LouderVoice get its first US customer – user reviews helping businesses during recession

biz_logo_sidebar[Ireland] Ireland-based LouderVoice, the reviews service and aggregator, has bagged its first US customer, audio specialist Klipsch.

The American company is using LouderVoice’s widget to add user reviews to its site, the first time that they’ve moved away from relying solely on “professional reviews” written in the home audio and gadget press to provide feedback and recommendations.

User reviews don’t just appear on Klipsch’s own site but are also aggregated on LouderVoice.com, which helps with SEO, and accessible through the Irish startup’s Android app.

LouderVoice thinks it’s seeing a trend here too. The recession is forcing businesses to focus on listening to their customers more, says the startup, and to seek out cost effective ways to drive direct sales to their respective sites and cut out any middle person in the process.

As a result, LouderVoice is seeing strong take up by hotels, which caught them by surprise says CEO Conor O’Neill. Hotels are suffering very badly at the moment “and so they are trying to drive as much business on-site as possible to avoid giving away margin to the wholesalers”, he says. The company has signed up an initial batch of four hotels and says that many more are in the pipeline for early next year.

Adding user reviews to a hotel’s own site replicates much of the functionality of hotel booking aggregators which all take a cut, and of course the added SEO juice that LouderVoice claims to provide won’t hurt either. There’s the potential discoverability through the Android app too.

LouderVoice was launched in 2008. The company, which is based in Bandon, Ireland, recently won the Eircom Golden Spider for Best Irish e-Business Site 2009 and is currently raising finance to fund a more aggressive roll out of its B2B offering in Ireland, the UK and USA.