Reviewing the Online Review Sites. How do they stack up?

Reviewing the online review systems. The Winners are clear

Amid the furor of reports of blackmail, outright revenge being taken on companies that dare to flout public opinion, and other issues that are seemingly unrelated to the act of writing an online review, a new review system brings solutions to what can be a major public relations battle for businesses.

There are dozens of online review systems available for businesses and consumers to use, but some produce more favorable results for businesses than others.

A modern day Trojan horse

Take Trojan Review for example. Trojan offers an after-sales review service for customers. Once they’ve made their order and paid the business, they get an automatic email (or they can opt to use the QR-code for their mobile) that invites them to leave a review.

They’re asked one question: are they happy or sad about their service? Those that choose ‘happy’ are asked to pick either Yelp or Google, and are directed to the relevant page on one of those sites.

Those that choose ‘sad’ are directed to an inline email that goes directly to the company’s customer service.

This way, Trojan helps businesses avoid public negative reviews, and gives staff a chance to deal with the issue right away. In addition, the positive reviews help to push up the ratings on Yelp and Google. The ethics may be a little skewed, but it’s all perfectly legal.

Fee, fo, fie, fum

Feefo is another after-sales approach, asking customers to rate the service or product in a few words. It doesn’t edit the reviews, and both positive and negative reports end up on Google. However, because Feefo ensures that the reviews are picked up right away by the business, owners have a fast opportunity to respond in an open-minded, professional way.

Google favors Feefo quite significantly, ensuring that sites with the review service embedded get a better page rank than those that don’t.

Feefo isn’t iTrueReview’s direct competitor in one sense, because it is entirely online, whereas iTrueReview’s focus is on local, real life shops and facilities. However, it gets a mention here because it corners a large part of the online retail market, giving it significance in the fight to be the best online review system.

Traditional, customer-led review sites: The Big Boys…Yelp, Google, Trip Advisor

These are the big boys, the ones the entire customer-base knows about. We’re talking Google, TripAdvisor, and Yelp as the Big Three, although there are a few more that might drop into this mix.

They’re the go-to for rave reviews about hardly-known cafés and one of the most public places possible for a consumer to sound off about a bad experience.

Unfortunately, they’re also wide-open to abuse by both consumers and businesses and so these companies have an ongoing battle to prove their reviews are trustworthy, accurate, and fair

It appears to be a losing battle at the moment, judging by the influx of fraudulent reviews, as proven by situations such as the Big Earl’s Bait House fiasco, where ‘reviewers’ pretended online that the eatery was gay-friendly (when in fact it was anything but).

The recent Google Glass performance precipitated a fight between reviewers – those who were pro-Google Glass wrote disparaging ‘reviews’ about the restaurant that turned away a wearer of the electronic recording device. Those who were pro-the-right-to-privacy, wrote 5-star reviews in response

While newsworthy and amusing, both these incidents highlight a huge failure on both Yelp and Google to sift through fraudulent reviews and uncover the truth. When incidents like this are taking place almost on a weekly basis, it doesn’t matter how often the review sites claim to be preventing review abuse; the fact is that they aren’t anywhere close.

The restaurant that suffered the Google Glass incident started out with 26 reviews. By the end of the following week, they had 390 reviews and climbing. That’s almost 400 fraudulent reviews that made it through the so-called filters within 7 days, just on Google.

So is the answer to hone the existing systems until they serve both consumers and businesses in the way both parties would prefer? Is that even possible? Surely, in making one group happy, the other group will be less so?

iTrueReview; The little guy with a new KICK

iTrueReview delivers the only On the SPOT Point of Sale reviews system on the market. Customers are handed a tablet to place their review right then and there, while they’re waiting for their payment to go through. Their ratings are immediately uploaded in real time for the management to see. They’re up before the customer’s left the building; a true depiction of the business being reviewed

All reviews are verified and posted across the internet on several sites, which improves the business’ coverage, and powers consumers with an honest assessment of the business. It also means business managers and owners can respond right away to reported problems.

Businesses using iTrueReview have reported as much as 30% increase in sales revenue, and it seems that it has also had a more unexpected effect on Yelp and Google ratings. Customers who leave a review using iTrueReview are apparently not then leaving further reviews on the big traditional sites; obviously most people think they only need to air their opinions once. This has served iTrueReview well, strengthening the position of its clients and loosening its competitors’ hold on the review industry.

iTrueReview is in a tough but positive position against its competitors. With its emphasis on fairness and honesty, and its systems geared up to deliver those two outcomes, it can’t fail to lose in the long run.

You make the decision. We think its clear!

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