Low-Tech Customer Feedback



A sign displayed at a local Albertsons soliciting feedback.

We recently got a grin from a sign displayed at a local Albertsons asking patrons to give their feedback.  It looked very low-tech; almost like an elementary school science fair poster.  Perhaps that was intentional, but hey, it did get our attention.  However, they did get one thing right; feedback from customers is invaluable.

Both small and large business owners alike recognize the value of collecting feedback from their customers.

Without this feedback, businesses would not be able to evolve into the best versions of themselves, a version that is not only fulfilling but exceeding their clients’ expectations.

That being said, there are a multitude of ways of collecting this feedback. Be it by simply asking them in person, asking them to fill out a piece of paper with a few questions, or now having the ability to ask them to go online to leave their feedback with you.

But it’s not enough to just gather their feedback for internal use. You must now also take into consideration the prevalence of online reviews sites such as Yelp and Google+.

Review sites like this now pose another obstacle: maintaining your online reputation.

Studies show that online reviews can have a significant impact on the amount of business comes through the door.

While some of the more tried and true fashions of collecting feedback (in person, paper, etc) have proven to be successful to an extent, these methods are limited in the scope of what they can do.

Take, for example, the paper approach. You have all these slips of paper with some solid feedback from customers, but how do you track the data? Do you then have to have a person manually input these into an Excel spreadsheet and manually generate charts to make sense of the data?

How about the current survey options? If you are already online and have the capability to collect feedback online, that’s great. However, that is only covering the feedback collection process; you still have to consider monitoring your online reputation on  review sites like Yelp and Google+.

So what is the solution?

ReviewInc provides both of these capabilities. You can privately collect feedback that you can use internally. And the private feedback you collect that happens to be positive, you can then encourage those same people to share their glowing reviews of your business to review sites such as Yelp and Google+. Additionally, you can monitor your reputation across several different review sites simultaneously without having to go through the hassle of visiting each review site individually.

Interested? Give us a call at 1-877-9REVIEWS for a demo today!

STUDY: 86% of Consumers Willing to Pay More for a Service Provider With Higher Ratings and Reviews

A recent survey comprised of 1,239 random adults in the United States was conducted to determine the influence of online reviews in the selection process of residential services, and here’s what was found:

– A heaping 86% stated they were willing to pay more for a service provider that had higher ratings and reviews.

– The amount of people claiming to find online reviews ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ valuable when evaluating residential service providers clocked in at 68%.

– Quality of service and cost topped the list of important details outlined in online reviews for respondents at 87% and 78%, respectively.

– As much as 56% of respondents reported using online resources to find their most recent residential service provider.

– Still, a large majority (74%) regularly consult Yelp in the selection process of a residential service provider.


Willingness to Pay More for Better Reviews

Willingness to Pay More for Providers with Positive Reviews

Contrary to the popular belief that many will pick the cheapest option, one of the most compelling findings of this survey was that the overwhelming majority (86%) reported being willing to pay more for a service provider that had more positive reviews.

“Consumers highly value their dollars spent, and are typically willing to pay a higher price for what they believe is a better service or product,” explains Chris Sullens, CEO of Marthon Data Systems.


High Level of Value Placed in Online Reviews

Value of Reviews in Evaluating Residential Service Provider

As many of us are well aware, there are several different ways to go about searching for a residential service provider. One of them being the trusty ol’ Yellow Pages.

But with the advent of the world wide web, it is becoming clearer than ever that online reviews are fairly prevalent in purchasing decisions, as evidenced by this study.

You’ll see that nearly half of respondents considered them ‘Very valuable’ and only 1% considered them ‘Not at all valuable’.

“Putting an emphasis on customer relationships can certainly help,” says Sullens. “If a business consistently provides high-quality services, competitive pricing and quote accuracy, positive word-of-mouth from satisfied customers will come easily.”


Yelp Still the Top Performer in Most Used Online Reviews Sites

Most Used Online Reviews Sites

Ah, Yelp. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it.

When the Google search results data from the study on plumbers in the top 30 U.S. cities was broken down, Yelp still dominated at 43%.

“People are often surprised to hear that, of the 67 million reviews on Yelp (as of Q3 2014), only 20 percent of the reviewed businesses on Yelp are restaurants, and 11 percent of the reviewed businesses are in the home and local services category,” says Morgan Remmers, manager of local business outreach at Yelp.

Overall, this study shows that online reviews continue to be a strong influence in purchasing decisions. A reputation management tool such as ReviewInc could certainly help to boost your awareness of how your online reputation is faring online. Contact us at 1-877-9REVIEWS to set up a demo.

This study was conducted by Software Advice.  For full report, please contact us at support@reviewinc.com.

Umami Burger – Turning Collecting Feedback Social

The Manly Burger - Umami Burger, San Francisco

The Manly Burger

A popular burger chain, Umami Burger, has taken collecting feedback and turned it into a social activity. Umami token After your meal, you are given a token like the one pictured here.

Then, you are instructed to insert the token into a jar by the entrance of the restaurant to describe your dining experience. Your choices are: “I’ve been Umamified!” (positive), “About Average” (neutral), and “We’ll do Better” (negative). This follows the “happy, okay, sad” format that many of us are already very familiar with.

