The Logic Behind Total Reputation Marketing

Our company is named Reputation Vigilance.

The world of online reviews has exploded. Google +/Places, Yelp, Trip Advisor, Yahoo Local and dozens of other similar sites are gaining huge momentum in the daily lives of thousands of businesses. And, the truth is that we are still in the Ice Age when it comes to where this technology and process will be going. The fact that you are participating now almost assures that you will be a “veteran” when others are just learning that it exists. For that you are to be congratulated.

There is commercial strategy, if not sport, in review companies hiding their algorithms. Hundreds of millions of man-hours have been spent analyzing Google’s strategies. And, just to keep things interesting, every few months, Google will change everything. Yelp is just as obscure, if not more so, with their “filtering” process that limits postings to those of “experienced reviewers”. Others are just as challenging.

The reason companies like Google make these changes is that they know that very smart people work night and day to “game the system”. Google’s only purpose is to make sure that when you go to Google, you get the information you want, unsullied by it being a hidden sales pitch. For sales pitches they like to sell “Adwords” and get paid.

The local reviewing process is undergoing dramatic changes at Google. In the last six months dramatic shifts within Google’s algorithms have made it difficult to even get reviews posted at all. There are articles about this phenomenon all over the Internet. Just “Google” them. The fact is, Google doesn’t want people scamming their system — and every day dozen of people come up with new ways to do so.

When we developed the Reputation Vigilance system, we made a simple decision. No scamming. We learned the rules, even if they are frustrating, and we play by them. We absolutely know that, as a result, we — and you — will win in the long run. We do not have to fear any rule changes by Google or the dozens of other sites that are out there.

Reputation Vigilance does not “game” the system, it simply makes the objectives of Google and others much easier to achieve.

You see, the flaw in all review sites is human nature. You and we know that the vast majority of your clients are happy with what you do for them. You also know that if a customer is unhappy, you will do everything you can to resolve the issue. The problem is, the current process allows happy customers to forget to appreciate you (they expected a good experience– it is nothing exceptional to them). When you or your staff don’t perform up to snuff, they tend not to forget — and are more likely to want to vent their displeasure and typically do it online.

In fact, the whole system is biased toward the negative. And, that is not reality. Currently, customers are 41 percent more likely to leave a negative review than a positive one. That is not because businesses are failing to perform, it is because a negative experience is the exception — and, in the customer’s mind, more worthy of comment. But, it damages businesses unfairly.

Conversely, positive reviews are so valuable in today’s advertising world, they can replace more expensive traditional advertising methods. You absolutely need them. They are the most important promotional tool in your arsenal today.

Reputation Vigilance allows both happy and unhappy customers to provide feedback in a totally unbiased way. The key difference is that it happens in real time. It happens in a way that you can be proactive; in a way that makes less-than-happy people more happy — and reduces the likelihood that they will need to speak out in public in ways that do long-term damage to your business.

Further, it increases the likelihood that happy customers will post their positive reviews online. Not everyone will, of course, but the percentage is dramatically greater than they would be if left to strictly organic methods. (We even have a legitimate and legal way to make certain your positive reviews actually get posted, but it requires more manpower and cost.)

Nevertheless, Reputation Vigilance is not magic. To remain legitimate, we have to play by the rules of the review sites. Rest assured, however, that by using Reputation Vigilance you will be far ahead of business owners who are relying on the “system” to treat them fairly. It will not.