Reputation can mean a lot to a company or business’s image.  It can’t spell the difference between success in utter failure.

There are probably hungry a review management services out there, but it’s difficult to find out which service is better than the other. In order to help find out, here are some questions to ask when hiring review management services.

1. Do you syndicate content? If so, where?

If a review can be placed on different sites in places, this means that the single review actually has the power of multiple reviews. If a review were to go to a single place, such as the business’ website,It’s a good idea to understand where the reviews are going to show up before you start.

2. How will you help me with negative reviews?

Negative reviews are, unfortunately, inevitable. They will come. The question is, when you get them, can you use the service to respond to the negative reviews? Its a wise course of action to have a game plan for negative reviews at the start, so you are not in crisis mode when the negative reviews finally come in.

3. How many different ways will you offer to help capture reviews?

Since everybody response to a review question differently, it’s a good idea to have many ways that a customer can respond to them.

4. Do you believe in your product enough to make your contracts month-to-month?

There really isn’t much else to say about this one.

5. If I cancel my contract, are all of my reviews removed?

Although it might be uncomfortable to ask this question, it’s a good thing to know if this ever happens. You’ll want to make sure you know about this before you sign.

6. Are you one of the “bad actors”? (And I’m not talking about Paris Hilton.)

  • Do you create fake accounts to post reviews?

  • Will you let me block all of my negative reviews?

  • Will you or I make up my reviews?

7. Can you automate the review request process so I don’t have to input any data?

If the service is an able to do this, you will probably conveniently stop remembering to use their service with in just a couple months.

This can be a really important thing for your local business. This something you don’t normally think about when signing up because of how excited you are about using it. But, at some point down the line, you will be moving on to other things. Local Viewpoints has an interesting automated review solution.

8. Will you help me get reviews in all of the places that matter to me like Google, Yelp, etc.?

Most review vendors will only be talking about their solutions on how to capture reviews, but businesses want to have the reviews everywhere, not just a single place. They want the reviews picking up leads from multiple sources. Take a look at it Get Five Stars. They have a good way of getting things done.

9. Can I manage multiple locations from one dashboard?

It can get to be a real pain if you end up having to manage multiple locations from multiple dashboards. It gets really frustrating and annoying. Customer Lobby does a great job with its dashboard.

10. Do you have a mobile or a kiosk option so I can collect reviews in person/on-site?

Most the time, you will have a higher review capture rate if you can get to the customer at the moment they are at their most happiest. If you wait, there will be less chance that they will want to write a review.

Bonus Questions

Here are a few extra bonus questions to ask your potential review vendor.

  • How easy is it for customers to use? The #1 reason people don’t write online reviews is because the process is too tedious.

  • Does the service provide tracking for all customer comments across the Web?

  • Is there a social component that will help spread the reviews across the Web?

  • Does the service provide actionable insights to help me improve my business?

  • How does the service integrate into my daily workflow?

  • Will I be alerted when I need to take action on something?

  • Oh yeah… how much?