The question becomes: how accurate can this feedback Umami jarstruly be? Are customers pressured to put the token in the “I’ve been Umamified!” jar for fear of how they are perceived by the servers passing about, or even the people waiting in line to be seated?

Further, how are they measuring this feedback? Is there a certain amount of tokens per jar that needs to be hit before warranting a valid measurement?

What happens if people have small children with them that want to be the ones to insert the tokens into one of the jars? What if the child inserts it into the wrong jar and the parent decides to just leave it in that jar instead of reaching in to fish it out and put it into the jar that truly reflects their experience?

For the “We’ll do Better” jar, there are small cards that say, “Red Jar?!? tell us why”. What if someone puts their token in the red jar, but fails to fill out the form? How then do they follow up with them?

Although a very clever concept, it is doubtful that this may be the most effective way to gather feedback from your customers.

An electronic feedback system with automated alerts will measure results and provide up-to-the-minute information – even across several business locations.  With a highly customizable experience, clever graphics and concepts, you may not achieve the same novelty as “tokens in jars”, but you’ll certainly benefit from more accuracy.

Combining a concept like this with a reviews management service such as ReviewInc could certainly help to really collect and measure the feedback you receive from your customers. Not only that, but may improve upon your online reputation and presence in the long run.

Contact us at support@reviewinc.com or 877 9REVIEW for a demo today!

TripAdvisor Fined $600,000


43272405_sRecently, TripAdvisor was fined a cool $600,000 for failing to prevent fake reviews.

Italy’s antitrust authority states that TripAdvisor failed to implement mechanisms that would prohibit false reviews from being posted, while still touting their content as “authentic and genuine”.

The Federalberghi federation of hoteliers were largely in favor of the decision due to the fair amount of false reviews being posted throughout the site.

The antitrust authority has given TripAdvisor up to 90 days to find a solution in order to remedy the situation.

In a statement, TripAdvisor said they would appeal the findings and that they stood by their processes which are inclusive of a team that detects fraud as well as automated tools and algorithms which are “extremely effective in protecting consumers from the small minority of people who try to cheat our system.”

This is not the first time that TripAdvisor has come under fire for the way their mechanisms work. A UK regulator previously implored TripAdvisor to stop claiming that the reviews on its British site were written by independent travelers, in essence, insinuating their reliability.

“We firmly believe that TripAdvisor is a force for good – both for consumers and the hospitality industry,’ they stated.

According to TripAdvisor’s FAQ, they have a team of moderators that examine questionable reviews.  The same FAQ states:  “TripAdvisor has millions of reviews and more than one million hotels, restaurants and attractions; therefore, it would be impractical for us to fact check the details of reviews.”

To aid their process, TripAdvisor employs an fraud detection algorithm that was developed based on techniques that were developed to contend against credit card and insurance fraud. This system checks every one of the 60 reviews posted every minute by visitors, analyzing dozens of characteristics of each review to determine whether or not someone is trying to manipulate TripAdvisor.

There are over 200 million reviews and more that 890,000 hotels on TripAdvisor’s site.

The takeaway is that every business should ensure the integrity of their reputation by getting real reviews from real customers. One of the ways to do that is to implement a system just like ReviewInc that will aid in the process of doing that. Contact us at 877-9REVIEW for a demo today!

Mystery Woman – The Most Powerful Reviewer on Amazon?

Mystery Woman Amazon Reviewer

With 2,875 reviews under her belt and #1 reviewer ranking, Ali Julia* very well could be.

Although Julia refused an interview, one can garner more than enough just by her reviews alone.

Everything from lip gloss to a device called the “Long Reach Comfort Wipe” that aids in wiping duties while in the washroom, Julia has reviewed it all. (Though she does seem to have an affinity for battery chargers.)

29712413_sIn a profile conducted by The Boston Globe, “And in [the reviews], she has revealed much about herself and her tastes. But she remains, even to the other top reviewers, something of an enigma. Her bio on Amazon.com is light on details, other than that she lives in Boston and is an engineer.”

Julia represents the epitome of the strange alternate universe that is online product reviews.

Mandy Payne, who is ranked #10 on Amazon, says, “It’s a weird, creepy subculture. I get hate mail. I’ve had death threats. But then I also have fans who seem to follow everything I do. It’s bizarre.”

These days, “power reviewers” such as Julia and Payne play a very significant role in the success of a business or product. That’s why businesses are increasingly motivated to campaign for more reviews.  (ReviewInc provides services and support to do just that. Contact us for details.) So much so that people like her are receiving free products daily from businesses hoping to gain some positive feedback.

Each day, Payne arrives home to anywhere from 15-30 boxes on her doorstep, begging for reviews. One company even sent her a treadmill. However most often, she gets a slew of whatever item is popular at the time. She claims that she once had so many Bluetooth speakers that she was able to give them out at Halloween in lieu of candy. (Amazon forbids the resale of such free items.)

Not unlike the elderly woman whose review of Applebee’s went viral in 2012, Julia’s reviews are no-nonsense and to the point.

In an age of when a banana slicer can receive over 5,000 reviews, many of which are satirical in nature, it is refreshing to see that the traditional approach is still lauded as valuable.

*May or may not be her real name.