The Brothers that just do Gutters are a big believer in using review services to represent a crowd-funded opinion of our business. It is the reason we have teamed up with many service review sites like Guild Quality and Angie’s List. Creating marketing material declaring titles and self-professed claims can be a bit narcissistic and supplies no effort to manage that image in the marketplace. Advertising is a persuasive means to communicate but will not trump the lack of effort to manage the public image in reviews. Our aim is to allow both the communication and portrayal of our business on these service review sites to create a profile image of who we are and how we function. This is a scary place for a lot of businesses.
In today’s arena of marketplace competition, an enterprise can no longer be satisfied with just trying to hide from scathing reviews. In days past, journalists and public interest groups would scour the marketplace to conduct reviews on an unbiased basis. With the social media soap boxes of today, it would be nearly impossible for a business to hide from the exposure of reviews. It is the reason we have been working to maintain our profiles across the web and fund the attention through the resource of time and effort.
We recently made changes to our website to “cure” some problems associated with one of our review service partners. The pages were in violation of some marketing standards the company requires businesses to follow. As we researched the standards, a question formed in the distance – are these review sites worth the effort? Next thing we know, other questions began to gain life. Questions like:
- What is the best review sites available?
- What would our choice be if we were to tell people which site we like best?
- Do people have a preference in review sites?
As we dug into the first question, we found some very thought-stirring ideas. No matter which site a person might prefer, it appears there will always be a caveat to the legitimacy of the site. And so we thought we would put the comparisons together and see if there is a good reason to choose just one.
An article from www.forbes.com details why Angie’s List was singled out in a Consumer Reports review determining Angie’s List practices as being a detriment to their own good. Angie’s List requires users to purchase access to see reviews. This is to fund Angie’s List and keep businesses from having a say with their pocketbook. Consumer Reports points out the fact that 70% of their funding comes from advertising that business partners pay to have on the site. To CR, this means the site is not truly unbiased. Along the way, they mention common mainstays like BBB and yelp. They also analyze other review services and give their opinion on their favorite.
The Brothers do not participate in the local NY chapter of BBB. The Better Business Bureau is more of a complaint service rather than a review service and so we really don’t have a vested interest in paying to be a participant. For that reason alone, we really can’t consider them a part of the crowd-funding opinion boxes like Yelp, Google+, Local Porch, Kudzu, Consumer’s Checkbook, Angie’s List and Guild Quality. As we look at two comparison articles – this one from Forbes and another one from Business Time – we see that there are varying differences in opinions even among editorials comparing the same article.
Although Google+ makes their reviews personalized, most consumers don’t care if the review has their name. For the Brothers that just do Gutters, we like Guild Quality and the reasons are clear. It represents the best opportunity to offer the dynamic review of our service and not just a static text box. We choose questions in areas of service defining our business model the best. It is in the review of those questions that we find value in determining our success in the service we provide. If we are falling short in the provision of information at the start, then we can tell from asking that question. Having those questions is a way to remind the customer or client of all the areas to consider and not just the final job. With that kind of transparency, it is easy to find the areas that need fixed. Otherwise, we might be trying to fix the wrong areas of our business.
It seems that most people use more than one review site to gather their information. That is generally a good idea. We participate in Angie’s List and care adamantly about our status on their site. The same concerns that CR brought up are also our own concerns as well but we see more than just that one concern. Buying into a review service is the start of a process of thinking. This process creates a feel as though a person is buying into a club that gives them membership benefits. Unfortunately, Angie’s List and business enterprises are not partnered in a membership club of any kind. In fact, Angie’s List allows businesses to be reviewed there that haven’t even acknowledged participation – not very club like at all. A consumer is hardly buying a membership – they are just buying privately shared information. Typically, that will cause reviews on that site to have a much more critical element.
Take a spin around our site and visit our new testimonial page. We have a service map on the page showing reviews in your local area. As usual, call us at 845-223-6111 or contact us for a quote of information.