Can I trust Reviews...

When figuring out which pet sitting service to hire, the most stressful part of the process is sorting through reviews to determine the best option. Reading reviews can be a daunting process, and countless questions tend to swirl through one’s mind when assessing reviews:

“Has this person been paid to give a review?”

“Do we have the same needs, and how can I ensure my needs will be met, too?”

“How can I trust this company if someone only leaves stars instead of an in-depth review?”

“Am I reading the whole truth or just 140 characters?”

Entrusting your pet to a sitter can be a challenge, and sifting through online reviews can be quite the test, too, but reviews actually play a key role in finding a quality pet sitter that best fits your needs and eases your fears. When determining whether or not to trust pet sitting reviews, consider the following perspectives regarding online reviews.

Before the days of social media, smartphone apps, and Google, people largely relied on one particular method of research and acquiring services: Word of mouth. One effective way to find a sitter and trust a review is considering the source of the review which may be a family member or close friend. Solicit the help of your loved ones with pets and ask which pet sitting service they use. By speaking with a family member or friend, you can then ask specific questions and better understand how your needs could be met through the services they recently received. Their recommendation would easily put an end to your doubts regarding online pet-sitting reviews, too.

If you are unable to discuss pet sitting services with a loved one in your area, consider the following issues when making a decision based on online reviews:

- Consider the number of reviews: If there are a minimal number of reviews, you may want to look further into that particular company. That way, you have peace of mind based on a substantial amount of feedback.

- Take your time: When reading reviews, do not merely glance at the rating and call it a day. Instead, take some time to sift through the reviews, read the good and the bad, and take notes based on comments that re-appear through the reviews.

- Use negative reviews to assess risk: All pet sitting companies, and companies in general, are subject to receiving less than stellar reviews. However, instead of taking each negative review to heart and assuming they are all accurate indicators of that particular pet sitting service, use negative reviews to assess potential risk. Understand that these negative reviews are indicators of potential unpleasantries. That way, you feel more secure in your decision-making process because you understand what could go wrong or what has gone wrong with former customers.

- Weed out the extreme: When you come across an extreme emotional response within a review, perhaps latent with fury, be sure to read the review in its entirety because these fury-filled reviews are often due to a very specific set of circumstances that typically do not align with another’s experience.

Keep this key piece of advice in mind – Not all customers leave reviews. When reading online reviews, you are reading feedback from a fraction of that particular business. Additionally, if you are unsure about the validity of the person reviewing the pet sitting service, check their profile to see whether or not the reviewer is an actual person. Lastly, focus on thorough reviews to gain a solid understanding of that particular pet sitting service. Instead of digesting reviews that simply say “great service” or “poor experience,” read the reviews with more depth and detail. With a bit of time and research, reviews will lead you to make a great decision about pet sitting services in your area.