More threads by JoshuaMackens


Local Search Expert
Sep 12, 2012
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So, there seem to be a lot of review products out there now.

Who is everyone using and why? Have you used any of the other products and what were your pros and cons with them?
I have used reputation kahuna before. It works fine for me, and can easily monitor my client reviews. I haven't used it for years, so I dunno if additional features have been added since then. if I have to choose a tool, I go for Getfivestars. Why? Because I trust the guys behind that tool =). Also, lots of good feedback.
When choosing a product, it often does come down to trust in the team that built it.

Still, the product itself, the pricing, and whether/how it serves your goals--these all matter. If you're going to build business on top of any of these services, you probably want a bit more than a gut feeling when choosing one.

Rather than weigh in on which solution is best--since I am obviously biased and could obviously take the other guys in an arm-wrestle :)--let me offer a little bit of a framework to help evaluate solutions like and GetFiveStars.

If you're in the market, these two are both worth a look. But there are lots of fly-by-nights with apparently equal services that can be summarily eliminated with a little probing.

I think it helps to identify your broad review-related goals, like Review Acquisition or Review Monitoring/Amplification. Then start asking what tools and tactics that are going to best serve those goals for you/your clients.

Review Acquisition
- Does the tool support collecting reviews on *all* of your target review sites?
- Can you automate review request campaigns? Can they be triggered by the customer? By the client? By an API?
- Does the tool support extending campaigns in email? SMS? Print? Embeddable widgets? Email signatures?
- Does the tool prioritize getting reviews where you need them?
- Can you segment happy vs. unhappy customers and guide the customer accordingly?
- Is the process easy, inviting, well-designed, mobile-friendly, not sleazy?
- Is the tool customizable?
- Can it be white-labeled?

Review Monitoring/Amplification
- Does the tool monitor all of your target review sites?
- Does it capture all past, present and future reviews, or just select reviews from third-party APIs?
- Does coverage includes major, minor and industry-specific sites?
- Will you receive alerts when new reviews are published anywhere?
- Can you auto-publish positive reviews to your website? Via HTML/JavaScript? Via Wordpress plugin? Via Joomla module?
- Can the system auto-share positive reviews to social media? With an image of the review for a more engaging post?
- Can you control the criteria for review re-publishing as well as override these settings as needed?
- Are the reviews published for SEO in your choice of rich-snippet markup?
- Does the tool provide you and your client PDF and web-based performance/trend reports so that you/they know your ROI?
- Can reports be generated on an arbitrary recurring schedule and sent automatically? Can they be white-labeled? Can they aggregate data for large multi-location businesses?
- Is there an API available for the review data?

There are lots more questions to ask, too. And by all means, do take your vendors to task with them. That's what we're here for...
Hi Joshua,

Yes. Of course, one's HIPAA compliance ultimately depends on *what else* one does with the collected patient information--a review/feedback system is typically just one part of a healthcare company's communications infrastructure.

But yes, we consider all communications within our platform *besides* reviews (which patients must agree to share publicly) to potentially contain "protected health information" or PHI in the language of HIPAA. Therefore, it's bank-level encryption and strict non-storage of private messages for everything else:
Is your site HIPAA compliant? | Knowledge Base

Is this what you mean?
I'm surprised this thread went dead. I have some very small business clients that don't want to spend much money. Frankly, in most categories these days, Yelp is the 800 lbs Gorilla when it comes to local referrals. Lot's of 5-star ratings and a good ranking there is second to only being in the 3-pack on Google for most businesses I've dealth with. So one could argue, if you are tight on budget Yelp's built-in tools and notifications are covering a lot of what is most important.

So what's the best bang for the buck out there as far as basic review monitoring?
I liked for the review generation platform, we haven't used it for rep monitoring. I think their service is great, and so is the product.

I would use more, but, we have a lot of customers on Vendasta, which we use for Rep Monitoring, and business listings. They are a good tool that covers a lot of bases for Local Rep monitoring, and listings. . . not great in any one category, but, pretty good across the board.

Overall, Vendasta gives you a lot of things you can point to at the end of the month, and it is easier for the client to see what you have done for them (with the business listings, review tracking etc).
We use Get5Stars and I love that it automatically can post your testimonials to a page in Wordpress.

We use Feefo as well because of seller ratings which matter in AdWords because it's what gets you gold stars in your ads. You can get the gold stars from your GMB account but they only show to people in your immediate area so if you're targeting a wide radius, seller ratings are the way to go. Ex:
We use Get5Stars and I love that it automatically can post your testimonials to a page in Wordpress.

We use Feefo as well because of seller ratings which matter in AdWords because it's what gets you gold stars in your ads. You can get the gold stars from your GMB account but they only show to people in your immediate area so if you're targeting a wide radius, seller ratings are the way to go. Ex:

Feefo can help local businesses get Adwords stars? Do you also use them like you use Get5Stars?

