Online site helps to keep it clean

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There are only 24 hours in a day and I recently realised that my life could be improved if I didn’t have to spend any one of those doing household chores when I could outsource to a house cleaner.

The decision was easy, but finding someone was another matter. I have heard an array of stories and experiences both good and bad.  Not all that dissimilar to finding a reliable and effective plumber, hairdresser or mechanic.

Most of us turn to our friends and family first when looking for someone to hire. The reason for this is that we trust that the opinions of our nearest and dearest will be sincere and honest. If they recommend someone to us it is because they genuinely believe the person is well equipped to help us out in whatever way they can.

However, I recently moved house, and no one I knew was able to recommend someone in my area.

So I turned to the WOMO website. WOMO stands for Word Of Mouth Online and this website is a dream for those who want to take the unknown out of hiring services. It gives users a forum to recommend small businesses that they have used.

With an aggregate star rating you can see just how often this business leaves their customers satisfied. With a string of glowing recommendations you can be much more confident that you’ll receive the quality of service you are after.

After thoroughly reading recommendations, I picked a company that sounded like it offered what I was after and now I have the cleaner I was looking for.

It is amazing how much weight a recommendation carries, whether it is positive or negative. Nielsen research suggests that 78 per cent of people hold customer recommendations in higher esteem than any form of advertising!

We seek to take the uncertainty out of decisions, and as we become more aware of advertising tricks and misleading marketing messages – the old fashioned word-of-mouth reigns supreme.

So now that I’ve found a great cleaner, I’m heading back to WOMO to see what other help I can have to run my home and business!

Maybe I’ll start with a good chef…

 

| Social Entrepreneur – www.madwoman.com.au

  • Helen

    Thanks for letting everyone know about this resource. I’ve been using it for about 6 months now and have found some fantastic businesses thanks to other people’s reviews. In fact, we recently discovered a restaurant that I regularly drive by but had never noticed which has now become our regular. I also found a great plumber to help with a few jobs – fantastic guy… I’ve now started to review a few of my favourite businesses too.

    • http://www.madwoman.com.au Melina Schamroth

      One of our favourite restaurants was through a word of mouth review too – we would never have gone there had we not heard how great it was. While I don’t always go solely by other people’s opinions, if enough people say a place is great, I’m definitely prepared to listen!

  • Steve

    I’ve found that people are always looking on the net for reviews. WOMO is great because it helps people sort out the reliable tradies (like me!) from the dodgy operators. Feedback is a very positive thing – it keeps everyone on their toes and makes sure I do a great job. I’ve built up a bank of positive customer reviews and I get new enquiries every month from people that have seen me on WOMO.

    • http://www.madwoman.com.au Melina Schamroth

      It’s great to hear how this service works both ways – not just for consumers, but for business owners and solo operators too!

  • Lee

    The best advertising comes from my customers – they write what they think of my services and suddenly I’m getting enquiries from all over town! I’m now getting 12-15 new clients from WOMO every week. It’s about time good service resulted in more customers!

    • http://www.madwoman.com.au Melina Schamroth

      Wow – that is a big response! Most of my business comes from word of mouth – it’s really powerful!

  • Dione

    Totally agree Melina. With Word of Mouth Online, you get a true picture of what to expect as it is usually honest actual experiences of real people like me. I’d trust information here much more than normal advertising.

    • http://www.madwoman.com.au Melina Schamroth

      I think advertising is good to alert you a to a service, word of mouth alerts you to an experience :)

  • Dee Davies

    We run a skin / beauty clinic and since joining WOMO, lots more people are finding us on the web. Some of them come straight to our own website but then click through to see our ratings on WOMO, and lots of them come straight to our WOMO listing and will visit our website from there. Once they read what our customers say about our services, they feel like they’ve found the right place and make an appointment straight away. We just love getting great ratings and hearing how we’ve helped our clients. We think of WOMO as the logies of business!

    • http://www.madwoman.com.au Melina Schamroth

      sounds like it is working really well for you! Once I have found a provider I love, I’m really loyal to them. I drive across town for some of my appointments – I’ve built relationships over a period of years and feel happy to recommend them to others. Loyalty counts and it comes from great service (which it sounds like you provide!)

