I was recently searching for a pool management company to take care of weekly pool cleanings on two rent houses in Austin and San Antonio. Naturally I assumed I would be hiring two different companies, because most pool businesses are local to the city. I mean I certainly can’t think of a brand name in the pool service industry. However I discovered Blue Science which services Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio, so I proceeded to do some customer footprinting and check their history. In doing so I reminded myself how it’s wise to manage review expectations depending on the site you are reading from. For example, Yelp reviewers are notoriously negative towards local service businesses. Yelpers are looking for enchanting restaurant experiences to detail to the world and they forget that a home services company can’t meet them in that ethereal space. A pool company for example, deserves a five star review if they show up, do the job, and clean up before they leave; because most can’t even do that. Anyway, here are some thoughts on Blue Science reviews from different sources.
Yahoo: Generally more positive sentiments, so don’t become too assured by a five star rating, but read for details to understand the customer service.
Google Places: Expect far less reviews than seen on Yahoo do to more strict filtering and the annoyance of needing to join Google Plus to contribute one. Beware of narrow, short one-star reviews as it is often a competitor of the company trying to drop damage where they know it will be most visible – Google Search and Google Maps.
Kudzu: Good mix of positive/negative reviewers, but low traffic so don’t read too much into a situation where a company has only one poor review or one great review.
Zillow: These listings came up in my research for Blue Science but I don’t see Zillow being a popular review source, especially for non-real estate companies. However it does help to show that they are a legit company because Zillow doesn’t allow just anyone to list on their directory.
Judy’s Book: Similar to Kudzu but with more traffic, so expect more reviews to both extremes.
So after this bit of due diligence I felt comfortable giving Blue Science a shot and they gave me reasonable quotes for both the Austin and San Antonio rent houses. They are currently servicing the homes weekly!