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1. WO2017021868 - SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF ONLINE REVIEWS

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF ONLINE REVIEWS

Technical Field

The present invention relates to a system and a method for the management of online reviews.

Background Art

The use of online reviews is well known and increasingly widespread, i.e. shared reviews which can be entered and accessible on the Internet through social media and the Web in general.

In particular, online reviews are an increasingly used tool for sharing judgments about purchased products and services, above all.

For example, some of the sectors in which the use of online reviews has become an increasingly important tool and a decisive factor in consumers' final decisions are those of tourism and catering (hotels, restaurants, holiday packages and the like).

The use of such online reviews has however some problems and obvious limitations.

First of all is the well known problem of false online reviews, i.e. reviews made by people who have never actually used the service offered, but who have mostly a personal interest in issuing a positive or negative review.

In fact, to date, it is impossible or extremely complicated to check the actual reliability of the reviews entered and there are no tools able to perform such checks in a reliable and automated manner.

Description of the Invention

The main aim of the present invention is to provide a system and a method for the management of online reviews which allows eliminating the problem of false online reviews, i.e. of reviews written by people who have never actually used the service offered, but who have a personal interest in issuing a positive or negative review.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a system and a method for the management of online reviews which allows overcoming the mentioned drawbacks of the prior art within the ambit of a simple, rational, easy, effective to use and affordable solution.

The above mentioned objects are achieved by the present system for the management of online reviews with the characteristics described in claim 1. The above mentioned objects are also achieved by the present method for the management of online reviews with the characteristics described in claim 10. Brief Description of the Drawings

Other characteristics and advantages of the present invention will become better evident from the description of a preferred, but not exclusive, embodiment of a system and a method for the management of online reviews, illustrated by way of an indicative, but non-limiting example, in the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 is a block diagram illustrating the system according to the invention. Embodiments of the Invention

With particular reference to such figures, globally indicated with 1 is a system for the management of online reviews R.

Advantageously, the system 1 according to the invention is a "third party" system able to certify in a reliable manner the qualities (or the limits) of commercial activities and professionals, of public and private organizations. In fact, the system 1 allows taking advantage of the possibility of issuing an online review R every time there is an electronic business transaction T for a service, certifying this review and therefore making it reliable.

In particular, the system 1 allows exploiting the medium of the electronic payment as proof of a transaction T of goods occurred between the two parties involved: the customer C and the supplier F of the service (or, where applicable, of products).

Every review R can be issued only for a single transaction T.

The system 1 according to the invention allows therefore eliminating the problem of false online reviews, i.e. reviews written by people who have never actually used the service offered, but have a personal interest in issuing a positive or negative review.

The parties involved in using the system 1 are therefore the customers C, the suppliers F of products or services and the managers G of payment services on mobile devices (mobile payment) or by means of traditional electronic payment. Specifically, the customers C access to the system 1 for the management of reviews R and become the only "producers". It is impossible to enter reviews R for anyone else except for a customer C of the service managed through the system 1.

Each customer C can of course make researches S among the reviews R already entered and present within the system 1.

Preferably, the access to the system 1 is completely free of charge for the customers C. The natural propensity to issue reviews R by the customers C is exploited.

Preferably, the suppliers F of products and services pay an annual fee or a fee after receipt of the review R.

Only the top quality suppliers F will be in the first positions; it will be impossible to pay to be on top of the list.

Preferably, the reviews R managed by the system 1 relate to the transactions T that took place for services (retailers, professionals, branches of media companies,...). The use of the system 1 cannot, however, be ruled out for the management of reviews R related to the transactions T with the suppliers of products.

The managers G of the payment services on mobile devices (such as, e.g., Google Wallet, Apple Pay or the like) are interested in using the system 1 because they get a service that favor them compared to the "competitors" such as banks/credit cards or, simply, because they risk losing a competitive advantage over their direct competitors.

The activity planned by the managers G of payment services to be integrated to the system 1 requires very little effort and is fully compliant with the provisions of privacy laws. The managers G are not required in fact to provide information on the amounts of the transactions T, or about the personal data of the customers C.

As schematized in Figure 1, the system 1 comprises a management and control unit 2 adapted for the management of online reviews R entered by the customers C.

