We have been using resellerratings.com for years now. Initially, it was because we had to, and now, it’s because we want to.
Now, I am a big believer that, if you have any issue with any aspect of my company, I want to know about it immediately so that we can make it right for you, and then implement changes that prevent it from happening again to someone else. In fact, no other iPod repair company that I am aware of encourages their customers to call the owner (me!) directly (210-787-9482) or via email if they have a problem or concern that is not being addressed by my stellar Customer Service Department.
I think that’s a much more effective way of getting an issue resolved, as opposed to filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or making a negative review on sites like ResellerRatings.com. Bottom line: give us a chance to fix the issue, and if we don’t, head to RR and fire away!
But the increased relevancy of ResellerRatings.com (RR) has caught my attention these past few months. And now, with their recent site re-design and increased exposure alongside Google search results, I felt RR warranted another Milliamp review.
In fact, the changes that RR have made further distances themselves from the more stodgy and less accurate BBB. The main difference between the BBB and RR is that a customer can only submit a complaint to the BBB, where on RR, a customer can submit a complaint or a compliment. This alone makes RR more favorable in the minds of merchants over the BBB. On top of that, merchants can respond to the review left on RR, whereas on the BBB, you can internally respond to the complaint, but all that relevant detail is never seen by the public. And RR recently expanded the review criteria from one overall ranking to several components of the transaction: overall satisfaction, cost, shipping process, and customer service, to name most. This may not seem like a big change, but the end result is likely a more accurate and fair review. Most reasonable people who will leave a review on RR will fairly rank a company on each of these criteria – but if they ding a merchant all across the board, it really makes the reviewer look catty, bent on destruction, with no reasonable consideration for the entire business exchange. While it is not clear how reviews made on RR in the past when there was just one criteria on which to rank factors in the overall score when mixed with these new, more comprehensive rankings, it is a welcome change for merchants.
With these new features, however, comes a price: most small companies will be asked to pay RR $99 per month to be able to see the order number of the person leaving the review and be able to respond to the review (perhaps the most controversial aspect of RR’s business model). If you are short on cash and don’t want to maintain an account with RR, you can usually figure out who left a review of your business by examining the username (which is typically similar to the customers’ email address) the customer used for their review, or from the details of the review itself, but again, you won’t be able to publicly respond to the reviewer for others to see.
The RR site has changed quite a bit, too. While not quite 100 percent complete (there are still a couple of broken links), the site is a major improvement of the first iteration that we have been familiar with.
Now, there seems to be a greater focus on reviews, and less focus on shopping. I have personally never started to look for a product by first going to RR – perhaps people actually do this, but it still seems like an unusual place to start for me yet. A great indicator of this change are reflected in the positioning of the two search boxes: the ‘Find a Store’ search box now appears before the ‘Find a Product’ search box:
And you no longer have to hunt around to figure out how to leave a review; at the top-right side of the Home Page is a big button to start the review process:
One of the most “entertaining” part of the RR site is their ‘Best and Worst List’, which is still present in the re-vamped website. Here you can read up on the most highly-ranked companies, and shake your head when reading about the worst on the list. I have to admit spending a lot of time reading the both, to try and gain insights on the best way to run my organization.
RR also rolled out a new logo, which should become more and more of a common sight as more business start to display the logo on their websites:
I have a few suggestions for RR to consider to help make their business more useful to merchants:
1. Discounted pricing for merchants based on their overall rating. Merchants that have higher rankings should be rewarded for their “good behavior”.
2. Allow merchants to specify if they want a specific review to appear on search engine results pages. This could be configurable so one could say, for example, to allow any reviews between 7.5 and 10 to appear, while anything less would not be crawled.
3. Allow merchants to integrate reviews left on RR with their Twitter accounts. The tweet could include a tinyurl link back to the actual post. This too should be configurable so that a Tweet would only occur if a particular threshold was met.
In closing, I have been impressed with the growth and influence that ResellerRatings.com has acheived. On top of that, the few times that I have needed their assistance with account maintenance, they have been very responsive and helpful.
Anthony Magnabosco, Owner