In the process of vetting wedding vendors, most couples are quick to look at reviews. Reviews are a useful and reliable way to vet vendors before you put pen to paper. However, reading reviews sometimes requires you to read between the lines. Today we’re sharing how to read wedding vendor reviews, including how to tell an untrustworthy vendor from a trustworthy one.
Knowing How to Identify Red Flags
Before you dive into reviews, you need to identify some red flags. Red flags within the industry, as well as for you personally. For example, if you repetitively see the words “late” or “slow to respond”. These indicate that a vendor may not prioritize their customer’s needs or respect their time. Knowing what you are looking for is essential when weeding out vendors. Other red flags can include eluding to a low price, bad-mouthing other vendors, or rushing you to make a decision. This list goes on and on!
Recent is Relevant
One of the first things that you should do when looking at reviews, is use the filter to showcase the most recent. Don’t get us wrong, a vendor’s past is relevant too. But the most recent reviews speak to the now, rather than where they came from. Vendors can and should improve their work and service, and that is what an improvement in reviews alludes to. Don’t look too deeply into old bad reviews. And if you are concerned then bring it up with the vendor. A professional business should be able, and willing, to tell you how and why this shift occurred.
Most review sites allow the person leaving a review to upload images. Don’t just scroll past photos! These are an opportunity for you to get a visual of a vendor’s service or product. Especially in the case of caterers, designers, and florists. When looking at these images you should discern if the product aligns with your vision. And whether the quality of their work is worth their prices. This is one way to quickly narrow down your options when sorting through vendors.
Bad Reviews are a Part of Business
Let’s establish one thing first. The customer is not always right. If you are unsure about a certain review, it’s okay to address it with the vendor. Express why a review concerned you and ask if they would be willing to explain the situation. If you want you can also attempt to reach out to the person who left the review. From there you can establish your own opinion. Note however that not every vendor will be down for rehashing old drama. In which case you will have to decide how to proceed.
Knowing that bad reviews happen, for a variety of reasons, the next step is to look at a vendor’s response. As a business, there are appropriate ways and inappropriate ways to handle bad reviews. There should always be a response, although that response is up to the vendor. Some businesses opt to keep back and forths personal, while others are okay with a one-and-done response. However, there is no excuse for a business to act or treat a customer poorly. How a business handles bad reviews can say a lot about its character and the customer experience.
Quality & Quantity
So let’s say that one vendor has lots of reviews that are so-so. Another vendor has way fewer reviews but they are all 4.5 stars or more. Which one is better? There is no easy answer to this question, but we recommend valuing quality over quantity. The quality of service a vendor provides should always trump popularity. This is a problem that plenty of couples become ensnarled in. It’s okay to choose the first vendor, but only if they align with your vision and needs.
If There are No Reviews…
No reviews can be telling, but not always. If there are no reviews then you will have to dig deeper to discern whether a vendor is reliable or right for you. Note that often times if a vendor has no reviews, it is because they are a new business. In which case you’ll have to do more vetting and rely on your own judgment. If you like, you can also ask the vendor for recent references or samples.
At The Wedding Society, your happiness and security are of the utmost importance. All our wedding vendors are highly vetted so that you can feel comfortable and confident in the businesses listed on our website. Check out our list of approved vendors today! Be sure to let us know if these tips on how to read wedding vendor reviews helped you feel more confident!