Starting an online dating/community project is always a risk. You never know for sure whether your niche or marketing strategy will be 100% successful. You cannot be absolutely sure that your expenses will be covered by site membership fees and ad spot income. These all are fair risks everyone has to take while starting their own venture.
At the same time there are risks that can be easily minimized. For example, a risk related to choosing the right dating software. Having read tons of horrifying stories about dating script providers selling malfunctioning product, people get extremely cautious about buying something they can’t touch and physically return to a shop. So how can one secure himself from being fooled while purchasing a dating software solution?
The first idea that comes to mind is to search for feedback and reviews of the company customers on the Internet. That would be a great source of impartial opinions… if at least a half of them were impartial. The problem is that tough competition in community software market often results in black PR practices aimed at slandering successful companies. Unfortunately, SkaDate Dating Software Company faced a wave of black PR not so long ago. We received numerous inquiries from discouraged and puzzled potential customers asking us to comment on all those questionable SkaDate scam reviews. That gave us some hard time, but good news is that the worst part is now behind.
The conclusion is that basically you can’t trust everything that’s written on the net. I stumbled upon an interesting comment at one of the popular IT forums: “My advice: be weary of the worst and best reviews out on the web. The worst ones are written by competing product vendors and the best ones are written by the product vendors themselves”. This rule is true for most cases. Try to find the real reviews: they are usually moderate in tone, contain facts (detailed description of bugs and problems), the real customer’s name, and (the best proof) the ‘sufferer’ web site URL.
It is reasonable to pay attention to how the dating script vendor company responds to negative comments, especially to those that seem real. If the reps are rude, use abusive language, and end up blaming the customer for all the listed problems – you can be sure that after becoming a client you will be treated accordingly. If the company shows respect towards customers despite the negative review tone, replies to complaints in details, describes what measures are taken for customer satisfaction – it deserves some trust credit. If you can’t find any official feedback on negative reviews at all, the company probably doesn’t care for its reputation. Either because they are too busy developing a perfect bug-free product, or because they are not planning to stay in the market for long.
Let me finish the Internet reviews part by touching upon the community/dating software review sites. Sad truth is that many of them are affiliated. If you did some research, you might have noticed that ‘objective’ and ‘impartial’ reviews on this kind of sites aim at nothing more than praising one dating script while railing against the rest. A while ago we received a letter to our company address with the following content (for ethical reasons, we are not revealing the review web site and the software company specified in the letter):
are created by xxx-yyy.com.We were able to verify this by sending an email to
xxx.com and got an IP address that was the same IP
address as the sales email we got from xxx-yyy.com.
Just an FYI… “
We have to admit that looks like truth. So, again, stay vigilant, and trust your common sense only.
I will continue with the tips for minimizing the risk of picking the wrong platform for your online project in forthcoming articles.
And for now, you can share your thoughts and opinions about choosing the right community/dating script – your experience is important, and can save somebody time, trouble and money.