About Robert Wilson

Robert Wilson is a Customer Engagement & Retention Advisor for Local Businesses at Vintelli, a next generation mobile and web directory application. In his 5 years of experience in this field, he has assisted many local businesses in engaging customers, increasing customer loyalty and retaining customers. Robert is counted on when it comes to crafting strategies to drive up customer loyalty.

How Reviewing Businesses Online can help Customers Get Better Services

Your reviews have a significant value for any business owner, whose products / services were availed by you. When you review online, not only you but the business owner also gets benefited. You speak of either your grievances or good experiences, and both are equally important for the business. Good reviews attract more customers while bad reviews improve the business.

Always remember: “YOUR REVIEWS MATTER”

local business review

Actually your reviews act as a kind of advertisement for the business. The name and product of the business gets exposed to so many customers online. This increases customer awareness and they get to know what is the business all about and what kind of service it provides. No other advertisement medium can compete with the power of online reviews. Other traditional marketing programs cannot give a business the vast exposure that online reviews can easily provide.

Robert Tolliday, the general manager of an online local business directory True Local and the commercial director at Sensis, said that reviews really benefit small businesses because:

#1. Reviews get the business known to different audiences.
#2. The business gets a positive reputation.
#3. Business becomes available through online search.

Most of the time it has been seen that people buy a product or avail a service only after analyzing its online reviews. Minutely they analyze how the business provides services to its customers and what kind of product they supply. Reviews are also capable of influencing the search engine results. Google keeps an account of how many times the name of your business has been mentioned in the reviews. If the customers review your business continuously, you will soon find your business at the top of the search results. Being at the top of the search results will get your business more customers and gradually boost your business growth.

Research also shows that, people generally tend to trust their peer group. The business recommended by their peer group always gets a higher score in their mind. To get this point cleared, a research was carried out named 2009 Nielsen survey , where it was seen that out of 25,000 internet audiences and customers from about 50 countries, 90% of them trusted their peer group while availing a business, while 70% believed on the online reviews. So, online reviews that recommend a business, has a greater value and is a powerful mode of marketing.

Customers who write reviews regarding improving a business, suggesting what went wrong and criticize a business, are the best type of customers. They actually get the business better each day. Reading the reviews, business owners understand the areas they areas they need to work upon, and provide you better services from the next time. Moreover, some customers have better ways and suggestions regarding your business. It is your chance to interact with your customers and discuss business ideas and allow the business to grow in a much better way. So, the next time you go to a restaurant, buy a product or avail a service, always review them online. The review can be of praising them or criticizing them for their services or product. Whatever be it, you must write your opinion online to get a much better service from the next time.

While a customer posts a review online, it not only helps the business get better and bigger each day, but also develops a close relationship between the customer and the business owner. With such a sharing of ideas by the customer, the business owner comes to know the areas to focus on, and makes the necessary improvements to deliver a better product/service. While the business gives importance to its customers, the customers also start getting better services and products. A happy and healthy bond between the customer and the business owner is very important to get the business known to the world.

Business owners must understand that their customers are their priority and they must find out new ways to retain them. A happy customer will always stay by you. Customer feedbacks are of much importance. Every time customers avail a service from a business, the business should ask them for their reviews or feedbacks. In this manner, businesses will understand who their potential customers are and who are going to leave soon. In the same manner, a customers should also understand that if they want to avail the best service or the best product, they should review the business. Your grievances act as a kind of motivation for the business owners. If the customers do not complain, how will the business improve? In the same manner, if the customer doesn’t praise, how will the business know they are doing better?

The most important thing is – BOND BETWEEN CUSTOMER AND BUSINESS OWNER.

There are different online sites like Yelp, Brown Book and Vintelli where a business listed there can be reviewed. But you can also create your own business site to review your particular business. Customers will only be interested to write a review about your business when they will find you replying. To retain your customers with you, you can take their emails and phone numbers and send them different offers now and then. You can also start a pay back card system so that your customers can benefit while shopping from you. Customers really like coupon system and with that you can keep your customers engaged with you.

So, the most important thing is, in order to get better services you need to speak your heart out. People generally think reviews to be of less importance. But after reading this article you might be pretty sure how important a review is. It’s not only your right but also your duty to review the business you have availed. Some of the businesses provide QR code. These unique codes automatically direct you to the business website, after you scan them with your phone. It’s a really unique and easy way and you won’t face a problem while reviewing a business with it. So, the next time you avail a business, make it a point to review them. The customer’s opinion and the business owner’s solution makes a great and successful business.

