History of Online Reviews

It’s finally September! That means back to school, the start of fall, and the start of football season. With all the kids going back to school, we thought it would be a good time to have a little history lesson, SureCritic style! So gather around, today’s lesson is the history of reviews and how their importance has been growing since the start!

It all started out with the comment card. The comment card allowed for customers to leave businesses feedback to help them improve but it wasn't always effective. Businesses would have to resort to relying on customers recommending them to their friends for more foot traffic.

In the year 1999, we see the creation of online review sites such as Epinions, Deja.com, and Rateitall.com. Within their first year they collectively accumulated over 1,000,000 reviews! That’s a lot of reviews considering online feedback was brand new! Not all things are perfect and there were instances of businesses writing false reviews or teaming up with other businesses to bring down a common competitor. This is when online reviews start to slowly become the new comment card.

Online reviews started to grow and become more mainstream since its conception in 1999. We start to see medical review sites like RateMDS.com pop up and then in 2004, we saw the creation of Yelp. Yelp helped pioneer the online review space that we know today. They allowed for users to leave anonymous reviews about local businesses and later, in 2009, Yelp started to allow businesses to respond to reviews which continued to transform the online feedback world.

In 2010, SureCritic enters the online review scene. Very exciting, we know. SureCritic offered something that other review services didn’t have at the time: verified reviews. Verified reviews help build trust because the reviews are written by an actual customer. Consumers can rest assured knowing that the reviews they’re reading, are honest ones!

By 2019, we have seen a lot more review sites pop up and more services offered. The conversation about fake reviews has become a prevalent topic. Amazon and Yelp have finally included verified reviews to try to stop fake reviews. SureCritic now offers Review Assurance™ and verified vehicle reviews. Google uses business’s reviews to rank them in their search algorithm. Which means, reviews are an important factor to your SEO ranking. The more reviews consistently coming in, the more your SEO will improve and in turn, you will rank higher in searches. People have stopped listening to the brand and have started to listen to their peers and doing their research. The fact is, 84% of people trust reviews as much as a personal recommendation and businesses cannot afford to ignore that. Owners have gone from being able to shrug off the feedback left on comment cards to having to care and manage customer experiences in online reviews. If it wasn’t for the comment card, we wouldn’t be where we are at today with online reviews.

To find out more, contact us here!

Why Verified Reviews are More Important Than Ever

Lately, there has been concerns brought up in the media about fake and non-verified reviews on. Everyone at SureCritic holds these concerns in high regard. It is a major issue in the customer experience world because:

  1. You don’t know if this person actually bought the product or went to the business. 
  2. There’s a chance that the review is fake and has been created by someone who has a nefarious agenda.

The problem with fake reviews is that they don’t accurately reflect a business or a product and can be misleading. They don’t portray the customer experience correctly. 86% of customers read reviews, while 78% of customers trust reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Customers judge companies based on the reviews they read and they won’t know if the feedback has been portrayed incorrectly. That is exactly why you should care if some of your reviews are fake. Fake reviews can be tricky to handle and spot. Companies like Amazon and Yelp try to filter out fake reviews as best they can, but there will always be some that make it past the filters. It’s in the best interest for businesses and consumers to seek out verified reviews, since those are becoming the only ones that can be trusted.

Verified reviews are the most trustworthy reviews out there. Readers know that they are coming from an actual customer and not from someone who is either trolling the business or paid to write a review. Verified reviews also provide a more accurate view of the company or product and the customer experience. This way your customers know what they can expect when visiting your website or shop. Customers are looking to choose the best experience possible and want to know that the business they choose will follow through.

SureCritic’s mantra is verified reviews. We are the only review platform with Review Assurance™ so when the other guys try to change the review rules, you know your business is protected. All of our verified reviews have come from actual customers, right after they purchased a product or service. On SureCritic, the reviews are labeled as verified to make it easy to differentiate! We do the hard work for you, so you can relax and trust the reviews you’re receiving and reading are 100% authentic.

To learn more about SureCritic’s verified reviews and how you can benefit from them, contact us today!

Why business’ should care about their online reputation

Businesses need to manage their online reputation. In today’s world, people search for reviews about businesses and products before buying or visiting. In fact, 88% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. A negative review or comment about your business or product will have a negative impact on your business. So if you aren’t monitoring what people are saying about your business, you could be losing out on customers.

