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Should You Trust Online Reviews?

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In India – and across the world more broadly – online shopping has become incredibly important. In addition to this, you also have to consider that online gaming has also become a huge factor in society. This raises a question: should you trust online reviews?

Online reviews have been around since the dawn of the internet. Google is host to literally billions – yep, billions – of reviews. You could spend 100 lifetimes counting all of the reviews on Google, and you still wouldn’t even get close to finishing them!

However, over the years, online reviews have gained a funny reputation. Some people believe that they are incredibly trustworthy, while others ignore them completely, adopting the mindset that the opinion of buyers can’t be trusted.

Luckily, this guide is here to explain the pros and cons of online reviews for you.

Pros of Online Reviews

Online reviews are great when you know how to use them to your advantage.

Gain Insight into the Customer’s Mind

First of all, online reviews give you unfiltered insight into the customer’s mind. This is great, as it means companies can have no involvement in the affair (no involvement means no bias!).

For example, let’s think about online casinos. Over recent years, online casinos have become a huge hit on the internet. However, there are hundreds of different online casinos to choose from, which is why reviews are so important. Without reviews, players simply wouldn’t be able to distinguish which online casinos are good and which are bad. To understand this more, take a look at Indian online casino reviews.

As the old saying goes, “the customer is always right”. Sure, this isn’t always true, but customers are certainly worth listening to – especially when there seems to be a trend amongst their reviews.

Learn Valuable Information

Customer reviews can also help you to learn valuable information – information that would otherwise not be provided to you by the company you’ve purchased goods from.

This information could be anything, such as how good the customer service is. No company on the planet of any size is going to publicly admit that they have poor customer service. This is why it’s essential to look at online customer reviews, as they’re one of the only sources you have to find an answer to this.

After reading the reviews of your chosen company, you will quickly get to uncover the information you’ve been looking for, such as the customer service standards. If the overwhelming majority of the reviews say that the customer service surpassed their expectations, then you have nothing at all to worry about!

Whatever you’re looking for – whether it’s information on a particular product or how long it takes for products to be returned by post – customer reviews are usually a lifesaver.

Prepare Your Expectations

Because online reviews are usually honest and unfiltered, they allow you to prepare your expectations before buying a product.

For example, you might be looking to buy a PlayStation 5. The online reviews state that everything is great about the PS5 except one thing – you can’t use Bluetooth earphones with it unless they’re made by Sony. After reading this, you can adjust your expectations accordingly, as you now know that you won’t be able to use your usual Bluetooth headphones.

Considerations of Online Reviews

In life, nothing is perfect, and this is certainly true about online reviews. Now, let’s examine the cons of online reviews and the things that you need to be aware of.

Negative Review Bombing

In today’s world, where customers and fans have all the power, it’s possible for them to cause a storm online by reviewing bombing products that they don’t like. This is done intentionally to negatively harm the public image of the product or service in question!

Negative review bombing has, unfortunately, become common over recent years, especially when it comes to video games and movies. The new Obi-Wan Kenobi series released on Disney Plus has fallen victim to this, with thousands of fans spamming negative reviews of it online.

With this in mind, you must always be aware of negative review bombing when browsing the internet. Usually, you can spot this by the quality of the reviews and the star ratings. If there are lots of 1-star reviews followed by no in-depth, qualified reviews, then it’s a strong indicator that some form of review bombing is going on.

Similarly, companies can do the opposite of this: positive review bombing. This is when they pay to set up bots to post positive online reviews about them, which then leads to an improved brand reputation. For example, a video game company might set up a bot system that posts positive reviews about them at random points in the week. To identify this, you can click on the profile of the reviewer to see if they have posted reviews elsewhere. If not, it’s an indicator that the profile belongs to a bot (somebody who isn’t a real person).

The Bending of Truth

The reality is that unhappy customers make more noise than happy customers – it’s a fact.

So, when a customer is unhappy, even if it’s about a trivial matter, they might decide to kick up a fuss online and ‘bend the truth’ in the process. Usually, this is so that they can get what they want, which could be a refund or a free voucher to spend as compensation.

When reading online reviews, make sure to check for evidence of what the customer is saying. If they appear overly emotional and haven’t backed up their claims, then it’s highly likely that they might be bending the truth on purpose. However, if what they’re saying is qualified (e.g., through photo evidence or a detailed account of events), then you can likely take their word for it!

Summary

In summary, online reviews can be trusted – but you sometimes have to take them with a pinch of salt.

Make sure to remember the points discussed above so that you can quickly identify reviews that might not be genuine. In the long run, this will help you a lot.

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Future-Proof Skills for Structural Engineers

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Structural engineers play a vital role in building infrastructure projects for the public as well as the private sector. These engineers oversee the construction process of buildings, roads, dams, tunnels, highways and other projects related to infrastructure. In today’s world of high competition, structural or civil engineers who possess the proper education, training and expertise can get multiple opportunities and career options. These engineers having expertise in their field, use a wide range of knowledge and skills to grow and promote their professional careers in the public and private sectors. This article comprehensively describes the future-proof skills that structural engineers must possess to pursue a successful career in the future.

