Just recently I was printer shopping and was perusing through dozens of printer reviews for an hp model that I liked. You’d think I was looking at two totally different products when reading the product reviews (kinda like the facebook review section). Things ranged from “it’s perfect and the best printer I’ve had,” to “it’s horrible and I’ll never buy this product again!”
Whoa!! Have you ever had that experience? Maybe you were in love with a particular food item at a popular restaurant. You raved about how good it was while your friends said you were nuts. That’s why I don’t get upset when someone leaves a less than stellar facebook review for my business.
Remember, there’s always two sides to a story and more than one way to slice bread and mush up canned dog food! Please don’t forget that piece of wisdom when you read reviews wherever you find them.
Is a facebook review credible?
Yes. No. Maybe?
The facebook review could mean a lot or very little. Honestly you won’t know the truth unless you actually talk to the person leaving the review or talk to the person that the review is about.
Let me explain what we do and reasons why some people might leave a facebook review…
First of all, our pet sitters make every effort to make sure all of our human clients are happy with our services. We try and follow the directions given regarding their pets and home. We try and get all the pet care information we need before we start services so we go into the job knowing exactly what to do.
So what about the pets in our care, what’s their experience like? They get love and attention. They have their pictures taken and shared with their humans. They get respect. They feel safe, fed and free from thirst. They have playtime, get exercised (depending on the pet) and mentally stimulated (through games, training and play).
Why people post a facebook review and star ratings
Clients that love what we do will likely tell their friends and family. When they see how their pet reacts when we come over, they realize their pet likes and misses us. When they get pictures of their dog out on a hike, they know we’re doing what they’re paying us for. There’s tons of reasons why people leave awesome reviews for us and then there’s the few negative ones.
People leave negative reviews for various reasons. Some people are just crabby Patty’s or negative Nellie’s and nothing – no matter how much or what you do – ever pleases them.
Does a less than five star facebook review hold water? Can you trust that a less than five star review means we suck at our job? No way. I’ll bet you a million bucks that if I go back and look at the person leaving a low star review, I’ll know exactly why they had problems or didn’t like our services. Were their concerns valid? Sure. To that person the issue was a legitimate concern.
So am I saying we don’t make mistakes? No. I wish I could say that we’re perfect but we’re not. We’re human and I don’t make any excuse for myself or my staff and expect the very best from everyone. But this is reality. Things happen in all professions, all businesses, anywhere humans are, mistakes will happen. For future reference, if and when we make a mistake I’ll humbly let the client know and hopefully they can look at it from our perspective too and not just fly off the handle and throw F-bombs our way.
A two star facebook review could mean that the client felt we did a lousy job caring for their pets. But if you know any of the pet sitters that work with us, that is far from the truth. We bend over backwards often and go above and beyond what we’re paid for because we love our client’s pets.
Examples of real-life scenarios
A low review could be the result of a client feeling like we didn’t mix up the canned and dry dog food well enough in the bowl. Or maybe based upon our experience with the dog we used our own personal judgment and decided that since the dog has a history of not eating a lot while their person is gone, the best thing to do would be to leave a little of the canned food in larger chunks so he’d snatch it up quick. A little bit of food during our one and only daily visit is better than no food at all. Sometimes the client doesn’t think about that…
A two or three star facebook review could mean we didn’t text or email the client as soon as we walked in the door like they requested. On the flipside of that it could mean we DID text or email the client as soon as we walked in. They might’ve forgotten they told us to message them and maybe their hot date was interrupted. Oopsy!
A client might not be happy with our services because we suggested they contact a reputable trainer with experience in fear aggressive dogs. Why would we do that during a consultation? After one of our pet sitters narrowly escaped getting bit by an out of control, unpredictable and undersocialized dog during the initial consultation we didn’t have much of a choice. The sitter walked away with a torn shirt and scuff marks on her bum from the dog’s teeth. Seriously not a good way to start a pet sitting job! Also, they might not have been happy because we voiced our opinion over the dog’s unpredictability and our concern for safety.
A client might leave a negative review because they didn’t get a response about their job request as soon as they would’ve liked.
And last but not least, a client might be upset that we aren’t available to care for their pets when they need us (little do they know that every time a sitter goes to their house, they get congested, can’t breathe, wreaks of cigarette smoke and breaks out in an allergic rash because the house is dusty, untidy and cluttered). How can we politely say that we can’t service them any longer because it’s affecting our health? There’s probably a polite way to convey that but I’d rather focus my energy on offering and accepting pet sitting jobs that keep us from having allergic reactions and needing medical care.
These are legitimate reasons why a two or three star facebook review might be given. These are legitimate concerns; for both the client AND the sitter because there’s always two sides to a story.
Please remember these examples when you see a less than perfect star rating for any business or any product.
Thanks for reading,
Kelley Stewart, CEO|Pet Sitter
sit-stay-play In-home pet sitting & more.LLC
P.s. Have questions or want to book services? Click this link.