In particular, such a management and control unit 2 has at least a storage unit 3 for storing the reviews R and presentation means 4 of the entered reviews to the customers C (and to the suppliers F).

For example, the presentation means 4 of the reviews can comprise a suitable Web portal.

The system 1 also comprises at least a customers interface unit 5 operatively connected to the management and control unit 2 and having means for the registration and authentication of the customers C and means for entering on the storage unit 3 a new online review R related to said transaction T.

In particular, the customers interface unit 5 can be implemented by means of a suitable software application installable on a personal computer 5a and/or on a mobile device of the type of a smartphone 5b or of a tablet 5c.

For example, an application for smartphones 5b or tablets 5c can be provided for entering reviews R, with the possibility of looking for suppliers F localized in the proximity of the customer C, or by means of the reading of a QR code printed on the receipt or invoice.

Conveniently, the use of a mobile device 5b, 5c with the corresponding application will speed up the operations of authentication and recognition, because each mobile device is typically associated univocally to a specific user. Preferably, the system 1 also comprises at least a suppliers interface unit 6, operatively connected to the management and control unit 2 and having means for the registration and authentication of the suppliers F of products or services. Similarly to the customers interface unit 5, the suppliers interface unit 6 can also be implemented by means of a suitable web page, a software application installable on a personal computer and/or on a mobile device of the type of a smartphone or of a tablet.

Conveniently, if a customer C makes the review of a supplier F who is not registered on the system 1, then such review R is made accessible to the customers C for thirty days, then it is made invisible, possibly until the supplier F decides to join the service and to register on the system 1, possibly by paying the requested fee.

Advantageously, the system 1 comprises at least one generation unit 7 of a

univocal transaction code CT, operatively connected to said management and control unit 2 and adapted to generate and forward the univocal transaction code CT to the management and control unit itself in the case of transaction T between a supplier F of products and services and a customer C.

In particular, the univocal transaction code CT comprises:

a customer identification key IDc;

a supplier identification key IDF;

a transaction identification key IDT.

In particular, this generation unit 7 of a univocal transaction code is connectable and/or implementable within an existing system for managing payments P of a manager G and adapted to manage payment services on mobile devices and/or e-commerce services and/or traditional electronic payment services.

Advantageously, moreover, the management and control unit 2 comprises check means 8 of the correspondence between the customer C, the supplier F and the transaction T associated with a new review R entered by a customer C and the customer identification key IDc, the supplier identification key IDF and the transaction identification key IDT present inside the univocal transaction code

Conveniently, the service provided by the system 1 is multi-channel, as it can be entirely developed for web services, but it is translated in the same way for electronic payments through mobile devices (e.g. of the NFC type or credit cards).

The check means 8 of the management and control unit 2 of the reviews R can therefore consist in WebServices that receive information from the systems for managing payments P such as Google Wallet, Apple Pay, Facebook Pay or the like.

According to a preferred embodiment, the customer identification key IDc comprises an N-digit customer ID alongside to an ID of the system for managing payments P with which the payment for the transaction T has been made. No other information relating to the customer C will be shared with the management and control unit 2.

When the customer C registers on the system 1, the management and control

unit 2 performs a univocal association between user and password to the account and makes a first authentication to validate the identity. If login is successful, the customer identification key IDc will also be received. To the user account will therefore be linked the different customer identification keys IDc received from the different systems for managing payments P.

Still according to a preferred embodiment, the transaction identification key IDT comprises the date and time instant of the transaction.

Preferably, the format of the transaction identification key IDT is as follows: YYYY-MM-DD H24:mm:ss.mill Timezone.

Furthermore, still according to a preferred embodiment, the supplier identification key IDF comprises an N-digit supplier ID alongside to an ID of the system for managing payments P with which the payment for the transaction T has been made.

In addition, together with the supplier identification key IDF, the name and full address of the supplier F (only for registered suppliers and who have expressly granted the release of privacy to share certain information) will also be provided.

Different embodiments of the system 1 cannot however be ruled out with different implementations of the customer identification key IDc, of the supplier identification key IDF and of the transaction identification key IDT.