You can also give your valuable reviews in Vintelli, go to its website or download the app. Lots of successful business are listed in Vintelli. Search and find your favorite business from Vintelli. Also you can download Vintelli app from the below app stores and start reviewing.

Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.StoreFinder.app

iOS App – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/store-finder-local-business/id1100683456

Amazon App Store – https://www.amazon.com/Mobixed-Store-Finder-By-Vintelli/dp/B01E7AMOL6

7 Ways to Get More Customer Reviews for Your Business

online business

In most of the cases it has been seen that customers are not that willing to give reviews about the business they availed. It is very much necessary that you provide them reasons so that they write reviews about your business. The reviews whether good or bad, helps a lot in improving the business.

There are three types of customers:

(i). Customers those who do not want to review your business, may be because they hate it
(ii). Customers those who do not know how to review your business
(iii). Customers are very lazy to review your business.

If you are not a known brand with something really special, majority of the people won’t come to see what your latest products are. In the same way, if you provide services to people, like an online business listing company, you will find people writing reviews only when they find something bad about you.

None of the above are good for your business, specially if you wish people see good reviews about you while they are searching for your business online. If customers find no reviews then they may lose interest in your business and opt for the next option available. and if they find negative reviews then they will move away from your business.

So, it is necessary for you to get your customers convinced that they need to write reviews about you.

Here are some ways in which you can get your customers write reviews for your business:

#1. Ask your customer: When you go to a restaurant, the waiter serving food to you asks you whether the food is good or not. Then you give your reviews to him. In the same manner, it is necessary for the business owners to ask their customers about their services, hospitality and requirements. only then the customers will give you their reviews.

#2. Keep a follow-up through email: When a customer avails a service from you, ask for their email ids. In this manner you can connect to your customers through email and ask them to leave a feedback. This will make your customers stay connected to you and you will also be able to get reviews to improve your business.

#3. Make the reviews useful: While your customers review your products, suggest them some new products that they may like. In this way, your customers will be willing to buy more products from you and will give you some more good reviews.

#4. Create a focus group: Before you launch your product in the market, create an interest in the minds of the customers. Let your customers write reviews about your product. Give them free samples. When they will start writing reviews about your product online, other people will see those reviews and your demand will increase.

#5. Let people write reviews on your website: When you allow people to write reviews on your website, Then they get directly linked to you. Once they get directly linked to you, you come to know what your customers want from you. It helps you and your customers in a huge manner.

#6. Use QR codes to get customer reviews: QR codes are an effective means to get your customers review your product or service. Some online platforms like Yelp, Brownbook and Vintelli generate QR codes through which a customer can directly visit the website of a business listed there and review it. For customers, reviewing a business through QR codes is simple, fast and convenient.

#7. Creating an urge to review: Customers are too lazy to review your business, what you can do to increase their interest is that, st a contest where the best review will get awarded and the others will get consoling prizes. This will increase the amount of good reviews in your site.

These are a few great ways in which you can get your customers review your business. Customer reviews are very important for a business. It helps your business grow and creates a bond between the customers and the business owner.

Fantastic 4 Strategies of Online Branding For Your Business

online branding strategies

Online branding means exposing your brand on different levels of online marketing, specially focusing on social and search engines. This is the ultimate dream of any entrepreneur to see his business listed at the top of the search engine. But the process is a bit tricky and challenging , you need to plan and maintain a definite strategy to reach your goal.

If you search Google on “how to grow your business online”, definitely you will get a lot of valuable results. But we survive in a busy world and therefore, each second is precious to us. Reading anything and everything on Google will be a sheer misuse of time. So it will be really helpful if within a single content we get all the valuable ideas listed.

Here are some ideas, which will prove to be a great help to build the brand of your business online. So continue reading and be a step ahead than the others in the rat race.


#1. Get a mobile app for your business

Why mobile apps are a good promotional tool for your business?

Yes, this is one of the most important criteria which you must keep in mind whenever you are thinking of promoting your business online. Our world is digitalized and most of us have a smartphone with us, which caters to all our needs both online and offline.

