“I knew from my first business – XBridge, which is the UK’s largest online insurance and finance broker for small businesses in terms of customer numbers – how transformative the internet could be so I had the idea for BView,” he says.
“I also saw how there was a need for something like this in the UK. I think customer service varies a lot more in its quality here than in other areas of the world so I think there’s more use for an application like BView.”
BView offers a free web presence for all UK businesses and launched last month with 2.3 million businesses on the site. It also offers free company credit ratings and customer reviews ratings. A regularly updated BView Score is given to every business that’s rated; the score is calculated from a unique algorithm and weighted according to the reviewers’ profile and BView influence.
Liebmann insists BView doesn’t alter its results depending on how much a company pays to advertise on the site, and has mechanisms in place to protect against rogue reviewers. “We don’t allow people to review their own business or competitors,” he says. “It occasionally happens but generally people will report that as abuse.
“Occasionally we’ll get someone who wants to post anonymously but we know who they are and where they work. What’s unique about our system is the company gets to respond to all reviews – it’s very interactive.”
He describes BView as a “very social application” as businesses use the site to engage with their own customers and because there’s a growing community of reviewers. “People can subscribe to each other, receive their reviews, subscribe to businesses and receive updates from businesses reviewed.”
Yell is BView’s main competitor. Liebmann admits it’s a great brand but he’s determined to make BView “the first instinctive choice that people think about when they’re researching or vetting a business”.