  • Cassie Sheppard

    I was going to use a new hairdresser, so I looked them up on WOMO to check them out. They had quite a few reviews of customers who had bad experiences, so I looked up another one with good reviews and they did a great job! Normal advertising is there to convince to to use their service or product, I love reviews from other people just like me who just want to get good service without having to deal with bad experiences along the way. Reviews are more honest!

    • http://www.madwoman.com.au Melina Schamroth

      Recommendations can definitely save time and money!

  • http://www.pollenmarketing.com.au Natalie Giddings

    I have WOMO to be great for personal recommendations. I have recommended a number of my services clients to get on board! Thanks Melina

    • http://www.madwoman.com.au Melina Schamroth

      I know – It has really worked well for me since moving to a new area where I didn’t actually have anyone I knew who could make recommendations.

  • http://www.sitezero.com.au Stephen Hamilton

    I’ve used WOMO to post a few reviews for businesses I’ve used. It is a pretty easy site to use, and of course, the ‘social proof’ aspect of it is very important to all businesses.

    It would be wise for businesses to monitor this site so they can respond to any negative feedback in a positive fashion.

    • http://www.madwoman.com.au Melina Schamroth

      That’s a really good point! these sites are fantastic when you are offering great products and service. It can also provide people with a good way to adapt their business to customer needs by listening to the feedback they are given – even if it isn’t always good! Sometimes people will be more honest when it is not face to face, so keeping a track of what people are saying and quickly addressing issues can be really helpful.

      Being able to promote great comments about your business is also a great bonus of using a review site.

  • http://www.madwoman.com.au Melina Schamroth

    Thank you to everyone who has commented on this post (I’ve also had a lot of comments through Twitter and in person). It seems personal recommendations are equally valuable to both consumers and businesses.

    I just want to reiterate how happy I am with my decision – I am really enjoying a few hours of uninterrupted work today while my cleaner is happily cleaning.

    Thank you to the people who made the recommendations on Womo which led to my choice :)

  • http://www.m4bmarketing.com Susan Oakes

    Hi Melina,

    One quick question for you as I couldn’t find it on the site. Do they have any system to verify those giving reviews are real people and actual customers? The reason for the question is with Yelp in the US there are a number of complaints that some of the reviews are fake.

    • http://www.madwoman.com.au Melina Schamroth

      I guess if people were doing that then they would be found out pretty quickly if their products or services weren’t up to scratch!

      I guess like anything, you have to do your own due diligence where you can and make a decision based on the best information available to you. I’m no expert – I’ve only used Womo and my experience to date has been really good – I’m exceptionally happy with my cleaner and my home is getting clean as I write this, without me doing it! :)

  • http://www.thefeistyempire.com/ Paul Hassing

    Ripper post, Melina. Based on your recommendation, I’ve used WOMO for the first time to replace our just-turned-very-nasty dry cleaner: http://myob.com.au/blog/losing-it/

    I’ve found a couple of promising leads. I’ll let you know how I get on. With best regards and many thanks for the hot tip! P. :)

    • http://www.madwoman.com.au Melina Schamroth

      Hi Paul

      I was horrified to hear your bad news about your clothing and so pleased this blog post could help you find a new dry cleaner!

      I think that just shows how valuable word of mouth is – you were prepared to follow my recommendation for WOMO as a trusted source, now someone else will follow your lead because they trust your judgment and on it goes!

      We also had to change dry cleaners after my partner’s shirts came back covered in pen ink… but that’s a WHOLE other story…
      Cheers
      Melina :)

      • http://www.thefeistyempire.com/ Paul Hassing

        Fer sure Melina. Watch this space! :)

  • http://www.thesourcebottle.com/ Rebecca

    I think WOMO is awesome. I too used the service to find a local cleaning service (two years ago), and now live in a very clean house. :)

    I actually liken the power a good review site wields to getting publicity. It’s like having someone else say you’re ‘hot’ vs. you walking around saying you’re ‘hot’!

    • http://www.madwoman.com.au Melina Schamroth

      haha! totally agree! Isn’t it fantastic having a clean house without having had to do it yourself? :)

      Must get back on WOMO to see what else I could find that someone else can do – I love that it is freeing my time to do things I enjoy!

  • http://www.madwoman.com.au Melina Schamroth

    Thanks so much everyone for all your great comments in response to this blog post!