Park City’s ReputationBiz aims for a five-star review
Company helps businesses maintain positive online reputations
January 27, 2017
Even the best business owners aren't immune to the occasional negative online review.
And in the age of the internet, a few one-star ratings — or a dearth of favorable reviews — can scuttle a company's online reputation. But Park City residents Bud Clark and Claire Berger believe they've found a solution.
They own a software company called ReputationBiz, which aims to help businesses cultivate a positive online presence and improve customer service. Clark said the way it works is simple. Businesses using the software simply ask customers at the end of transactions for permission to send them a feedback survey via email or mobile phone.
Business owners are immediately notified if a customer leaves negative feedback. Clark said that gives them the opportunity to quickly contact the customer and attempt to rectify the issue — before the customer logs on to Google or Yelp to leave a scathing review. Additionally, the feedback allows business owners to find out about problems and fix them as they crop up, instead of allowing them to multiply or worsen over time.
"It allows you to circumvent and reach out to those people who might leave a bad review," he said. "And guess what? You're going to have a better business because you're going to find out what's going on. How else would you know if your receptionist is not polite or problems like that?
"That's really what business is all about, that sort of old fashioned concept of, 'How do I make sure that I'm giving good customer service?'" he added.
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As important as it is for businesses to keep negative reviews off the internet, Clark said it's equally critical to get positive ones published. But getting satisfied customers to leave reviews isn't intuitive for many business owners. ReputationBiz's software makes it easy by automatically posting four- or five-star reviews gathered in the surveys to the major online review platforms.
That rectifies an imbalance that has existed since online reviews became popular, Clark said: Happy customers are often less inclined to write about a business than those who had poor experiences.
"Most of these small businesses have a huge following, and 99 percent of those people are happy," he said. "It's the 1 percenters that are usually the vocal people who are killing you. This gives those happy people an opportunity to leave that great review and feedback."
Importantly, Clark said, businesses can implement the software seamlessly because its simple interface requires little training to use. That was one of the most critical factors Clark and Berger considered when having the software designed.
"If it is not one step, or you can't have your workforce go take it out in the field and have it be a no-brainer, then it won't work," he said. "Small businesses owners are working their fanny off just to keep up. It's hard to run a business, and they don't need another chore."
Berger said ReputationBiz typically serves small- and medium-size businesses all over the country, often to excellent results — and at a cost of about $150 a month. For example, she said, the software transformed customer service for a Stanley Steemer franchisee in the South who has been a longtime user.
"Previously to hiring us, he had someone call each customer to find out how his team did," she said. "You can just imagine the manpower than took. Since implementing our system, his dispatcher shoots out the emails and gets the response."
Though their software platform allows Clark and Berger to work with businesses all over the country, they make an extra effort to enlist local companies. That's why they were attracted to Park City's thriving and diverse business sector. Since moving here in the summer, they have found the business climate, along with the town's proximity to a major airport and its relaxed lifestyle, make it a perfect place to run their company.
"One of the great things about having a (software) platform is you go, 'Wow, I can move anywhere,'" Clark said. "And Park City is a great place because everybody wants to be here. It was a great choice for us and we're so happy we're here."