This post originally appeared on the Louisiana Technology Park blog.
Online reviews are essential for nearly every type of business these days, playing an integral role in discovery and reputation across almost every sector and company type, says David Maples, CEO of Baton Rouge digital marketing agency Catapult Creative Media.
“Reviews are now the modern form of word of mouth,” Maples says. “[The old version of] word of mouth is no longer the most important part of advertising.”
But as they worked with Catapult’s business customers who were managing reviews across multiple platforms, Maples and his team realized the existing management solutions were often inadequate. Maples decided to build his own, Kydos, a review-management offering that launched this summer and that is making waves in the marketplace.
The Science of Reviews
Maples says data indicate that more than 95 percent of U.S. consumers read reviews, and 90 percent of people trust online reviews as much as word-of-mouth comments. That means reviews can be a primary source of business or a strong deterrent for potential customers.
Businesses that aren’t managing this key piece of their online persona are essentially delegating their reputation to others. “People don’t go to the watercooler and ask their friends anymore,” he says. “They go to Google and they check that first.”
Maples says a perfect review score is actually a bad sign, as they have been shown to reduce customer interest because people are suspicious of flawless reviews. Instead, he says, the best review score is between 4.2 and 4.5. People also only tend to care about reviews left within the previous 90 days.
The challenge for many business owners, Maples says, is engaging customers to encourage them to post quality reviews on a regular basis. And high-volume businesses, such as restaurants, struggle to manage and respond to their reviews across multiple platforms.
Kydos offers a solution for both problems, putting the power back into the hands of business owners to easily and more effectively engage with clients and what they’re saying about the business.