It is very common today for products and services to be reviewed by customers on the web. In fact, many people won’t think of buying an offering until they have researched it on the web and read the available user reviews.
Resellers of consumer goods, such as Best Buy, have endorsed this concept in an effort to help the consumer make better decisions. They also have done this as a defensive move — customers will give this feedback on other sites if they don’t have the option on the reseller’s site.
One such alternative site is Yelp, which specializes in capturing feedback on top restaurants, shopping, nightlife, entertainment, services and other things. Needless to say, Yelp is popular and is a highly ranked site. In fact, when you do a search for a restaurant website, it is possible to find the Yelp feedback before the restaurant site. Needless to say, this is a huge issue for the restaurant owner.
Add the mobility of smart phones, text messages, and Twitter to the mix. The bar is now much higher for customer service and quality for many businesses. There is no where to hide.
John Bradley Jackson
CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship
LA Times Article