We work hand-in-glove with web designers. We are fully aware that Dialogue has an impact on their work, from both a visual and a technical point-of-view. Here we describe the relationship that evolves between us.
Understanding HelpHound’s role
To appreciate what Dialogue is designed to achieve for your clients it is important to understand exactly what HelpHound itself sets out to do. It is one of the ironies of the modern web that, just as fast as Google seeks to dominate the reviews space, others attempt to compete. It is this conundrum that HelpHound addresses.
Many review sites – one search engine hosting reviews
HelpHound started life as a review site – so we understand the challenges facing independent review sites. It is also the reason that we moved away from that business model.
It became clear to us, way back around 2010, that Google were going to invest heavily in promoting reviews (remember Google Places?).
At that point we stepped back and had a long look at our future strategy; we decided not to compete with Google, but to design a mechanism that was complimentary with whatever offering they made, whilst at the same time being as flexible and future-proof as possible (what would happen if TripAdvisor, or another big independent site, won the battle with Google, for instance?).
Dialogue™ was born
It is not just hotel guests who actively search out and rely on reviews – we all increasingly give credence to reviews in every sphere
After talking to a variety of businesses and their web designers their criteria became clear. Whatever solution we were to offer should:
- enable them to host reviews on their own websites (and not involve potential customers being asked to click away to a separate site)
- give them an opportunity to resolve misunderstandings and errors of fact pre-publication (factually incorrect reviews help no-one)
- incorporate a pre-publication dispute resolution mechanism
- allow reviews to be displayed in multiple locations on their websites
- provide a highly visible feed of recent reviews
- easily interact with social media (Facebook and Twitter)
- incorporate a mechanism to encourage their reviews to be copied to any ‘open’ review site of their choice – Google being the obvious first choice for most, but applying equally to specialist sites like TripAdvisor or Allagents, should they be a priority for clients
From the web designers’ point to view:
Dialogue should be as flexible as possible, design-wise. The basic concept should be adaptable from both design and delivery perspectives. Web designers should be able to ‘own’ the design of Dialogue on their clients’ behalf. The design of every clients’ Dialogue module should be able to evolve along with the design of the clients’ website.
Over the last four years all the above aims and objectives have been achieved. Perhaps most important of all, Dialogue has proved to be flexible and adaptable enough to cope with the numerous changes at Google (and the independent review sites). It really has become every web designer’s reliable long-term answer to reviews.
Dialogue drives business (whatever your clients’ business may be). Here are results for hotels, here is an example of a great success story for an estate agent – all without any downside for you or your client. Dialogue also aids customer retention (by providing a great feedback channel). The only downside of Dialogue is it does not work effectively for businesses with poor customer relations.
So: if you have a (great) client who you think should have an unrivalled solution to reviews, you can do no better than consider Dialogue™. And they will thank you for doing so every time their customers express their gratitude for everyone to see.