Evaluating online marketing services is overwhelming these days. Companies fill their products with tons of features described with confusing industry jargon making the decision process dizzying.
But, don’t worry. We will help you cut through all that noise. We are going to make evaluating a reputation marketing service super easy for you.
Are You Getting Feedback or Reviews?
There is a big difference between getting feedback and getting reviews.
Feedback is well, feedback from your customers, clients, or patients. This is typically something collected with a survey about their experience. This will often be visible on the reputation marketing service’s hosted website and controlled by you.
A review is well, a review that is posted online by someone evaluating your business on a review site like Yelp, Google, Houzz, Angie’s List, Health Grades, etc. It’s different from feedback because a review is actually posted on a legitimate 3rd party website and can’t be manipulated in anyway by you.
And FYI, no review site is partnered with any reputation marketing firm…if the review site was, it would lose all credibility and cease to be a place for unbiased reviews. That’s not in a review site’s best interest. So don’t believe any company that says they are partnered with a review site.
How Does the System Work?
Most companies will have you believe you are getting online reviews, but in reality they are really just getting you feedback they make visible online on a site that they control and host.
So be sure to ask them, how exactly does their system work to build your reputation?
You will hear one of 3 options really:
- Email is sent or a tablet is used to ask for feedback.
- Email is sent to ask for a review.
- Email is sent to ask for feedback which intelligently routes them to either encourage them to leave a review publicly online or collects more data for internal use only.
Now this email will either ask for feedback (like scenario 1 & 3) or for a review (like in scenario 2).
Scenario 1 – Feedback, But No Reviews
In scenario 1, the feedback is collected and sent to the business owner for evaluation. This feedback is then displayed on your website or their self-hosted website. It doesn’t make it to an actual review site. Which means it does absolutely nothing for building, growing, or altering your reputation in a positive way.
In rare instances, they will syndicate the review to a review site. But, this is not what it sounds like. For example, Demandforce makes this claim but all they do is install an App on your Facebook page to display the feedback they have collected. The feedback they “syndicate” is not real Facebook reviews and won’t impact your star rating on Facebook.
Scenario 2 – Reviews, But No Control
In scenario 2, the email sent out requests your customer share their experience by reviewing you online. Doing this gives you no control whatsoever of your reputation building efforts.
You don’t know if the email is being sent to someone who loved you or hated your products and services. And even if someone was nice to you in person, they may have a completely different opinion of your company when they get online. Would you really want to be so reckless in building your reputation?
Scenario 3 – Feedback & Only Positive Reviews
In scenario 3, you get the best of both worlds. The email is sent out requesting your customers’ feedback.
If that feedback is good, then the system encourages them to leave a review online which will more than likely be positive given their recent rating of your services.
If that feedback is negative, however, the system will not provide them with access to your online review site profiles. Instead it will capture more feedback so you can correct the issues promptly.
In this situation you get that valuable, honest feedback you need to correct any issues in your business. You also ensure that negative experiences stay private and the positive ones are encouraged to be shared with the world.
Choosing Is Simple — Here Is Why
Now to evaluate a good reputation marketing service you only have to uncover which of the 3 service scenarios a reputation marketing company’s service falls under.
Once you do, if it’s either of scenarios 1 or 2 you can tell them: no thank you.
Why? Because you now know those services don’t do you any good, so why waste your money.
If it’s a scenario 3 type reputation marketing service it’s worth trying out. So in summary your buying process should consist of 2 steps and look like this:
Q: Is it a Scenario 1 or 2 Type Service?
A: Yes, tell them goodbye.
Q: Is it a Scenario 3 Type Service?
A: If yes, sign-up!
When the Value Is Clear, the Decision Is Easy
When you see a service that provides you with Scenario 3, you know you have a winner. This is the exact reason we built our reputation marketing service the way we did.
See, every other company out there provides a Scenario 1 or 2 type service. But this doesn’t help your business at all. It puts you in danger really. You either don’t get the reviews you so desperately need to grow or you get the negative reviews your reputation can’t afford.
Our service protects our clients by capturing the feedback they need, getting them the positive reviews they want, and helping them build the successful business they desire.
If you’d like to see what a Scenario 3 Type service looks like, you can check one out by clicking here.