Tuesday, 4 August 2015

HelpHound: your route to great reviews, always!

It is the question on the lips of every business that takes reviews seriously: how do we consistently get great reviews to the right place (when that 'right place' may change in future/have changed since we last focused on reviews)?

To arrive at the right answer we first have to define 'right place':
  • For every business the first 'right place' is their own website; partly because that's where their potential customers go to finally decide before they make their initial contact, partly because they want at least some form of control over what is being said about them on the web. This latter - control - is for all the right reasons. Few businesses would deny a customer the right to make a fair comment about them (indeed, if they tried, the customer would soon find somewhere to comment) but they do want to make sure they a) can correct errors of fact and b) have a chance to put things right before their reputation is irreparably harmed
  • The second 'right place' is where their potential customer is most likely to find them in search. This may be to Google (in the form of Google Reviews) or it may be through Google on an independent review website like TripAdvisor, Yelp or one of the thousands of small review sites that occasionally do really well with their SEO
 Now we understand the 'where' we must look at the 'how':
  1. Reviews to your own website: need to be harvested through an independent agency (like HelpHound!) so you can demonstrate that they are real opinions from real customers (otherwise they will simply be viewed as testimonials, better than nothing at all but not reviews)
  2. Reviews to the wider web: will then be invited from those who have written reviews on your own website
The two paragraphs above are numbered for a very good reason: to be effective, those two actions must be done in that order. If done the other way round (to the review website and then to your website, through whatever mechanism) you lose control over the crucial aspect of the whole process: the ability to correct and resolve negative posts pre-publication. You also needlessly donate your customer's very valuable reviews to that website - for ever.

That last point - giving your customer's reviews away - has to be done with extreme consideration. Let us explain by showing you an example:

A website - let's call it 'A' - is currently doing really well in Google search. It shows up every time one of your potential customers searches for 'your kind of business' in 'your area'. An obvious current example is TripAdvisor for 'hotel' in 'any area'. So you ask your customers to leave reviews there.

Two things then happen:
  • some of your customers leave less than completely complimentary comments, and
  • you begin to rely very heavily on that website for new business
At HelpHound the first point is dealt with by Resolution™. Do read this post to thoroughly reassure yourself that your business will reap the benefits of actively engaging with your less-than-happy customers.

Suppose that website 'A' then begins to suffer in Google search, so you want your reviews to show somewhere that's doing better. You have to start all over again and get customers to post to website 'B'! From scratch.
With HelpHound, you have invited the reviews to your website - they are your reviews - we just add credibility in the eyes of your potential customer (and Resolution™). If you want those reviews posted to another site it is simply a case of emailing your customers and, hey presto, you have great reviews there.

Our role

Once we have enabled you to get those great reviews to your website we focus on advising you where they would best be copied (by your customers) to achieve maximum impact. 

For many (if not most) of our clients, the answer to that is currently 'Google'. In the past it might have been any number of sites or just one specialist site and one day it may be again (But there is a very good reason independent review sites' shares have been under extreme pressure lately - read this). If it is, rest assured that our loyalty is to you, and we will advise you accordingly.

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