Yep - doesn't matter what type of business it is. You have to get 30 reviews before seller ratings kick in and you have 30 from the last 12 months (so it's not like you can just get a bunch and then leave it). We send out requests to new clients every month to keep a continuous flow of reviews.

There are other companies out there that offer services that work with seller ratings as well. Another common one is Trust Pilot. I was bugging Mike about this and telling him to get Get5Stars on that list -

Gold Stars - Seller Ratings.jpg

Gold Stars - Seller Ratings.jpg
Hi Everyone:

I need to select a review generation solution for my clients. I have looked very superficially at these:
and others...

My short list has come down to these two: vs getfivestars

Please help me choose. :confused:
Nice, Tim! The good news is: you can't go wrong there ;)

I'm really interested in your market. I know we currently monitor reviews on, and specifically in elder care, but I'd be interested to know what are other important channels and issues in the elder care niche...
Hi Tim,
That's great, glad to be included in your short list, and as Jon said you can't go wrong with either of those :)

I'd be glad to give you a demo and chat with you to see if GetFiveStars would be a good fit for what you are looking to do. Just let me know and we can set something up tomorrow or whenever works best for you.
I agree Tim, you'll be in good hands either way.

Now how often do you want to eval a new product and instead of you calling and maybe getting a sales guy or having to leave a message - the principles of 2 different companies contact YOU and offer to give you a demo. Pretty cool! :)
That's pretty awesome. I will follow up with those fellows.

I would still like to hear from others, especially those who have tried both.

That's pretty awesome. I will follow up with those fellows.

I would still like to hear from others, especially those who have tried both.


Hi Tim,

I'm not sure if you've found a solution for client review/reputation management. I'll chime in with my experience with GetFiveStars, Vendasta, Reputation Loop, and our in-house developed solution.

Mostly, what I've experienced is that none of them are likely to give you everything you want which is the reason I use more than one depending on the industry and/or client. Also, why I've developed my own for a specific niche that my agency works with.

From purely a software perspective, any of the ones mentioned are really good. The 3 I mention, all have a white label option so you can brand it as your own.


GetFiveStars is cofounded by Mike Blumenthal who is regarded as an expert in the field of local search.

has a huge client/user base, mostly publishers and media companies. So the software is rigorously battle tested and the sales training invaluable.

Reputation Loop's founders and their in-house sales team develop and actively sell their software and services, so you'll get great sales training support as well as frequent innovation in the software. It also seems to offer the most customization and flexibility in terms of personalizing each account to your client with multiple ways to collect feedback from customers.

Areas of Improvement:

GetFiveStars UI leaves a bit to be desired. Things could be better organized inside the application. Also, there is very little interactivity within the community they have built around their software.

Vendasta may be priced out of reach for an independent consultant and I didn't find their solutions to be very polished. Typical media/publishing company mass sales type products.

Reputation Loop has a limited API, but if you're not developing your own software products around reputation, then this is not relevant.


Though none are perfect, these are all good options for online reputation management for clients. If you asked me to pick a favorite, I'd suggest to consider Reputation Loop.

Hope you found this helpful. Feel free to ask any other questions you might have regarding my experiences with these platforms.
@dealerpower, Tim,
I just wanted to say that we (GetFiveStars) do a monthly customer webinar, and Mike Blumenthal, Aaron Weiche and I are much more actively blogging about customer feedback and review management best practices that anyone can use.

We're a small and growing team and are super-committed to connecting with our customers in as many ways as possible.

We also do a monthly "Release Notes" blog post/newsletter that shows all the new features (many suggested from customers) that we've added that month.

Thanks for including us in your roundup of potential vendors!
Hey Robbie, thanks for taking the time to share all that feedback!
I'm sure others will find it helpful!

Hey Don, thanks for stopping by to weigh in. Always good to hear from you!

My intention wasn't to discourage potential consultants, agencies, or business owners from considering GetFiveStars. In fact, it's obvious you guys have taken great care in it's development.

I'd like to append my original comments regarding your software as it relates to your embedded reviews plugin. It is the only integrated plugin I've seen the rich snippets star ratings in search results which is huge for click through rates. I know you guys are experts in your own right and I have no doubt that your commitment to excellence will help your software become a top consideration for many.

Disclaimer: I've had a white label license of each of the mentioned software platforms for more than 18 months and use each of them with current clients.
Here's an update: After testing more than one solution, I eventually selected and I am very satisfied with them.

I should probably post more details about my experience with them, but for now suffice it to say that I use their service every day with good success. Their feature set is a good fit for my needs and their support has been terrific.

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