For example, if you are outside and need to find a restaurant, hotel or any other thing of your concern, you will soon reach out for your phone, click on the app and find out whatever you require at the nearest locality and avail it. Isn’t it the most convenient way to promote you business worldwide?

The first and the foremost thing that you need to do, is creating a handy mobile app for your concerned website. Do not design the app in a complicated way, keep it simple and help the common people access it easily.


#2. Optimizing your site is very important

Now what do you understand by optimizing the site?

While you optimize your site, it means you are letting your viewers extract the most from your website. When your viewers get all their questions answered, they keep on returning back to your site. In this manner your site gets promoted extensively and within no time you find your website at the top of the search results in Google.

When a website remains at the top of the Google search results, you know what it means. It means you have the most viewers, and you have the best ratings. So optimizing your site is very important to promote your business online.


#3. Promote your business on social media and business directories

We all know that whenever we start a new thing we need to promote it well, so that we get the most out of it . I have already suggested two effective ways of promoting your site online, but the third one which I am going to suggest now is also equally important. You need to promote your site , promotion is very effective, if it is done in the right way. You can promote your site through social media, business directories and through adds.

The most popular social media sites are Facebook, Twitter and Google+. These sites get the maximum amount of visitors every day. Most of us have an account in these sites. So if you promote your business here, you will obviously be able to reach out to a large number of audience who will be viewing your business, reading your blogs and so on. If your business is well promoted on these sites you will automatically get a huge upthrust towards success.

Another very new and popular way of promoting your business site is through business directories. Now for those who do not know what business directories are , let me throw some light of knowledge on it. You must be knowing what phone directories are. Nowadays we do not find these phone directories but earlier they were available in almost all the houses. All the phone numbers with name and address were listed on these directories. In the same manner business directories are places where the entrepreneurs list there business so that people searching for a particular service can easily find it out at these places. You can list your business on these directories and promote your business online and reach out to all the people worldwide.


#4. Reviews are very important to manage your website

What are Reviews?

To keep it simple, I shall like to say that reviews are like report cards , that say about our progress or downfall. After people avail your service they go back to your website to share their experience. People’s reviews are very important because, not only you but the people visiting your site get benefited from it. So, good reviews can take you to the zenith of success, in the same manner, bad reviews can destroy you automatically. The reviews on your website can affect your position in the search engine results.

Do you know what are aggregated reviews?

Aggregated reviews are a combination of reviews from multiple platforms, merged in a single site. In case of aggregated reviews of a particular product, reviews from different sites regarding that product are collected and displayed in one particular site . This helps customers see reviews of the product present at different platforms, on a single place.

This kind of data extraction from different sites help the consumers while purchasing and taking a right decision regarding any business matter. Different sites like Vintelli try to help out the consumers sincerely and let them avail the best.

Vintelli follows a different and unique approach known as Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI), which involves evaluating the reviews and giving a definite rank to a business, so that the customers can get a totally unbiased overview of a particular business or product.

Now lets see,

How does CSI or Customer Satisfaction Index work?

If you listen to any business expert , they will always advice you to read thousands of reviews all over the internet about a particular product and then buy it. Reviews are actually important and help you a lot while you go to buy something. But generally we feel lazy to read all the reviews. We always opt for a easier way, that is to check the number of stars on a particular product.

But in the long run this was not helping the customers to be absolutely sure about the business they are availing and product they are buying.

Therefore, Vintelli designed a unique CSI algorithm, which helps it filter out all the biased and fake reviews about a business, and determine a score out of 5 for the business based on the authentic reviews. The CSI is a clean and clear rating of a particular business, thereby allowing customers to get an authentic impression about the business.

The CSI system collects all the data from business review sites like Merchant Circle, CitySearch, yelp and Foursquare . After all the reviews are collected in a single place, then they are filtered through a funnel which is actually a special algorithm . After the process is completed, we get a definite score or rating which gives the customer an accurate idea of how a product or business is better that the others. So next time when you think of availing a particular business , do check on Vintelli’s site and get a clear idea whether you should go for that particular business / service or not.

The fantastic four ideas given above are like the four golden rules that you must keep in mind when you market your business on line. The followers of these rules will never fall out of track in successfully marketing their business on Internet.