89% of customers read business’ responses to reviews. That’s why you’ll want to make sure that you address all comments and reviews. Yes, even the negative ones. If you do, you can turn that customer into a loyal one! They will feel that you care about them and their experience which keeps them coming back. Responding to reviews can show prospective customers that you care about their experience by giving them the full story. They’ll be more likely to visit a business that publicizes that they care versus one that doesn’t. Potential customers like to see a brand interacting with their customers.

SureCritic allows businesses to monitor their online reputation all in one location. With SureCritic, you will be able to access a complete dashboard where you can see all your reviews (yes, even the ones from Google, Facebook, and Yelp). Admins can filter by sites and time, and can make sure their business’ image is the same across websites! Consistent brand information helps out your SEO and can get you to the top of the page!

Learn more about how SureCritic can help you with your reputation monitoring here.

Do this one thing and your business is set for 2019..

Making a New Year’s resolution and sticking to it can be difficult, not just on a personal level, but with your business too. Oh yes, your business should have a new years resolution too! There is always room for improvement! Online presence? Faster turnaround? Hell, better coffee? There’s usually something.

The important question is, how do you learn and evaluate your areas that need improvement?

The absolute best way is to hear directly from your customers. It is important to implement a channel for your customers to give you feedback.


It is a widespread fact that reviews help your business. There are a plethora of benefits, one of them being receiving honest feedback about your business’s strengths and weaknesses. After looking over the negative and positive keywords that show up the most, you can evaluate what your customers would like to see change and make business decisions with that information.

Text the Manager™

If you would like to take it to the next level and outshine your competition, consider our newest product, Text the Manager™. This in-store tool is the most efficient way to hear from your customers to date and resolve any concern that may come up. All your customers have to do, is send a text to your SureCritic sms number and it will be diverted to the managers. That simple action could save you from any public shaming online, or in-store.

If you haven’t started receiving feedback in any form or if you’re still sitting in the claimed business section, give us a holler. We are happy to give advice or guidance! Claiming your business is a great leap forward and puts your business on the path for success, but just one more small step gets you the customer’s concerns or compliments right away! Contact us for more information here!

Blog Series: Text the Manager™ Part 3

Increase your knowledge

Last week we discussed one of the most important parts to a business: concern resolution. We learned how Text the Manager™ assists your current concern resolution efforts to ensure managers have the tools for every step of the customer experience.

This blog will cover how Text the Manager™ specifically works day-to-day. Once a customer sends in a submission, admins are immediately notified on their own device. AI identifies the compliments from the complaints to help you prioritize. Track the progress of messages by a status of open, in-process or closed. Within the app you can make sure the submission is directed to the correct area of your business and you can also see the responses right there in the app. If the customer’s data is already in your system, the appropriate fields will populate. It is also important to know that TCPA regulations do not come into effect here since it is the customer contacting the business.

Text the Manager™ disperses responsibility among your staff members and elevates your staff’s awareness. With another way to contact management, the customer experience is more important than ever! Admins as well as your staff will be able to quickly identify potential upset customers and can address it quickly and discreetly. Numerous studies have been published about millenials and how they are less confrontational than older generations. The future does not want to confront employees each time there is a concern and now you have a way that makes both parties happy! Not to mention, Text the Manager™ is a quick and efficient way to get your thoughts heard!

Reach out to SureCritic anytime to schedule a free demo or to speak to a representative! We will talk to you soon!

Blog Series: Text the Manager™ Part 2

Concern resolution as it happens

In our previous blog, we talked about how Text the Manager™ helps customers get their questions answered quickly and without confrontation or frustration. Silent complainers are a large issue within the customer service experience and Text the Manager™ can assist managers in learning about questions or complaints as they arise in-store.

In this blog, we will talk about concern resolution. Concern resolution is huge! It is the key to loyal customers and building relationships with your customers. If a business resolves an issue quickly and efficiently, 95% of unhappy customers returns back to your business. 95%! Text the Manager™ provides another avenue for customers to express any sentiment. The best part is managers receive a notification as soon as the customer presses send. Managers have the option to keep the conversation over the phone to accommodate to the non-confrontational or they can meet them in person, in your store! Do not allow a small concern to turn into a large issue because it goes unnoticed. Customers need outlets for communicating their frustrations. If left unchecked, your customers will remain silent or air grievances on social media and other public forums.

You can contact SureCritic anytime to learn more or to schedule a free demo. Don’t miss the final blog of this series next week! Part three will wrap up Text the Manager™ and dive into the smart processes.

