Online reviews for business is rather tricky area. They work good if you have many of them, so positive reviews outperform the negative ones. At start, when you have only several reviews, lets say 5 reviews and 2 are negative it means that 40% of reviews are negative. Does it look good? No. It looks bad. Do you need reviews system visible on your website if you have small number of reviews? Obviously – you don’t.
Before you will start looking for online reviews companies remember that not all of them are business friendly. For instance FeeFo will help you to get more reviews. They have system, which can be integrated with your customers/orders database via – for instance – XML file and their job is to reach customers and try to get reviews. Is it helpful? Yes, it is. You have more time for business instead business-to-customer-and-back ping-pong. Actually what they offer is very flexible API for manipulation of reviews. They give you also time to reply for bad review. Having XML export of reviews from their database you can embed it in very flexible way on your website.
Of other online reviews for business systems I would mention TrustPilot which is probably a kind of “human face” of Yelp. It probably depends on business, but Yelp is rather not good for business. It seems that they use some very weird filter systems for reviews filtering, which will leave you with rather more bad reviews than positive ones. For instance, not that long time ago Yelp take over Qype – another online reviews system – and it happened, that sometimes for about 30 trusted reviews Yelp left after filtering only 2 of them. Strange enough – the only 2 left were negative. Definitely, Yelp system is rather highly biased. Usually, if 28 persons tell you are drunken, and only 2 that you are sober, it seems that you are probably drunken. Also, if you do some research in internet you can find that many companies have a little bit of reviews in Yelp and usually many more in FeeFo or TrustPilot. Seems like business escapes Yelp. Bad reviews draw attention of online users much more effectively than positive ones. Maybe this is the reason the Yelp “filter algorithms” don’t like positive reviews.
I would definitely recommend usage of online reviews systems for business, but not every one of them. Probably the most trusted and reliable are FeeFo and TrustPilot. The power behind these systems is that if your pages are listed in Google results, they are listed with online reviews score stars and with number of reviews. This quickly tells online user much about your business just at first sight. It seriously affects your potential customer’s decision making process and can be very beneficial.