How to Fight Fake Reviews and Build Better Brand Reputation Online

We understand the harmful side effects that negative reviews can leave on your online business reputation and that is why our previous article was all about how can fake reviews ruin your local business for real. Whether it is in favor or against a particular business service, posting fake reviews is without doubt, a bad practice.

Fight Back Fake Reviews

It can affect businesses of any size, big or small. While some businesses tend to fall victim to their own greed that leads them to hire professional writers to write good reviews in their favor, others (especially big businesses) become victims to malicious reviews for absolutely no fault of their own. It feels frustrating to listen to some of those bitterest criticisms thrown against you when you are aware that you have done nothing as such to even earn it. Some of these are written by competitors, ex-employees or even customers who tend to carry some kind of grudge against you and again there are some that are genuine. Nevertheless, the truth is, a bad review can cause a significant damage to your online business reputation in an instant.

Take a look at the MC Donald’s story

Little did the famous food chain realize that their friendly social media hashtag campaign (#mcdstories) would backfire so unexpectedly to become a horror story. Many Twitter users began using the hashtag to share their bad experiences. An example of bad publicity, the brand decided to pull out from the campaign in order to prevent it from becoming a disaster. Well, too late for that, for the damage (though to some extent) has already been done and everyone now knows how bad publicity online can harm a business reputation within the blink of an eye.

But would you have preferred had MC Donald’s done something different that day, instead of pulling out of the campaign altogether? That is where you realize that your online reputation management calls for prudent and swift action, which is very important to focus on when you have got to deal with fake reviews.

Dealing With Fake Reviews

The milk has been spilt and there is no more point in crying over it. Neither would you think about replying back to your reviewers with verbal attacks and accusations. This would create a false impression for other viewers who may come to the page to read your business reviews and become unexpected witnesses to your bad attitude. Relax! You can deal the fake reviews better than this. There are ways in which you can deal with them smartly, but before that, the number one rule is to have patience.

Patience is the ability to keep good attitude even when you are in your bad times

#1 – Identify the Fake Reviews

Don’t ignore them! For the more you do so, the more these spammers are likely to take advantage of it. Remember, if your competitor had the heart to set you on a damaging spree by posting fake reviews, then their efforts to harm you could become all the more relentless if ignored. Nip it in the bud as quickly as possible. Keep an eye on the reviews that your business is receiving on various sites and even set up Google Alerts for your company name. Start growing your brand reputation by acquiring and asking your customers for reviews that are positive and true.

#2 – Research a Review Before Declaring it Fake

Just like posting of fake reviews is a bad practice, making quick assumptions that a particular negative review is false is also not a good policy. It can happen, that someone genuine is not happy with your business service and wants you to know about it. Therefore, take some time to make a thorough research before you start declaring that a particular review is false. There are many ways by which you can identify a fake review and some of the common traits that are generally to be identified are – heavy usage of industry lingo, weak nature of the account profile from where a review is being posted and the viciousness of the tone of the review. If you are trying to identify a review over the social networking platforms such Facebook and Google+, then make a search in order to detect any trace of connection between the reviewer’s profile and that of your competitor. You can then have the review removed by contacting the respective website where it has been posted. Review sites don’t often agree to remove a negative review unless they find it going against their rules and conditions. However, if you have valid evidence to make a strong claim then you can challenge them. You can even use these real evidences to inform the Better Business Bureau or the Local Chamber of Commerce and bring the matter to their attention. In order to combat problems like this, a lot of review sites are now coming up with unique algorithms that can help businesses fix this problem by streaming out fake and biased reviews completely.

#3 – Respond to Fake Reviews

Responding to fake reviews is a smart approach. This way, you can get the chance to defend yourself and your reputation while at the same time look into the matter. You can do it yourself or register with an online directory site that has got one of those direct customer communication support from where you can manage your accounts across multiple social sites, manage your reviews, keep track of the latest updates and even respond to a particular customer with a better solution.

But responding to negative reviews out in the open calls for a constructive approach. According to some experts, the best way to deal with them is to respond to such reviews in a way that makes it clear to any third party who is reading the conversation. Treat an unhappy customer with compassion and contrition but at the same time keeping it all professional. Remember, you have got a professional image to restore. If you decide to flag a particular review and follow it up with a response, then make sure that it highlights your professionalism and customer commitment to other potential clients. Southwest Airlines is a good example you can take cue from. Their brand management in response to a particular crisis helped them to earn a number of good reviews and even helped them build up a reputation among their customers.