Future-Proof Skills for Structural Engineers

A brief detail of the skills that are valuable for structural engineers in the future is provided below.

1. Project Management Skills

Structural engineers are leaders on any project related to construction and infrastructure, so they must have the ability to supervise a project right from the beginning to the finish. They have to work with different types of requirements and standards, deal with different types of clients, and work with different workers and professionals. The engineers are a center for the design and management of any infrastructure project. When you are working as a civil engineer, you have to work within a fixed budget and meet the project’s deadline as well. Besides this, the engineer must ensure the quality of the project. All these responsibilities cannot be fulfilled without possessing excellent project management skills.  

2. Leadership Skills

Structural or civil engineers are required to work with diverse teams, including investors, contractors, architects, site engineers and other engineers, project managers, suppliers, trainees, and workers. If you are leading a large team as a structural engineer, it is good for the project but it also requires some skills so that all members feel informed, motivated and commended for their role. Besides this, leadership skills are also needed to provide direction and feedback to other team members in an effective and constructive manner.

3. Communication Skills

Besides many other skills, good communication skills are the most important skill that a structural or civil engineer must possess. The engineers have to speak with people who are from diverse sectors and backgrounds. They are required to explain and elaborate on complex technical ideas and issues so that a common person can understand. Being a structural engineer, you must deliver your ideas and suggestions in a clear, concise way that is easy to understand so that all stakeholders can follow you in a given project. Leaving vagueness in your ideas about a project may bring delays and hurdles in the near future. In addition to this, structural engineers must have good listening skills for a better understanding of the needs and concerns of co-workers.

Structural engineers must have the ability to deliver written reports, plans, presentations, and correspondence to a variety of audiences in a clear and concise way. The audiences include people from diverse backgrounds and professions such as architects, investors, site engineers, urban planners, regional planners, technicians, and traders. For performing other responsibilities, the engineers need to communicate with government officials, citizens, and other people who do not have technical knowledge and background in engineering and technology.

4. Finding Errors and Omissions

Structural engineers can avoid many types of errors in projects by analyzing and evaluating the work of others. According to the report of Mcgraw Hill Construction, errors and omissions are the main concerns for business owners for management of uncertainty and expectations in building design and construction. According to a survey, 80 percent of the owners responded that additional work and costs in a construction project are unavoidable if there are errors and omissions in the project. These problems are particularly faced by engineers in the design and construction of bridges. It requires years of experience to find errors and shortcomings in the project and suggest cost-optimized solutions to problems to stakeholders.

5. Time Management Skills

If you are a structural or civil engineer, it is very important for you to remember that time never waits for anyone. You must work according to the deadline and deliver the project when it is required. The schedule is taken into deep consideration in any construction or civil engineering project, and is not taken lightly. Delays in the construction project have damaging effects on different construction stages such as the construction plan, and it can significantly damage your company’s reputation. Therefore, you must allocate your time effectively and efficiently so that all the steps in the construction project meet the deadline and quality requirements within the given budget.

6. Problem-solving Skills

As civil engineers work to resolve issues and problems faced by society, so they must possess outstanding problem-solving skills. The engineers work on complex projects and are engaged in every step, from planning and design to implementation. They must be ready to deliver creative, efficient, safe and cost-effective solution of any technical and engineering problem related to design and implementation of ideas.

7. Organizational Skills

Order is an essential element during the design and implementation process of any civil engineering project. Structural engineers must be able to prepare the plans and save the plans physically and digitally. The engineers must maintain the drawings and designs of projects, keep the records of costs and many other things. They must monitor the supply of materials and other items to avoid shortages on regular basis. To achieve all this, the engineers should have good organizational skills.

8. Experience in Advanced Software Tools

This is the era of IT and computers. So structural engineers must be familiar with commonly used engineering tools that assist them in the design, analysis, and planning. The engineers must be proficient in AutoCAD, SketchUp, MS Office, Primavera P6, MS Project, Autodesk Maya, and AutoCAD Civil 3D. These tools help the engineers check designs according to different international design codes. These tools provide graphical outputs which can be printed in the reports, and this makes reports more convincing and presentable to the clients.

9. Programming Skills

Code is extremely powerful and it helps structural engineers to replicate the same task repeatedly with 100 percent reliability. It becomes very useful for structural engineers if they combine their technical engineering knowledge and skills with programming. With API technology such as SkyCiv API increasingly being incorporated into structural engineering, it becomes the need of the hour for a structural engineer to learn programming. Most of companies want to hire structural engineers with programming skills but very few graduates can write code. If you are a structural engineer and passionate to learn programming, you can start with Python, C++, and VBA and then move forward to learn other languages.

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Entrepreneur

How to Run a Better Business in 2022

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If you’re trying to streamline your business success, you likely need a good set of skills in your business toolkit to continue thriving as you desire. Thankfully, there are many ways to improve your business, and we’ve got the inside scoop on these tips and tricks for 2022! It doesn’t matter if you’re starting from scratch or trying to improve last year’s outcomes, as these suggestions are applicable wherever you are with improving your business. Let’s get started.

