Review Generation App Comparison: Comparing the Cost, Features, and Functionality of Major Review Acquisition and Management Apps
We constantly receive questions about review generation apps from contractors like yourself. Most want to know which review acquisition and management app has the best features. With so many options, others want to know which has the best balance between cost and features.
Despite their differences, all review acquisition apps have the same goal: generating more reviews for your business. While they essentially do the same thing, each offers different features are a different price point. Whether you’re a technological wizard or just taking your first steps into review generation, we’ll explain the importance of reviews, outline the basics of review acquisition, and compare the top apps on the market.
The Importance of Reviews
Reviews allow potential customers to hire a contractor based on the experiences of previous customers. In fact, 90 percent of shoppers base their buying decisions on reviews. Unfortunately, customers are 50 percent more likely to leave a review after a negative experience. Unless you take action to ask customers for reviews, it’s likely that most of your reviews will be bad.
The Basics Of Review Acquisition and Management
Approximately 70 percent of consumers say that they will leave a review when asked. While you can ask customers to leave reviews, review acquisition and management tools make it easier for customers to leave positive comments about your business. Apps for rating local businesses can help you get more positive reviews on popular websites. Some of the most popular review sites are Google My Business, Facebook, Angie’s List, Better Business Bureau, and HomeAdvisor. Getting more reviews on these platforms will lead to more conversions. The best apps will send automatic reminders, which helps ensure more customers actually follow through.
Reviews And Search Engines
While review sites and star ratings are appealing to customers, they can also improve your company’s search engine ranking. Most search engines, including Google, now take reviews into account when returning search results. If you have mostly negative reviews, it’s likely you will appear below your competition. Favorable reviews will help move your company up in the results when clients search for businesses in your service area.
Timing Review Requests
Timing is everything, so when should you ask customers to post reviews? There is some research available, but we believe that it depends on your industry and what kind of products or services you’re providing. For example, if you’re in the roofing business, customers want to see how things hold up during the first storm. Businesses should wait until customers are ready and have enough data to leave a credible, detailed review.
Asking For Reviews In Person Vs. After The Sale
In general, both approaches have their own advantages and disadvantages. It may also depend on your industry. Face-to-face requests are generally preferred when your business is personal. Home service contractors, tour operators, spas and health and beauty businesses all benefit from direct interactions with their customers. Restaurants and companies with storefronts can ask for a review via email or text message.
Social Sharing Vs. Reviews
Another thing to keep in mind is the difference between social sharing and real reviews. Some applications claim to take posts and transfer them to multiple sites. This is not the case. To receive a star rating, a review must be left by a registered user on each site. There’s no way to duplicate customer reviews and still get a star rating. These social sharing services have very little value for promoting your business and improving your search engine rank. When comparing review acquisition applications, keep these facts in mind so that you can make an informed decision and select the best app for your business.
|Acquirly||BirdEye||Signpost||Nearby Now||Review Buzz|
|Method of Request||In Person||After Sale||After Sale||After Sale||After Sale|
|Cost||$79 / month||$250 / month||$300 / month||$30 – $149 / month||$147 / month|
|Multiple Location Discount|
|Sites Submitted||Custom List||Custom List||Custom List||Default List||Custom List|
|Negative Review Filter|
|Multiple Location Access|
Overview of BirdEye: BirdEye is a good system for small and mid-sized businesses as well as enterprises. It tracks and manages customer reviews. Then, the content is displayed on your website and social media pages. The automated system engages customers and helps you get more quality reviews on leading sites.
• Works with Yext, BrightLocal and other listing services
• Manages video reviews
• Supports social media sharing
$250 per month
Our Assessment of BirdEye: BirdEye has a solid, versatile platform. The company’s large investor backing shows in the interface. However, extra quality costs more. This is a good choice if you’re willing to pay a premium for an adaptable system with great functionality. BirdEye supports traditional reviews and social media postings, but there’s a big difference between these features. The first is a full review where the customer logs in and leaves a rating and a comment. The second option copies reviews to other sites, but the reposts won’t earn star ratings.
Overview of Signpost: Signpost is a holistic solution that engages customers, tracks marketing activities and request customer reviews. It’s ideal for small and growing business. The system functions as a lightweight CRM with marketing and reputation management tools. Customized protocols will automatically send emails and text messages to your current customers asking for reviews. You can also offer coupons or discounts as an incentive. Signpost customers receive access to all of the tools and reporting dashboards. There are no a-la-carte features or expensive upgrades. The system can be fully integrated with other platforms.
• Trusted by 7,000 businesses
• Comprehensive platform includes access to all tools
• Review requests sent via email after the sale
$299 per month
$208 per month with annual billing
$199 setup fee
Our Assessment of Signpost: Signpost’s comprehensive interface has a great reputation. The downside is that it’s only available as a full-featured suite. You have to pay for everything even if you never use all of the features. Additionally, the system is quite complex and requires some advanced knowledge. It is best used and managed by a dedicated administrator or marketing manager.
Overview of Review Buzz: Review Buzz is another good company in the Review Generation space. Like the others, they do have their own way of getting reviews for clients. The biggest difference about the system is that they encourage reviewers to go to their own “review site” to leave a review. This allows clients to manage reviews right from their site as well as other online review sites.
• Competitive pricing to start
• Can ask for reviews in person or via email
• They have their own review site
• Includes custom business cards to hand out to customers
$147 per month
Our Assessment of Review Buzz: Review Buzz has some great features and is fairly easy to use. However, the focus on their own review site for reviews is not as compelling to other sites such as Google and Facebook. The goal for any business online should be to get reviews on these sites to capture traffic from these sites instead of other sites that are not as popular.
Overview of Acquirly: Acquirly is our review generation tool. We designed it especially for home contractors. The system requests and receives reviews while employees are interacting with customers. In-person reviews are the best approach for the industry based on our extensive research. Thanks to the intuitive interface, all employees in the office and on the job can request and manage reviews with minimal technical knowledge and no additional training.
Our product is designed with the single goal of getting your business more reviews on quality third-party websites. While our dashboard and review options are not as robust as other offerings, we believe that simplicity and ease of use are more important. Acquirly has features that you’ll use time and time again. You do have to pay for tools that you’ll never implement.
• Designed for in-person interactions and review requests
• Simple and easy-to-use interface for all employees
• Review management and employee reporting
• Review requests sent via email or text message
• Starting at $79 a month for one location and up to five employees
• $65 per month per location for two to five offices
• Custom pricing for companies with more locations
• 15 percent discount for annual billing agreements
Our Assessment of Acquirly: While Aquirly was designed with home contractors, it will work for any service industry. Before you make a decision, check out some reviews from our customers. The simple interface and special in-person features are the primary advantages.
Overview of Nearby Now: Nearby Now is a reputable company that focuses on promoting reviews for its customers. This system requests and manages reviews. It also displays the content on multiple third-party sites. The product excels at promoting select reviews on company websites, social media platforms, and other channels.
• Post sharing on social media
• No customer service at lower tiers
• Default list includes limited review sites
• No customization for review locations
Starting at $30 per month
Premium packages cost up to $149 a month
Our Assessment of Nearby Now: Nearby Now is a decent service with a reasonable rate. However, technical support and customer service are somewhat limited, particularly with entry-level packages. If you need help setting up the application, there’s an extra charge, so Nearby Now may not be as affordable as it seems.