Apps have become nearly ubiquitous to cell phone users over the last few years. With so many of them out there, with so many different uses, we thought we’d do our part to uncover the most useful applications for business owners.

This week, we decided to cover some of the hottest apps that people are using to review and learn about your business.

Why should you care?

As a business owner:

  • By reviewing these tools, you can get some great insight into what your customers think of your business and the services you’re providing.
  • By better understanding how these applications work, you will almost always find ways to showcase your business in a positive light.
  • By using these tools, you can work to correct any problems that your customers are having as well as improve upon the things your customers say they already like about your business!

In talking with people around the Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. office, we found these to be some of the most popular apps for reviewing mobile businesses:

  • OpenTable (Android & iPhone): The OpenTable application lets users post reviews of the restaurants they have visited. Along with their review, users can rate their experience from a number of criteria (overall, food, ambiance, service, and noise level). They can also attribute “special features” to the restaurant, these “features” include, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, and special occasion. For your business to show up on OpenTable (and to be reviewed), you must be using the OpenTable system to reserve tables. Along with the reservation feature the mobile app allows users to access the restaurant’s menus.
  • Yelp (Android & iPhone): The Yelp application allows any Yelp user to write a review of a business that they have visited. Yelp reviews are not limited to dining establishments, users can also review banks, credit unions, and gas stations. In addition to reviews, the Yelp app supports “quick tips” for users to offer to short suggestions to others about the business. Yelp users can check in to the places they visit and also post photos from their visit.
  • TripAdvisor (Android & iPhone): TripAdvisor is similar to the other applications in that it offers reviews of businesses which users can access through the app. In this case users can review hotels, restaurants, and things to do in the city they are currently in, or in one they plan on visiting. After users have given out stars in their reviews the TripAdvisor application ranks the hotels, restaurants etc… based on the ratings people give out.
  • Localicious (Android only): Localicious allows users to find nearby businesses, based on the neighborhood they are in, of all types including restaurants, dentists, hair salons, florists, and even veterinarians. Reviews can then be posted about these establishments and stars assigned based on the customer’s experience. The application also allows users to check in to the businesses that they visit.
  • Foursquare (Android & iPhone): Foursquare is not technically a review application, it is built as an app to allow people to check into your business. Once they are checked in they can offer tips to other users which act as mini-reviews for others using the application.

These are just a few of the apps popular around the DandB offices, but we know there are numerous additional applications out there.   What’s your favorite app for learning about businesses?

[CC photo courtesy of JEZZ and AnnieGreenSprings]