In today’s business environment, online reputation management is increasingly important. The landscape is rapidly changing and technology is leading the way. I caught up with the CEO of www.reputation.com and Here’s what he had to say:
Q: What exactly is Online Reputation Management?
Online Reputation Management is making sure a business’s online reputation, including publicly available opinions and reviews about your business, matches the offline experience that people have with your business. Its ultimate goal is to create a better experience for customers and in so doing, strengthen the business.
A: Online Reputation Management involves three key functions:
• Monitoring and responding to direct feedback from customers – received through surveys, review sites, social media, and kiosks in individual locations
• Turning the feedback into actionable intelligence to understand what a business is doing well and where it can improve
• Promoting great customer stories to generate new leads and acquire new customers
Q: What sparked the idea for you to use technology to manage reputations?
A: The fact that the Internet has changed business so fundamentally comes at a surprise to no one. But tools like social media and both general and vertical-‐specific review sites have really opened the door for new conversations with customers. Moreover, other consumers are relying on – and trusting – these forums for unvarnished viewpoints even though satisfied and neutral customers may not be represented. Businesses need a technological solution like ours to solicit more feedback from a broader spectrum of customers, plus organize and analyze it – so that they can attract new customers, drive sales and retain their current customer base.
Q: What are the leading technologies employed in the creation of reputation management platforms?
- Real-‐time Big Data processing infrastructure to find, match, and manage hundreds of thousands of web pages where consumers post their feedback.
- Data normalization and machine learning to extract actionable insights from structured and unstructured customer feedback to understand risks, opportunities, and emerging trends.
- Deep integrations with Customer Relationship Management and Customer Support Desk systems to align online reputation measurement to actual customer experience.
- A/B testing framework to optimally solicit feedback and reviews from customers.
- User interface and workflows to efficiently monitor, improve, and promote online reputation and online presence across thousand of locations.
Q: During the last 5 years what have been the biggest changes to your technology (and what instigated the change)?
A: For our enterprise clients, it’s really shifting to looking at reputation management as a local marketing solution that works at scale. From a single place, customers get the ability to ask for more reviews, analyze the review content for changes in volume and sentiment over time, put out surveys, and manage all their social media content.
With the customer intelligence they get, they can make the changes that are high value – both micro changes at the individual business location level and more macro changes across the enterprise as a whole.
For example, reviews may indicate that a particular location’s receptionist is rude and unfriendly – the micro change is rectifying that issue through, perhaps, training. At a macro level, it could be creating better training for all front desk staff across multiple locations – and reinforcing how valuable these employees are to the customer experience.
Q: How do you monitor reputation management performance?
A: We have a patented reputation score comprised of 6 factors:
- Star average: Measures a business’s average star rating, accounting for factors like the popularity of review sites and the quality of the reviews
- Review volume: The total number of reviews a business has for a given location – the more feedback it has, the more the community regards it as an established business
- Review recentness: Measures the recency of reviews across review sites – and weighs newer reviews more heavily than older reviews
- Review length: Evaluates the number of long reviews because consumers perceive these to be more accurate and authoritative than short reviews
- Review spread: Determining how reviews are allocated across the relevant review sites for a particular business
- Visibility: Seeing if the business website and important review sites show up as part of the first page of a business’s search results
Q: What are the financial impacts that a business can see when they employ reputation management at scale?
A: At scale, reputation management helps companies build their reputation, improve customer experience, and generate new sales.
A recent analysis we conducted across thousands of business locations showed that businesses with a 50-‐point increase in their Reputation Score were 40% more likely to see an increase in seasonally-‐adjusted sales the next month than businesses with a 50-‐point drop in their Reputation Score.
Q: What does the future look like for platforms like yours?
A: Reputation management brings together Customer Relationship Management, Marketing, and Customer Support Desks with a keen focus on monitoring, addressing, and promoting what people say or write about their experience at individual locations. As new methods of reaching out and understanding customers emerge through the advancement of technology (e.g. new social media channels or customer feedback loops), our platform will continue to evolve to help businesses attract customers at scale and shape delightful customer experiences based on real data.
Q: Please provide the top 5 reasons why a brand should employ a reputation management platform.
- Help your online reputation match the offline reality of the customer experience that your business delivers – by encouraging a greater number of customers to leave feedback about their experiences.
- Monitor reviews that people write about your business in order to respond quickly and professionally.
- Extract and understand practical issues, risks, and opportunities that emerge from customer feedback at or close to the point of sale – so you can continue what’s working well and improve areas that need attention for each business location.
- Drive greater sales and new customer acquisition via better local reputation and social presence online.
- Simplify the time and effort required to manage your local marketing efforts at scale – from requesting and responding to reviews, sending out surveys, managing social media channels, and analyzing feedback.In today’s business environment, online reputation management is increasingly important. The landscape is rapidly changing and technology is leading the way. I caught up with the CEO of www.reputation.com and Here’s what he had to say: