Reputation Management Companies: Best and Worst

Mark Dubis
Jim You need to be more specific when talking about reputation management. The reputation of a dealership, as you know, is determined by the way they treat their customers in the store, on the phone and online. Once that reputation is established the dealer and/or their people want to be visible online and convey that reputation. What is your ultimate goal? 1. Do you want a solution that helps an aggressive but poor performing dealer look good online? 2. Do you want to offer a solution that continues to enable dealers to game the review platforms that dominate our industry? 3. Do you want a solution that allows filtering and hiding of poor reviews so unhappy customers' comments never see the light of day? 4. Do you want an integrated and transparent reputation marketing solution that dealers can leverage to stand out from the competition? 5. Do you want a solution that empowers the dealers' employees and makes them responsible for the customer transactions and relationship building? 6. Do you want a solution that builds long term loyalty, helps dealers retain their best employees and rewards them in a visible fashion for doing a stellar job with customers? If you are focusing on numbers 1 thru 3 there are plenty of vendors out there to assist you. If you want a solution that helps with 4 thru 6 there is a pretty short list of vendors that accomplish those tasks. Most of the blogs and social sites content focuses on the first three items.
JD Rucker
Thanks Mark, but I need specifics. Who's good, who's bad? I want to offer a service. Looking for a partner that complements what I'm doing in social media for clients.
Russ Chandler
I have experience both as a customer and partner with Search Influence. They are especially good at working as a partner. Great staff of thought leaders, competitive pricing and great process. They are experienced in auto but work in several industries. Let me know if you need an introduction.
Mark Dubis
I look forward to speaking with you to provide the specifics you want. Left my number on your Google voice mail. 216-712-6712
Dee Rawls
Yelp, for sure JD. Although it isn't the typical automotive vendor relationship for Reputation Management in the automotive internet space, here is a link that defines using them well: http://www.yelp.com/c/la/car_dealers As you will notice, the Yelp! set up affords instantaneous exposure for the online automotive consumer to the freshest car dealer reviews (see Fresh Car Dealers Reviews). Allowing consumers an opportunity to see your reviews in an internet environment with optimized Google placement is priceless - and, the cost is also. So, seriously consider advising your clients to consider using Yelp! Also, anything I can do to assist with making the best possible decision to accommodate your client, then feel free to let me know. You know already I consider the opportunity to help in any way possible my 1st priority.
Ryan Leslie
Hey JD. I'm going to take a slightly different angle on your very open question from a content site's perspective, hope that is okay. The only company that you can reliably suggest to your clients to trust with their reputation is their own. Every conversation about "Reputation Management" should start with a mirror, not a checkbook. That is a great litmus test for vetting providers in my opinion. As the 3rd party sites continue to tighten up TOU's and consumer's become more aware of "astroturfing" it is essential that "reputation management" be an internal priority with external implications. Even if you aren't astroturfing, some popular collection efforts won't pass the consumer sniff test. I don't mean to sound trite, but no company's tool or service can make up for business practices or personnel that aren't willing to put the customer experience above all else. The best reputation management strategies should highlight areas for improvement and help management create the best customer experience possible with real feedback from consumers. When those that sign the checks are on board with "reputation management" as more than just PR and marketing there are a lot of tools that can assist them in crafting a strong strategy to highlight the customer experiences that they've worked hard to earn. This may not be the answer you were looking for, and I sincerely doubt that I'm giving you any new information either. I'd be shocked if you aren't having this conversation before you ever agree to work with a client, but I thought it worth mentioning that there aren't any magic bullets. The tools and efforts of any reputation management company are secondary to your own efforts to deliver exceptional customer experience. Side note: Congratulations on your new venture my friend! I'm genuinely excited for you and those dealers that you serve.

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