Whether you run a large multi-national chain or a local small business, reputation management software can be a huge help to you. Much of online reputation management can be automated with this software, saving you a ton of time and effort. Let's take a look at how it works and what it costs.
Do you have a Reputation Management Specialist on your staff? No? All successful businesses have them! They generally work full-time and earn salaries of upwards of $100,000 a year and, by the way, you're also legally obligated to give them a unicorn to ride to work each day.
Okay, that's not true - but for businesses that don't know what their reputation even is, let alone how to improve it, hiring a new employee might seem like the only viable way to handle reputation management. After all, what does your business have if it doesn't have its reputation?
Most business owners and managers would probably say "nothing." Because if customers don't hear good things about you, they won't show up. Frankly, if they don't hear anything at all about you, they probably won't show up.
So unless you have a captive audience - like if you're the only business selling food within a 30-mile radius - you probably have some competition, and that means your customers have options. They have to have a good reason to bring their money to you.
Your reputation gives them that reason. And you don't have to hire anyone, or devote hours each day, in order to improve it.
Uhh... What is Reputation Management?
Did you ever talk to your grandfather about his work? Maybe he was a bridge builder, a tailor, a career Army man. Whatever he did, the phrase "reputation management" never came out of his mouth.
And yet, reputation mattered then, like it matters now. Let's say your grandfather was a tailor. There were probably other tailors around too, so why would customers come to him? Probably because their neighbors, brothers, cousins or friends used his services and were happy with them.
But if he always overcharged, did sloppy work and was rude to customers, his business probably would have suffered. In order to keep himself afloat, he would have had to make adjustments, convince customers to give him another chance and prove that he could be consistently reliable.
It comes down to this: people talk. We share information within our communities and we make decisions based on that information. That talk shapes businesses' reputations.
"Reputation management" is just a catch-all term for all the steps a business can take to make sure its reputation remains strong and that most customers have a positive impression.
The Old-Fangled Way, the New-Fangled Way
Your poor (fictional) grandfather, the tailor. Turning his bad reputation around probably took months or years of one-on-one interactions with customers. He would have had to show each individual customer that he was changing his ways, charging fair prices, doing quality work. It would take a long time for the word-of-mouth reviews of his business to change from mostly negative to mostly positive.
Now imagine a relative doing the same thing in the 1990s with, say, a mechanic shop. Turning his reputation around might have required him to call former customers to try to convince them to come back, or to place expensive ads in the local paper, or to pass out flyers around town each weekend.
Yeah, you don't have time for that. Nor do you need to do that to manage your reputation. Now there's software that can do the legwork for you, allowing you to focus on what you do best: serving and satisfying your customers.
Skipping the Hard Way with Software
Finding reputation management software that works for your business is all about matching the features that the software offers with the outcomes you're looking for. There are several types out on the market, each offering a different mix of tools.
Reputation management software can:
- Motivate your customers to write reviews on online review sites like Yelp and Facebook.
- Leverage those reviews to attract new customers, by automatically posting highlights from positive reviews on your social media feeds and website.
- Help you get specific feedback from unhappy customers, allowing you to address their complaints without those complaints being broadcast to the public.
- Create reports that allow you to visualize and quantify your current reputation.
These programs can help any type of business, from a one-person shop to a high-volume company with hundreds of employees.
And yes, reputation management software costs money - but nowhere near as much as you would pay an employee to do all the time-consuming tasks that the software does efficiently.
Many software programs are cagey about their costs (requiring you to set up demos with aggressive sales representatives), but ReputationStacker is always upfront with straightforward pricing.
ReputationStacker's automated system simplifies everything about reputation management. It allows you to easily collect honest feedback from your customers and have an open dialogue with them. It also includes tools that make it easy to take action on that feedback to improve and grow your business.
ReputationStacker has the added benefit of segmenting your happy customers and getting them to post reviews on the online review sites of your choice. That leverages customer feedback in a way that greatly helps grow your business by attracting new customers. Your grandfather the (pretend) tailor wished he had it this easy!
The Final Word
Running a successful business is hard, and competition is everywhere. Get a leg up by tending to your reputation every day, making sure it's as positive as possible. Reputation management software can help. Use ReputationStacker's automated system to easily gather honest feedback, and use its tools to grow and improve your business.
Ian Kirby has been working in digital marketing for over 15 years. Having worked both with and for digital marketing agencies and in-house with multiple companies, he has a specific interest and expertise in online reputation management, online reviews, and the implementation of business systems. Ian’s writing, videos, and interviews have garnered millions of reads, views, and listens.