All our clients run great businesses. How do we know? Because Dialogue tells us so - we see all their customers' comments. But not every business out there is quite as great as it looks on the web. In the last 6 years we have met with hundreds of businesses and done a lot of research on them, we have spoken to staff at all levels and we've even employed people from those businesses
So what have we learned?
That the web - from the consumer's point-of-view - is still in its 'Wild West' stage. It's full of gunslinging businesses exploiting the gaping flaws in the area of reviews and social media to give their potential customers a completely false perspective on the services they provide
How about the London estate agents who employ a full-time member of staff to manage their presence on the web? Her actual role? To post fake reviews onto AllAgents and then post the results to Facebook and Twitter - all day, every day*
The hotel that ranks in the top 100 in London and has loads of great reviews on TripAdvisor. When we looked at Booking.com their ranking just didn't match up, so we looked harder at their TripAdvisor reviews and, sure enough, every time they got a poor review it was followed by a flurry of 5* reviews, all written by first-time reviewers. When we challenged them about this they came clean, but justified it by saying "We have to, all our competitors are doing the same" and then went on to name some quite surprising names - we checked them out as well, and sure enough, the same tell-tale pattern
One country-house hotel we approached was even more candid: "We ensure we stay top on TripAdvisor, it's so easy, and it only takes minutes a month. You would have to be an idiot to be caught out."
Hardly a day goes by without someone somewhere, in the press or online, writing about how easy it is to 'game' sites from Yelp to Google Local, and therefore: how consumers shouldn't trust them
So here's a benefit of Dialogue that you may not have immediately considered: reviews your customers can really trust - by showing the HelpHound logo next to your reviews, your customers know they can be relied on, and crucially, you remove your business from even the faintest suspicion that your reviews are not completely genuine
*And at what cost - Compared with Dialogue?