Community

Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

Filed in: Marketing

Reputation Management is More than Just an Email

By JD Rucker on Dec 19, 2013

Online reputation has been a hot topic for a couple of years now. As solutions continue to emerge and the business of reputation management as a service expands, there's a dangerous trend that should be addressed.

Reputation management isn't about sending an email. It's not about filtering results by checking their sentiment first before directing them to the review sites. It's not even about trying to identify any challenges that they had with their experience. It's about making their experience strong from the start and learning from the challenges some customers pointed out.

First and foremost, stop blaming the customer. If they leave a bad review, it's not because they were just trolling. It's not because they get a kick out of burning businesses on Yelp, Google Local, or DealerRater. It's not even about them thinking they should have received a better deal than they got even if you gave it away. They were unhappy with the experience and there was something you could have done differently to prevent them from leaving a bad review. Learn from it.

Once you get the customer-is-to-blame mentality out of your head, it's time to figure out how to collect and address the feedback. Yes, emails help here. They're not the cure, but they're a good thermometer. While there are plenty of filtering services out there that send a "survey" first before asking for feedback, these are dangerous and will someday be shot down as the devious technique that they are.

In case you're not familiar with them, here's how they work:

  1. Customer receives a survey in their email asking about their experience
  2. Their replies are collected by the reputation management system and sorted between positive and negative sentiment
  3. If the sentiment was positive, they are sent an email asking them to share their experience on review sites like Yelp
  4. If the sentiment is negative, they're sent an apology email with a link to give direct feedback to the owner or general manager

This all seems like a good process until you realize that the review sites don't like this. They rightfully believe that it's manipulation of reviews and it's one of the primary culprits in their war on "fake" reviews. According to Yelp:

"No, you shouldn’t ask your customers to post reviews on Yelp. For one thing, most businesses tend to ask their happiest customers to write reviews, not the unhappy ones."

They are correct and it's the main reason that so many businesses work hard (or pay good money) only to find that their Yelp reviews disappeared. It's simply not a good practice to find out whether or not your customers are going to burn you before asking them to write a review for you.

The most important thing that any business can do to improve their reputation is to accept the feedback, positive or negative, and apply a two-step process. First, share the feedback with employees. If it's good, let them know as much about the situation as possible and why it turned into a positive review. If it's bad, do the same thing but offer suggestions that could have prevented the negative feedback from happening. This is important whether the feedback comes directly to the company or if it's posted online.

Second, you'll want to reply to reviews. Every review. EVERY review. Positive, negative, indifferent - if someone takes the time to give you feedback about your business whether it's on a public site or directly to you, it is your responsibility to reply. If it's positive, humility and appreciation are in order. They're your customers - the lifeblood of your business. If it's negative, professionalism and empathy must apply. Remember, how you reply to negative feedback is often the most important aspect of reputation management. People don't expect any business to be perfect. You can go a long way towards impressing people with how you handle the bad situations as much if not more than the benefits of getting good reviews.

Reputation isn't a star rating. Reputation management isn't an email. In this golden age of digital, you have at your fingertips the ability to learn how to improve your business practices from the very people that do business with you. Are you listening to them?

Article originally posted on Business2Community.

Comments

One term that can be used in Reputation Management is "Domino Effect". Yes either way positive or negative there is a Domino effect - probably more so on the Negative end. When consumers do not get the experience they are looking for they WANT to tell others. They feel it is their duty to. I agree that it is all the elements in being proactive that can give the consumer the best experience possible.

Dec 20, 2013

Comments 1 - 1 of 1

You must be logged in to comment

Login Create an account

Add your comments:

   

JD Rucker's Recent Posts

Related Posts

  • Creating an Excellent (CX) in your Store

    A recent quarterly digital intelligence briefing from Adobe and Econsultancy titled Digital Trends 2015 outlining the most exciting opportunities for your organization, ranked Customer Experience as number one for the second straight year. The study was conducted on more than 6,000 marketing, digital and ecommerce professionals around the world ranking things like content marketing, mobile, social, big data, personalisation, location based services  and more. Customer Experience or (CX) as a theme has increased the gap from 2014 between things like mobile and social. Last year 20% ranked (CX) as the most exciting opportunity and the number has increased in 2015 to 22%. It is clear that in the coming year we will see a ton of activity in this area, so how can your dealership ensure an excellent (CX)? Customer Experience is defined as is the sum of all experiences at various touch points a customer has with a supplier of goods and/or services, over the duration of their relatio...Read post

