Tools to Help You Monitor Your Online Reputation
You work hard to build a strong reputation for your business. You already know that it only takes one dissatisfied customer to inflict untold harm on your bottom line. And, with today’s technology being what it is, you know that it is easier than ever before for a disgruntled customer (or a competitor with questionable ethics) to quickly fire off a negative review, destroying the reputation you have worked so hard to build.
Because it is so easy to write a disparaging review, it is absolutely vital that today’s small business owner be able to monitor the online reputation of the business. Below is a great list if you cannot hire an online reputation management company to handle the process for you. Here are 5 useful tools to help you get the job done with a minimum of fuss.
Tracking Senior Employee Names
A great way to keep your finger on the pulse of your business is to track any mentions of senior employees or owners of the business. Of course, you have to respect the privacy of those who work for you, but if you are the sole employee of your business (or if you use this tool with discretion), this is a valuable part of your toolbox.
A good tool to use is Reputology. It allows you to enter the name of your senior employees (or yourself) or your business and helps keep tabs on when the name is mentioned. Chances are good that, if someone complains about the business, they will name an employee.
Reputology does charge a monthly fee, however, it is a small price to pay to be on the cutting edge of reputation management practices. Best of all, it is compatible with some of the other tools mentioned here, helping you get multiple layers of protection.
Use Google Alerts
Another great tool offered by Google is the Google Alerts tool. This tool lets you sign up to get notifications whenever new content relating to your pre-determined keywords comes out. This tool is free, easy to use, and very fast. It searches websites, blogs, articles, and so on, and informs you when new content is posted.
Keep an Eye on Social Media
Of course, social media is king, and no list of tools would be complete without a tool that helps you manage your social media accounts and monitor how the masses are responding to you. One such tool is Hootsuite, a useful tool that lets you schedule social media posts, review analytics to get feedback on how your business is being perceived, and make whatever changes you need. The basic option is free, or for a small fee you can upgrade to manage many more accounts at once.
Search for Complaints in One Place
A rather unique tool is Complaint Search Box. This tool acts like a complaint aggregator: you input the various search function you want to use, and it will automatically and regularly search more than 40 different complaint websites to help you keep up to date on what your customers are saying.
A Closer Look at Social Media
Because social media is such a big part of how many people interact, it is worth your time to use another social media tool in addition to Hootsuite (noted above). The Social Mention tool lets you monitor several different social media sites at once to see what people are saying about your industry in general (or your business in particular).
Social Mention gives you the ability to set up an email alert to let you know as soon as someone says something negative. This cuts down on the time you need to respond or resolve the customer’s complaint.
You have worked hard to build your business. There is too much at stake to run the risk that an unhappy customer might complain online without ever giving you the chance to make things right. As such, by using these tools, you can help keep abreast of public sentiment towards your business. While you cannot prevent negative reviews from being posted, by being aware of them earlier, you may be able to engage in damage control and even get the offending review taken down once you have satisfied your customer.