#4 – Build a Strong Digital Media Presence

With so many reviews that get posted every day, how do you keep a watch on all of them? Besides, it is not always easy to identify and differentiate a fake review from a genuine one. Even if you manage to respond to certain fake reviews, some of them might persist and hence damage your online reputation. Nevertheless, sometimes the best way you can tackle these fake reviews is by drowning them with the ones that are real and are positive. Try collecting as many as 10 positive reviews every week and stay consistent. Keep a track on your business profile operations across different social sites and online directories to follow important data. If you find it difficult to follow activities across multiple platforms all at the same time, then try registering with one of those online directories that provide users with an intelligent dashboard that can help you manage all your profile summaries, keep track of all your newsfeeds and even manage your activities from one place only. Building a strong digital media presence takes time, so why not start doing it as early as possible.

#5 – Stop Getting Angry and Frustrated

That is not the key to getting over fake and negative reviews. What you can do is think about ways to make your business brand more strong and engaging among your customers. You can encourage your customers to post good reviews on your behalf by indirectly indicating how much you would appreciate their feedback in case they are satisfied with your service. You can offer special discounts or vouchers as incentives to improve your customer engagement and loyalty. You can even share QR codes across the social media sites and invite people from your social media group to experience a smart business service.

Choose your options wisely

However, that does not mean you go crucifying everyone who comes up with even the slightest criticism. After all, a little bit of criticism can help to make you look at your business from a different angle, which in turn would help you out to come up with better service. But if fake reviews come to trouble you, now you know what necessary actions to take to troubleshoot them away.

How Data Analytics Can Help Determine Your Next Business Strategy?

Today’s business market has more competition to face, compared to what it used to be couple of years back. While customers are the king of all decisions and choices, businesses are eager to know everything about their relevant targets in advance so that they can survive the internet marketing rage.

Luckily, with the ever growing digital age, new adaptation of technology and more engagement with social media platforms, there appears to be no dearth of data that businesses can extract and make good use of in their internet marketing strategy. Besides, data today is not simply confined to just velocity and volume, but can be classified according to variety, complexity and variability that play an important role by giving companies information about competitors, demographics, market trends, customer traits and even economic shifts.

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With a single purchase transaction detail, an ecommerce store would be able to make a better suggestion relevant to what the customer is looking for, the next time he/she visits the place. An authentic customer review assures a buyer regarding the quality of the service or the product that he will purchase. With targeted business listing, businesses can track down the region where there is scope for a potential consumer market. An optimized search engine placement will give customers information, relevant to what they are looking for in the internet.

This is Big Data, and how does data analysis play a vital role in a business strategy today?

Here are the reasons that explain the relevance of data analysis in a business strategy –

#1 – Better Business Performance

An analysis of big data helps you to understand the factors that make your organization work. The findings of the analysis will guide you with your strategy plan and help you make your business grow stronger and smarter.

#2 – Understanding Market Sentiments

Data analytics brings you a complete presentation of the customer behavior history in the market. This lets you decide whether your internet marketing strategy is right and how you would like to take it further for better conversion.

#3 – Tracking Down of Competitor Strategy

With big data, you understand what is trending in the market at present and how your competitors are behaving to customer reactions. You might follow the same pattern or maybe think about a better idea that will make you surpass your rivals in the competition.

#4 – Minimize Promotion Plan Risks

Taking wrong decisions is one of the major risks and businesses often suffer from wastage of time, energy and resources due to wrong decisions. This can be minimized especially in connection to promotional works, for with data you can easily identify any potential opportunities available in the region where you are working, or target particular market segments at the right time and within a suitable age group.

#5 – Engaging Social Media Presence

Your social media campaign becomes more engaging when you know whom and how you are going to approach. This improves your social media optimization strategy so that you can monitor your presence and make a better engagement with your audience and target communities.

#6 – Welcome New Plans

When you are able to understand your consumer needs, innovation begins. And this is where data analysis plays the key role, and you can utilize this information to improve your services or maybe introduce a new campaign altogether.

Big data analytics indeed has a major role to play in an age where the epicenter of market trends tends to shift continuously and businesses need to keep a track of the market in order to win the game.