LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Entrepreneur Brad Newman originally created Reviewer Card, a membership card for active online reviewers, as a way to give consumers the rights they deserve and uphold the standards of the service industry worldwide.
Hotels and restaurants gain business as a result of positive online reviews and review sites earn money through advertising, but Newman has always felt that reviewers should be rewarded, too. With the Reviewer Card, businesses are made aware that the cardholder is a prominent reviewer while helping the customer obtain the best service possible.
“I believe in the good of people,” Newman said. “The Reviewer Card is a merit based system made to protect consumers and remind businesses to give them the customer service they deserve. This card is not intended for freebies, but rather to insure the experience goes seamlessly for everyone.”
After a soft launch and an overwhelming response to the cards, Newman has decided to make the cards free to those who pass the extensive selection process instead of charging the original price of $100. The company is very selective and curates who gets the cards; only the best, most professional, pedigreed reviewers are rewarded with a card.
“This venture was never about making money, but for reviewers to experience more joy around the world,” adds Newman.
A book offering advice for entrepreneurs called “The Lean Start Up” inspired Newman to give the concept a shot. He is currently working to make businesses aware of the card so it has more merit when members present it.
Secret Shoppers have become a common practice in the hotel and restaurant industry, when companies hire a person to test, and later rate, a company’s service while posing as a regular customer. The Reviewer Card also serves as a way to remind restaurants and hotels that there are thousands of secret shoppers and reviewers who may not be identifying themselves, and could be doing the restaurants and hotels a service by warning them of a potential reviewer.
“I understand how much a negative review can impact a business,” Newman said. “I’ve never given a company a bad review because I know how awful it can be. The card serves as a notice that they are going to be publicly graded on their service and can actually be a helpful reminder.”
Additionally, Newman is building an offline community around the cards. The target demographics for the Reviewer Card are passionate reviewers, first adopters, those who love to travel and those who love to try new places. Those are the people who consistently write positive reviews for hotels and restaurants because they know how key those reviews are.
Besides completely dropping the price of the card, Newman is looking into transparency issues and is making member terms of service a major focus.
“Our goal is to be the most well respected and ethical reviewers on the entire Internet. Whether you have the card or not, we hope the mere presence of it in the marketplace raises the level of experience for everyone,” Newman said.
Of course there is no guarantee that a restaurant or hotel will provide better service with the flash of the card. It’s simply a way for reviewers to say, “show us your best.”