Clients’ reviews and brokers’ ratings. Difficulty of choice. ByTrend about brokers’ reputational risks
Before trusting this or that rating of brokers on the Internet you should get at least a general idea of how this popular system works at the moment. Clarissa Apscott, Head of Customer Service at Bytrend.com (bytrend.com), said that high positions in the rating and dozens of positive reviews are not always a sure sign of a broker with a good reputation.
We must accept the fact that any rating, especially well-known and popular, is a business project and its main task is to bring money to the owner. Even if initially the goal of creating such a project is extremely noble and disinterested, then with the growth of popularity thoughts about monetization quickly come. The scheme here is extremely simple. A database is being created for any area of activity, in our case, brokerage services. Initially, companies working in this area are offered free placement in this database plus the ability to fill out a standard form that reflects the most common information.
The wider the database, the more willing it is for users to use it, as it removes the need to surf many different sites to collect information in order to compare several brokers. The growing popularity, of course, is noticed by the project owner and the brokerage companies themselves, who are also quite happy with this situation. At some point, when the above-mentioned thoughts about monetization come, the project owner makes an elegant gesture and introduces a monthly fee for the fact that company information is in the site database. The size of the tariff, as a rule, is small and even for the smallest company is affordable – the benefit of being on a popular resource in any case covers the costs. An important point has been passed: it immediately becomes clear who is willing to pay (at this stage, the vast majority are usually), and the companies themselves are getting used to the fact that from now on, certain resources will have to be spent on this resource.
The next step is to create a rating. It doesn’t matter how this is implemented technically, the main thing is that now there is a TOP list and everyone else and the position of a company is entirely in the hands of a moderator. Of course, you can talk about “real user voices” for a long time, demonstrate the registration system on the site with SMS confirmation, but the strings still stretch exclusively to the puppeteer. It is clear that in the TOP of the popular ranking everyone wants to, but there are not enough places, especially free ones. There is a demand and the proposal is not slow: a price list for placing on a particular line of the list appears promptly. It is logical that the price depends on the attendance of the resource and position in the rating.
And then the project begins to bloom in lush color. There is an opportunity to leave reviews (“objective and impartial”, of course), place banner ads, analytical articles with an unobtrusive mention of the company where the author works and other additional services, the list of which is limited only by imagination and technical capabilities. All this is carefully entered into the price list and now we have before us a completely viable business project that brings stable profits.
Some companies, of course, are eliminated in the process of resource monetization, but large players remain and take full advantage of the opportunities provided. A typical example is working with clients’ reviews. Here it’s not at all necessary to “play with one goal” and write laudatory reviews. Common tactics include negating competitors, creating the illusion of dialogue – when a weak critical review is immediately blocked by a reasoned positive (or vice versa, when it comes to a competitor), focusing on the details to create an illusion of credibility. Serious companies hire serious specialists for this, who are really capable of manipulating the consumers’ opinion. Analyzing the situation on the market, ByTrend specialists pay special attention to studying the feedback of real customers, separating them from the product of the work of promotion specialists. Clarissa Epscott says that none of ByTrend’s real customer reviews are left without reaction.
The conclusion from all this is simple. Clarissa Epscott advises ByTrend clients to treat ratings and reviews with healthy skepticism, remembering the large number of interested people. It’s not worth to fall into paranoia, but it will not be superfluous to independently collect information, make a comparison and make up your mind. Sometimes it can be surprisingly very different from one or another “most objective” rating.