This interview was first published on RebatesZone
The benefit of being an entrepreneur is that once you have had a taste for developing new things, then any problem that surfaces can be invested in to become a solution for all.
From facing difficulty in verifying and tackling fake reviews about his own business to developing a review system which is unique and gives some balance of power back to the business owner, it is a remarkable journey.
So, join us as we ask Daan van der Dussen, from Best in Test, about his entrepreneurial journey to make the internet reputation management tool.
When was the business established?
The business was established in 2013 and the product took 2 whole years to develop and was launched in 2015.
How did it come to be?
One of my businesses was reviewed on Facebook by somebody who turned out to be not even a customer. We contacted the person and he informed us that he must have done this on Saturday night but he could not be bothered to change his review. Facebook is not taking action here and the same counts for Google, too.
After typing “fake reviews Facebook” in Google, for example, we found out that we are not the only ones, but that so many companies have this problem and not only on Facebook, but basically on all review platforms, such as Google and Yelp.
We read that a simple one-star bump in reviews can create a 5% – 9% increase in revenue, according to a Harvard Study. And there are so many other hard facts which show that businesses should focus first on their online reputation, before even thinking about spending a single dollar on any other way of advertising. It was impossible to find a tool to get in many quality reviews and show these on Facebook, Google and your own website.
Therefore, our goal was to build a tool for businesses to monitor the satisfaction of its customers in a bit more advanced way than just 1-5 stars rating, so companies are able to find out how it is performing on different aspects and better yet, they know where to improve.
During the development process, a lot of great features popped up, such as when your business gets a bad review, this review will not be published directly online. We give the business 14 days to contact the customer via our system to find out why it got a low rating. In practice, it shows that there are often misunderstandings and with some extra attention, the customer is happy again and can then re-review the business.
Another important point is that all the reviews shown are never older than 1 year, since in our opinion, old reviews are not relevant for customers. We made a testimonial tool, so you can show testimonials on Facebook and on your own website in only a few clicks and so many other great features; we offer a complex package to facilitate the tracking of your online reputation.
Was it a natural progression in career or something which just came up?
We experienced the need for such a product ourselves and it triggered us to build a very extensive but extremely easy to use online reputation tool.
What were some of the initial difficulties?
To make it user-friendly and to find the perfect way to get in as many reviews as possible for companies. Nowadays, people get spammed with review/survey invitations and I never open these kind of emails or SMS. We decided to do this part drastically different. You should try it and tell us what you think! It’s FREE!
Can you tell us a bit more about the high response rate being generated by your methods?
The principle is very simple;
Let’s take for example a hairdresser, if the hairdresser has finished doing your hair, you pay the fee at the cash machine and then she politely asks you “could you be so kind to fill out a review for me on my tablet; it will only take 30-60 seconds and it helps me a lot”.
Our experience is that, basically, everybody is willing to do this. Thus, we developed an app in order for businesses to ask customers on location to fill out a review.
We tested this aspect in one of my businesses, and we got in over 80 reviews in only 2 days. It’s a fast operation, with a customer centricity approach which results in an added value for both business and customers alike. In fact, most customers were even flattered.
How did you assemble the team?
Hiring the development team was an easy process due to the fact that we are developing other applications as well, so we hired from there.
The sales team is still work in progress. The product was just recently ready, so, 2016 will be the year to focus more on human resources.
How has the response been from the potential customers?
Response has been really great. Customers are really engaged and gave us even some new ideas which we are working on right now to deploy.
Did networking play an important part in increasing your outreach?
Yes, definitely! Starting is always a tedious process and, in my experience, the hardest part. Therefore, networking is a great tactic to increase awareness on your product and close in the first customers.
Lastly, there are many other developers which are having difficulties in bringing their product/services to the market. Do you have any advice for them?
Make sure you do not try to do it alone. You need an engaged team. I notice this basically in all my businesses; working in a team is the key to success.
Thank you, Lisa, for the wonderful interview!