Blog Series: Text the Manager™ Part 1

Easy to use, easy to solve

Last week, we released our most exciting product yet, Text the Manager™. We have had a lot of grateful managers come to us who have seen customer’s playing the role of “silent complainer.” Text the Manager™ provides those customers an avenue to get their questions answered easily and without confrontation at the point-of-sale. Over the next few blog posts, we will dive into the functions of Text the Manager™ and how it can ease communication within your business.

According to a study done by Zendesk and Dimensional Research, 69% of people attributed their good customer service experience to quick resolution of their problem and 72% blamed their bad customer service interaction on having to explain their problem to multiple people. With Text the Manager™, customers can use their own device to message the manager directly and receive a response quickly. The long navigation of going person to person to get an answer is over! Text the Manager™ does not require an app to download or logins to create, customers simply text from their own phone.

From that same study, 45% of people went to social media to post their bad experience. Text the Manager™ counteracts the customers concerns by fixing the issue in your store and before a customer leaves. Many times, managers do not realize a customer was unhappy until after they leave the store and wish they could have known beforehand. Resolving a concern in-store preempts any social shaming and diminishes negative reviews.

Contact SureCritic today to learn more and watch your inbox for part two of this blog series where we will continue to discuss how Text the Manager™ can provide you real-time concern resolution!

Announcing: Text the Manager™

We are not done with new releases! Along with the announcement of SureCritic for Business we are announcing another new product:

Text the Manager™

Isn’t it displeasing to hear of a customer leaving your store unhappy without you knowing? Studies on millennials have shown the younger generation is less apt to confront a store employee if they have an issue. They become a “silent complainer.” Customers can be quick to post negative feedback on Twitter, Facebook, and review sites all without managers knowing there was a concern to begin with. Be the first to know of a concern with Text the Manager™.

Text the Manager™ provides fast, non-confrontational communication for concern resolution. According to a study by Zendesk and Dimensional Research, 69% of customers attributed their good customer service experience to quick resolution of their problem. Now customer’s can text managers directly from their own device and get a response quickly.

Watch for our upcoming blog series that will explore the functions of Text the Manager™! Contact us to learn more or go online to find out about Text the Manager™!

Get a free demo here.

SureCritic for Business is ready for download!

SureCritic has launched a new product called SureCritic for Business! It is now possible to use all of your SureCritic tools from your mobile device. That’s right! Admins can now:

  • Respond to reviews
  • Request ReScore
  • Utilize all ReviewReach functions
  • Evaluate business decision with feedback metrics
  • And more!

… all from your mobile device! SureCritic for Business is free for all current customers. Head over to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to download today! If you are not a current customer you can contact us here or by responding to this email.

Keep a watchful eye on the horizon because we are not done with our announcements! Stay tuned!!

The Three R’s of Concern Resolution

The most loyal customers are those who have had their concerns personally addressed.

Concern resolution is a very large part of customer service in any business. Customer’s concerns can be tricky to maneuver whether they’re quickly posted online or in-person. If a customer leaves without their concern addressed, they may leave a less than stellar review online. When deciding how to rectify the concern, keep in mind the Three R’s: Respond, Resolve, and ReScore.


Responding to reviews is the best way to set the tone of your future relationship with the customer. Your response should be submitted as quickly as possible to the customer. The longer you wait, the lower the chances are of the customer returning and the higher the chances are of the customer posting their concern on social media. No time wasted also shows your business’s dedication to their feedback and experience. A company that responds to the reviews infrequently will present a notion of inconsideration toward the customer’s concern.

You can find best practices for responding to reviews here.


Once you have responded to the customer and started a productive dialogue, it is now time to sort out their concern and ultimately strengthen their loyalty. Patience is a virtue in these situations. Listen to the customer and hear what they are saying regardless of who is to “blame”. Most of the time, a quick phone call and maybe a perk can satisfy the customer. The important part is that you are genuine and let the customer know that they have been heard. Once you have resolved the concern, let the customer know that you will be sending a follow-up ReScore and you appreciated the opportunity to discuss the issue and resolve their concern(s).


The third R is something special. You may already use ReScore frequently or this blog may be the first time hearing about it. ReScore can be your saving grace when it comes to reviews. Customers reading SureCritic reviews get to see the whole story, from the initial review to a final resolution. They see the hard work and dedication you put in to the customer experience. ReScore gives you the ability to take a customer’s concern and transform them into a repeat customer. Remember, if a business resolves an issue quickly and efficiently, 95% of unhappy customers returns back to your business.

Happy resolving!

Contact SureCritic anytime here.