Green Industry Directory Is Part of Company’s Mission To Create An Industry-Specific, Business Friendly Alternative To Sites Like Yelp & Angie’s List
Salem, Oregon – ReviewSprout.com, the leading reputation marketing and management platform built specifically for the green industry, has launched it’s new green industry directory to help consumers and professionals alike find reputable businesses in their area. The new directory also initiates the company’s mission to build an industry-specific, business-friendly alternative to sites like Yelp and Angie’s List.
“We’re very excited about the launch of our green industry specific directory”, stated Tim Fahndrich, founder of ReviewSprout.com. “When we set out to create ReviewSprout.com, we wanted to build a proven platform to help green industry companies build, promote, and manage their online reputation. With the addition of our new directory, we can now offer a great way for consumers to find reputable local companies in the industry, and we can offer this in such a way that is both industry-specific and business-friendly.”
Users can search by specific industry categories and the city that they are located in to find companies that fit their criteria. Categories include industry-specific types of companies, such as landscape contractor, lawn and grounds maintenance, or garden center. Search results include the contact information for companies that fit the search criteria in the specified city and / or surrounding metro area. The directory has about 40,000 companies listed, and the company plans on adding more as well as allowing companies to add their own listing.
Companies that currently have a listing are able to claim ownership of their listing through a verification process similar to what Google or other sites use. If a company is not listed, they can add their listing for free. Claiming or adding a listing provides several key benefits, including
1) Claimed listings show up ahead of non-claimed listings in the directory,
2) Companies get free access to ReviewSprout.com’s award-winning review engine to start getting customer reviews and showcasing those reviews in the directory search results, and,
3) Companies can join in the mission to build an industry-specific, business-friendly alternative to sites like Yelp and Angie’s List by building and promoting their ReviewSprout.com reputation to their customer base, ushering in a new option for the industry.
“We have seen first hand the frustration of dealing with some of the ‘leading’ sites like Yelp and Angie’s List, both in and out of the green industry”, added Fahndrich. “For example, Yelp’s ‘recommendation engine’ makes it nearly impossible to showcase a true picture of a company’s reputation because so many legitimate customer experiences are filtered out of the reputation score, and Yelp states that businesses should not ask for reviews. This makes it a very unfriendly environment for local green industry companies, and quite frankly does not serve the consumer well either, because they are not getting the whole picture.”
Angie’s List is another challenge for the industry, in that only Angie’s List members can see the reviews of a local business. It is a closed system that only serves a small percentage of the market for a local green-industry company. Once again, this makes it difficult to showcase a true picture of a company’s reputation when only a small segment of the population can see the reviews and reputation score.
“We’ve had the chance to listen to and participate in many real-world experiences of dealing with these companies, and it is alarming how much damage it can cause with no remedy”, Fahndrich said. “We’re dealing with a situation right now where Yelp will not remove a review that we are 99% sure was written by a fired employee, stating all kinds of ridiculous and false accusations, but yet at the same time will not show any of the company’s legitimate customer experiences, resulting in a 1-star public rating for the company vs. the 5 star reputation that they deserve. This is wrong, and the green industry and it’s customers deserve better. That’s why we’re on a mission to create a better alternative and advocate for the industry.”
The company is admittedly stepping into an arena with a David and Goliath type of battle, since both Yelp and Angie’s List are public companies with hordes of cash and established followers. Success will rely heavily on a grassroots word-of-mouth campaign and the company is asking for buy-in from green industry associations and companies alike to help spread the word.
“We are prepared to be an advocate for the industry, but we need help to spread the word”, explained Fahndrich. “Companies can join with us in this mission by claiming or adding their listing, asking for reviews from their customers on our platform, using those reviews in their marketing, and asking their industry friends and colleagues to do the same. Associations can join with us by sharing the mission with their members and helping us get their members represented on our directory. The more people we have using the system, the more we can fight back and create a viable industry-specific alternative.”
Companies can claim or add their free listing here.
In addition to the free listing and access to a “Lite” version of what the ReviewSprout.com review engine, which allows a company to gather up to ten reviews from customers, the company is also offering optional paid upgrades to further leverage the platform and help the local green industry business build, promote, and manage their online reputation.
One huge difference between ReviewSprout.com and Yelp is that they encourage business owners to proactively ask for reviews and to take charge of their online reputation. Another big difference between ReviewSprout.com and Angie’s List is that all reviews collected on ReviewSprout.com are available to the entire general public, and not just a small subset of the population (Angie’s List members). This means that green industry businesses can promote their ReviewSprout.com reviews to all of their prospects and customers with no limitation.
Associations and companies can also join the ReviewSprout.com referral partner program and get paid a referral bounty for every claimed (or added) listing, as well as a percentage of any paid upgrades that a referred company may take advantage of.
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