Remember when you were a kid and you/a friend had a pool and you’d get chased around with that little wheelie monster with a tail that shot water at the bottom cleaning the pool? Maybe as an adult you still have one of those. Maybe its name was something like Rover. Even with Rover you still has to put some serious work into that pool and go beyond just watching and listening to Rover. You have to skim it, check the chlorine levels, clean the traps, contain problems, and make sure it doesn’t turn green like the diving pool did in Rio did this year. The pool owner takes care of the pool, and Rover helps maintain it. . . . so what's the point when it comes to your online reviews? What we’re trying to say is just because you you have a monitoring tool for your reviews, it doesn’t mean you have a reputation management solution by any means—listening is basic. You've still got a lot of stuff to do, like skim the surface, clean the traps and make sure thing doesn’t go green. You have to do more than just listen, you need get involved. Managing your reputation is a VERB and requires you to take action!
Just relying on a monitoring tool to manage your online reviews would be like relying on Rover to do everything to your pool. It’s a very impersonal way to deal with a very personal aspect of the biz, your biz that is.
A review monitoring program is definitely great for keeping you up to date on reviews about your business and even assessing your business and/or brand in social media land. The next step, is managing those reviews and that reputation by getting involved in the conversation and using that space to build relationships with your clients and customer base.
Let’s say, your monitoring tool notifies you of a negative Yelp review via email. There’s two directions you could go: one would be to ignore it and move on, because maybe you’re too busy, you have plenty of other things to do, or “one negative review won’t hurt anyone.”
The other direction, the one we advise, is to recognize the review, take it to heart, and use it to better your business. Whether the complaint is big or small, someone—a patron of your business—had such an issue, such a bad experience that they took the time to create a negative review about. And that is not good for biz.
Managing your reputation is about turning a negative experience around into an opportunity to connect with your customer-base and engage in the conversation about your business. It may bring up operational issues, disgruntled employees, or a service or product that is lacking. Managing your reputation, hands on, can help bring those things to light.
Even better, the dialogue that defines your reputation can be a resource as to where and how to improve your business as your clients and customers would like to see best. You have a platform that allows you to talk back and forth with unsatisfied customers, targeting and fixing issues to bring the satisfaction bar from sub-zero back to the 90s (and we all loved the 90s, right?). So, we’re all about monitoring your reviews, getting updates about new ones, and regular assessments about your online reputation. But the work doesn’t stop with Rover (as much as we may want it to!). You got to keep plugging away, building bridges with customers and constantly buffing that online reputation so that it sparkles and hopefully you can see yourself in it.