuable to potential investors or business partners. Private investors frequently search these databases when assessing potential start-ups or other companies seeking investment.
A simple search can often lead to discrepancies in information: A person holding numerous directorships in ‘shell’ companies, or a company not actually existing in the first place! Small business owners can make an educated decision when choosing distributors / vendors with access to Health and Safety or Office of Fair Trading (OFT) violations. Sometimes a simple google search just doesn’t cut it!
You can easily browse online for company checks.
While an element of risk is necessary to make serious money, too many people miss out on opportunities to mitigate this by forgetting the basics.
The future is unknown. I certainly can’t predict it! Who could have predicted that customer service would evolve to require teams of agents to respond to facebook posts or reply in the form of tweets? The internet has definitely enabled bad experiences to spread more easily but as a consequence has forced a lot of dodgy business owners to become more underhand. Be careful out there!
image credit: Koozai