How to use online reviews to save your business money

April 26, 2017
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Online Reputation Management. You might be forgiven for thinking it means sitting around on social media, making sure any negative reviews or comments are properly dealt with. But Online Reputation Management (ORM) is so much more than this - as uberall MD and Co-Founder Florian Huebner wrote in Street Fight Magazine earlier this month, ORM can be so much more to a business, if a company collects and uses that information strategically.

Online Reputation is more than firefighting negative reviews

When a company receives a negative rating or review, there’s an understandable temptation to view it in isolation. Social media managers and communications experts remind business owners to deal with the complaint quickly, and with a tactful voice, taking the concern seriously. For example, if a customer in a fast-food chain was unhappy with their meal and they tweet about it, the social media manager will apologise via the company account, and ask what exactly was wrong, and handle the complaint appropriately, escalating it if need be.

While viewing the complaint in isolation has a short-term benefit, it isn’t the most strategic option for your business. Instead, reviews and comments should be tracked across locations, so that trends can be built out of them. These trends could indeed end up saving you millions.


Chipotle and the case of bad reviews

Chipotle, the American fast-food chain suffered this fate. Rather than take into account the reviews from across locations, they dealt with them on a one-to-one basis. As Florian writes, this was a costly mistake, as CEO “Steve Ells was forced to announce during this call that profits were down by an incredible 22% in the last quarter (an announcement that would send share prices down by 22% too).”

One year before he made that call, customers from across Chipotle locations regularly complained about:

  • Messy restaurants
  • Long queues and waiting times
  • Missing ingredients


This meant that Chipotle stores across the USA were suffering from three consumer pain points: Not only was the dining environment unpleasant, it took a long time to place an order, and then when they finally could, they didn’t get what they ordered.

Since these complaints were made online across different locations, and on different platforms, including Google My Business and Facebook Location Pages, Chipotle made the same error that many companies do - they did not aggregate their reviews. They saw each review as isolated from the other one, and pertaining only to individual locations, which inevitably led them to believe that all was well, and only one or two customers were upset with their orders.

If they had aggregated their reviews from across their locations and platforms, they could have seen that the complaints did indeed fall into three categories. Structuring their aggregated reviews would have enabled them to see that customers were unhappy across their locations; In other words, there was something wrong with their business plan.

Indeed, this would have been a more much more strategic analysis of those reviews - had Chipotle, like other businesses, been able to see what needed amending with their customer service, their production streams and their delivery lines, they would have been able to save money in the long-term. In the article for Street Fight, Florian also highlighted how the same was true for Burger King in Germany too. 


It begins with collecting reviews

The uberall Location Marketing Cloud collects reviews and mentions of all your business’ locations, across all platforms, through the Engage tool. This means that it aggregates comments and reviews by all your customers when they write about you. Aggregated in the dashboard, users can see where consumers are enjoying their experience, and where the business could improve.

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Strategically, the cloud offers a vast improvement on current methods of looking at reviews in isolation, and gives multi-location businesses in particular pause for thought.


Want to hear more about how the Location Marketing Cloud can help you refine your business strategy through online review aggregation? Then get in touch with us here: hello@uberall.com.