Get a Good Team

Take some time to round up the right team members for the job. You’ll want people who have the skills and talents you need to succeed in your line of work. Likewise, you’ll also need to run background checks on all potential candidates so you can ensure you’re hiring those you can trust.

Creating a team you truly feel you can count on takes time. Don’t rush this critical part of the hiring process. In the end, you’ll have a supportive staff ready to work! Plus, when it comes time to consider employee retention strategies, you’re already on track for success.

Set Clear Goals

Getting your business thriving is all about setting clear goals. Set intentions with your staff every quarter so that everyone will stay on the same page regarding what will need to be accomplished on a daily bases. Don’t let anything stand in the way of your productivity. Consider popular goal-setting frameworks like OKR goals and SMART goals to get started managing your business.

There are many different goal templates and formats to consider. See what works for you and your staff. Remember to consider both short-term and long-term goals and create goals that fill the big picture and the details. All these steps will give you the foundation you need to get you where you want to go with running a better business this year.

Encourage Team Activities

Building a strong workplace culture is critical to the well-being of your staff as well as the functioning of your business. You want to ensure that your workplace is positive and that everyone feels comfortable and included. Hold friendly competitions like employee of the month, raffles, and group goals.

Assign different groups to work on tasks with rewards such as free lunch or taking everyone out for karaoke. You might also encourage bonding activities or icebreakers by playing charades or Scattergories during the end of work meetings or at work parties. Any way you can include some time to get to know one another as team members will be beneficial for your company’s flow and culture.

Continue Your Learning

You can go the extra mile by continuing your learning as a business leader through online education courses, workshops, seminars, and more. Always be on the lookout for changing work styles and technology updates you should be aware of.

Embrace these positive changes to continue running your business optimally. You might even consider returning to school to get additional accreditations and apply these new insights to your business. Getting ahead of new strategies will help ensure that your business stays relevant and can thrive for longer. As new business strategies and technologies develop, you can stay ahead of the competition by learning about these innovations earlier on.

The Bottom Line

Running your business better in 2022 is about picking up the pace and remembering that great things are built by teams. Consider these suggestions, and don’t settle for less than you desire for your business. All your goals are possible with the right attitude, patience, and skill sets. Make this year your year for business.

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Entrepreneur

What Soft Skills Do Budding Entrepreneurs Need to Make It?

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Being gifted at the technical or specialist aspects of your job will only take you so far these days. As reported in Monster’s The Future of Work 2021: Global Hiring Outlook, the qualities employers are most seeking are the so-called ‘soft skills’. These include the ability to collaborate, think critically, persevere, manage their time, and communicate. Dependability—being someone the company can count on—also ranks highly on the list. If you are a budding entrepreneur, how can you display these skills and be the leader your team needs to achieve ambitious goals?

Building Communication Skills

If you want to shine in the business sphere, you will need to actively assess and (if necessary) improve your communication skills. Good communication not only involves using the right verbal and body language, but also practicing active listening techniques. These skills can be honed by undertaking a communication and body language course, many of which are offered online. These courses teach students the correct posture and gestures to adopt when you are discussing a matter with others. For instance, your hands should be in an open position, your arms should remain at your sides, and your body should be turned towards the person. Saying phrases like “I see,” or “Yes, I understand,” indicates empathy and a genuine interest in the person speaking. Good communication also extends to receiving and giving feedback. Professionally-led feedback courses will help you receive objective feedback from staff, so you know which areas you need to work on.

Harnessing the Talents of Your Team

As stated by Tommy Mello A1 Garage owner, top leaders expect – they don’t inspect. Although your business may be new, if you have hired staff, don’t fall into the mistake of micromanaging them. Hire good talent and let them shine; don’t ask them if they’ve answered every email or taken care of every order if you know they are diligent and customer-focused. To support your team, ensure they have detailed instructions (written and if possible on video) on how to carry out their role. Make yourself available via phone or in person when they need a query answered and send them friendly Looms (video messages) to explain any areas of confusion (instead of always contacting them in written form). Schedule regular meetings, so you can discuss the progress of projects, as well as any obstacles or setbacks. Have progress checks in place, relying on project management software, so you can easily check the respective stages of different projects.

Being Flexible

Projects may run into stumbling blocks that necessitate a good ‘Plan B’. As a leader, you should be able to adapt to new or changing demands, so you can find another way of reaching or even slightly shifting your goal. Being flexible involves much more than being a strategic thinker, however. It also involves offering your employees the chance to embrace a flextime working schedule or one that enables them to have a good work-life balance. So long as the progress of projects is steady, there is no need to make rigid demands on employees. Research has shown that millennials and younger generations prioritize flexibility when it comes to finding a company to hitch their wagon onto.

If you want to be a great leader, start working on your soft skills from the word go. Although there is a myriad of skills to hone, three of the most important are communication, delegation, and flexibility. You should also set a good example through your diligence and passion for providing quality work to your clients.

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