Furthermore, in order to ensure, by means of the check means 8, the reliability of the new review R, the review R internally comprises the following information:

the customer identification key IDc;

- the supplier identification key IDF;

the transaction identification key IDT;

a mark relating to the transaction T made;

a text field adapted to contain the description of the review itself.

Preferably, the name of the customer C is not mentioned in the review R, since not known, but it is selected randomly from a group of predefined standard names for each country.

This will allow not divulging the identification key IDc of each customer C and, at the same time, seeing the name of the persons issuing reviews R, instead of simple codes, in order to make the review R more "familiar" and less impersonal.

The method for the management of online reviews by means of the system 1 is described below.

In particular, in case of a transaction T between a supplier F of products or services and a customer C, the method provides a step of generation and forwarding of a univocal transaction code CT to a management and control unit 2.

Subsequently, the method provides:

a step of registration and authentication of the customer C at the management and control unit 2, by means of the customers interface unit 5, and

a step of insertion on the storage unit 3 of the management and control unit 2, by the customer C and by means of the customers interface unit 5, of a new online review R related to the specific transaction T.

Conveniently, subsequently to the step of generation of the univocal transaction code CT, the method can provide a step of sending to the customer a link to a

Web portal of the management and control unit 2.

Conveniently, the aforementioned link will be printed on receipts and invoices by means of QR codes or the like and can be read by the application for smartphones or tablets to speed up the review entering operations.

The customer, by clicking the link, is directed to the Web portal page to issue the review R.

Advantageously, the method according to the invention also comprises a step of checking, by means of the check means 8, of the correspondence between:

the customer identification key IDc, the supplier identification key IDF and the transaction identification key IDT associated with the new review R, and the customer identification key IDc, the supplier identification key IDF and the transaction identification key IDT present inside the univocal transaction code CT received.

In the event of such check having a positive outcome, then, the system 1

certifies the reliability of the new review 3 and inserts it in the storage unit 3. Conveniently, the method also provides at least a step of registration and authentication of at least one supplier F of products or services at the management and control unit 2 of the reviews R, by means of the suppliers interface unit. If necessary, to make such registration, the supplier F pays an annual registration fee.

The typical flow of information within the system 1 is therefore as follows.

The customer C makes the transaction T with the supplier F.

The manager G who deals with the payment sends an e-mail to the customer C with the link needed to issue the review R.

Alternatively, the customer C can log in to the system 1 and ask for the list of transactions T he/she carried out during the latest 2-3 months. In this query it is possible to retrieve all transactions of the customer C with the list of suppliers F

(with keys + additional information, if available).

In this case, the customer C chooses the adequate transaction T and can issue the review R for it.

An already reviewed transaction T cannot be used again (the judgment can eventually be changed within the review R itself).

The supplier accesses to the service similarly to the customers C. Obviously, he/she can manage his/her account and related service expenses, can see the reviews concerning him/her, without being able to know the personal details of the customer C who wrote them.

The service expenses of the supplier may be calculated over a certain period (one or five years) or by number of reviews received (in batches of 10 - 50 - 100 reviews).

Below is an example of a possible use of the system 1.

A customer C wants to enter a review R for a transaction T carried out the week before with the Google Wallet service.

The customer C logs in to the Web portal 4 of the management and control unit 2.

The customer C selects the button for entering a new review R.

The customer C chooses the manager G with whom the payment has been made

and presses a dedicated search button.

The system 1 sends a call to the WebService of the selected system for managing payments P, by sending the user code linked to the customer. This code is the key with which the payment system recognizes each user.

The system for managing payments P returns the list of the transactions T to that specific code. In addition to the three basic keys IDc, IDF and IDT, basic information will also be provided related to the supplier F (e.g., company name and address, if available).

The customer C selects the transaction T for which he/she wants to issue the review R and enters it.

It has in practice been observed that the described invention achieves the intended objects.

In particular the fact is underlined that the system and method according to the invention allow to authenticate each single new online review in a reliable manner.

The system and method according to the invention allow therefore to solve the problem of false online reviews, i.e. reviews made by people who have never actually used the service, but have a personal interest in issuing a positive or negative review.