  • 6 Things You Should Know About Email Marketing

    Of all the marketing methods, both conquest and customer, email is the most cost effective and returns the highest return on investment than any other channel. Of course this is only true if you know these six tips to get the most out of your email marketing. Subject Lines Did you know 33% of recipients open an email based on the subject line alone?1 Think of the subject line as your email’s headline. It should be brief, no more than 35-40 characters in length, for easy viewing on a mobile device. The content of your subject line should provide actionable information that represents the major content of your email. Always avoid using strong promotional attributes like multiple exclamation points or words in all caps. If you’re unsure of your selected subject line, test a couple out to determine which one receives the most opens. From Line Did you know 70% of people open emails from their favorite companies?2 This exact reason is why it is very important to use your dealership’s...Read post

  • Get In The Game! Gamification Best Practices For Your Dealership

    While gamification seems to be an emerging term in the automotive vertical, it's been a stable marketing tactic in others for years now. We've seen it in social media, different location based apps on our phones to training software. If you find that your dealership is looking to employ gamification into your marketing mix there are some simple best practices you will want to review with your staff and your vendors prior to launching. Know your business goals: Your marketing strategies need to align with your dealership's business goals. If you employ gamification as part of that strategy it has to align as well. Gamification isn't just to make your website content more interesting, clear KPAs need to be defined to ensure success. You need to define clear cut results to measure whether or not your efforts are successful or not. Make scoring and winning straight forward: In an article published last year by Michael Brenner, it's communicated that our average attention span is ...Read post

  • Retention, Loyalty or Acquisition Marketing?

    We all want new customers. And it’s certainly mandatory to retain a customer to create a loyal one. But how we market our dealerships is increasingly important -- as each form of marketing will deliver different results. The three terms: loyalty, retention and acquisition marketing, all have their own distinct meanings and should be used to satisfy different goals and objectives. While they are often not distinguished differently within most dealerships, they truly have different meanings, and will generate different results.   According to the experts at the Cambridge Dictionary, the definition of customer loyalty is as follows:   “The fact of a customer buying products or services from the same company over a long period of time.”   According to Wikipedia, customer retention is defined as follows:   “Customer retention is the activity that a selling organization undertakes in order to reduce customer defections.”   And acquisition marketing is defined as th...Read post

  • Connecticut Ford Dealership Launches Chevy Marketing Campaign?

    At some point, "social" media stopped being "social" for many dealerships...who decided it's better to talk TO customers than to engage them. This marketing campaign with a Connecticut Ford dealership turns that concept upside down.Read post

  • The Quick Answer Scenario Makes More Sales Happen

    We all love to focus on leads. That's the name of the game in pretty much everything you do on your website. Many dealers are starting to understand that it's not all about leads since many people, particularly mobile visitors, are not filling out forms as they were in the past. Still, it's a big focus. One thing we've seen over the years is that sometimes a happy potential customer can be earned by simple customer service. When people come to your website, it can take a quick answer to an easy question that can be the difference in making a sale or not. Chat is the easiest way be there for your website visitors. Many people don't want to make a phone call and filling out a form to get a quick answer is not appropriate. Maybe they just want to see if a vehicle is available before they hop int he car. Perhaps they want to know if you take trade ins (yes, there are people who aren't sure). Whatever their need is, the presence of a chat operator to answer their questions is necessar...Read post

  • Jameson Irish Whiskey Takes Video Marketing to the Next Level

    Jameson Irish Whiskey has taken video marketing on Instagram to another level – “the first brand to successfully utilize 3D video for advertisements on Instagram and Facebook,” according to a recent article in the Independent.     The video itself is very simple, and suggests that you slide a shot to your friend. It then proceeds to slide a shot glass of whiskey towards you, the viewer, which then appears to come off the page.  It’s rather clever how they were able to create the illusion of 3D on a non-3D platform.     Slide this shot of Jameson to your drinking buddy #LongLiveTheShot A video posted by Jameson Whiskey (@jameson_us) on Mar 13, 2015 at 11:31am PDT According to many studies, brands are increasing their content marketing budgets to include more video marketing. Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, are going to war to become the World’s premier video platforms, something that YouTube has enjoyed for years.   As is the ...Read post

  • Long Tail Keywords for SEO

    It would be great for most dealers if they could appear in search results for all of their makes and models.  Unfortunately, these terms alone are often hard to rank for.  Manufacturers and aggregators like cars.com can make it difficult for dealerships to be seen for generic, one-word keywords. Good keywords to go after are actually known as long tail keywords.  Long tail keywords are easier to rank for because they contain more specific words that might not appear in the same exact order on every site.  For example "Mazda" may be nearly impossible to rank in the top 3 for a dealership.  However, "2015 Mazda Miata" should be achievable within a reasonable amount of time. The work involved in getting these long tail keywords to rank typically requires creating content on the site that has the keyword phrase appearing in the same exact order on a dealership site.  This means that if a dealer is going after "2015 Mazda Miata", they will want that exact phrase to appear on a page ...Read post