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Online Reputation Services Considered

by trevor. Average Reading Time: about 2 minutes.

I have come across several online reputation management systems recently, all of which seem to be missing a trick or two.  This is sad as one day these systems will be to web in general what feedback is to eBay (hmmmmm, perhaps that is damning with faint praise).

There are a lot of products out there which allows customers to give businesses reviews.  Sites like Qype and trusted places are built around local business reviews and are primarly offline in focus.  From a directory point of view, with their richer content I can see local search services like these giving slow moving monsters like Yell.com a run for their money, however their review service are pretty basic.  For example they do not pull information in from any other sources (e.g. RSS feeds) or in any way ensure that the customer are genuine.

Plebble is a site totally based on giving rating of businesses. It is more interesting in that it provides more information on a business and greater opportunity for the business owner to customise their profiles.  However, where Plebble is going wrong is in trying to charge for parts of this service too early.  Consumers are not yet using these services en masses, and until their do, there is no way that anyone is going to bother to pay.  Niggle.co.uk is a similar service.

A more interesting, if slightly bland service is eKomi.  This service claims to give a feedback experience like eBay and Amazon.  Certainly it does have the advantage over those mentioned above in that it contains reviews from genuine customers, and not just anyone with an opinion.  Where I think it fails is in having none of the search facilities of sites like Qype.  it would be nice to bring some search functionality to allow users to find businesses with the best profiles.

What I would do…

 

  • Integration with established reputation management systems.  I am very surprised that no reputation management system has integrated in with eBay and Amazon feedback to provide an overall view of the feedback on a business.
  • Pull in other sources of information.  A really good system would pull in information such as company registration details from companies house.
  • Rich profiles.  A company should be able to sell themselves by creating a compelling profile
  • Search.  Finally, customer should be able to find the company with the best reputation.

8 comments on ‘Online Reputation Services Considered’

  1. Andrew says:

    Hi Trevor,

    Also – have a look at http://www.trustpilot.co.uk which aggregates reviews from different shopping sites as well as allowing customers to leave their own reviews directly on the site.

  2. Will says:

    Thanks for mentioning us . Great summary of the market. We are currently developing a new version of the site, which takes some of the points you make.

    Will from Plebble

  3. And thanks for our mention too!

    To clarify, Niggle is a tool used by businesses to open private, anonymous conversations with customers, normally from the business premises themselves via text message or the mobile web. We are not a public service at all and are very much about protecting business reputations by capturing and dealing with customer feedback in real time before it has a chance to hit public review sites.

    Nice work 🙂

  4. Thanks for sharing. Though they might be missing something, i do agree that this kind of system is really needed nowadays by every business around.

  5. eKomiUK says:

    Could you please update eKomi that all reviews are now integrated into Google Shopping and Google Adwords?
    If you write about eKomi then please update the information from time to time..

    Thanks

  6. Anonymous says:

    eKomi is an awful company. The deliberately delete negative reviews about their clients. If you look at their website, they’re only really interested in improving their clients’ reputations, with no interest in providing consumers with objective information. “Protecting against negative reviews” is one of their major selling points.

    If you see a retailer that uses eKomi, go to Google and find reviews that were posted about them via other websites. You’ll often find overwhelming negative reviews, because the retailer you’re looking up purchased an eKomi license to hide how bad they are.

  7. HK0 says:

    You left out an important aspect: the freedom and accuracy of reviews.

    I asked Ekomi to post a (neutral, 3*) review after I cancelled my transaction.  They said that since I didn’t have a transaction, I would have to send my review to the merchant for approval!
    Ekomi is clearly filtering reviews for the benefit of its merchant-customers, which I call B.S. 

  8. Mark Priest says:

    Why would you pay £99 a month to use something with costs next to nothing to run? £10 a month may be but £1200 a year???

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