The online reputation has come to dominate boardroom conversations about large corporate entities, so why shouldn’t smaller businesses start concerning themselves with these issues? The general reason people give is that they simply cannot afford to spend money on online distractions. However, the truth is that they cannot afford not to–the Internet these days is a very important source of information for prospective consumers.
The Small Company Effect
Small companies tend to think that all they can do is their best and hope that customers will reflect that kindness back upon them. However, this is optimistic at best and naive at worst. There are many misanthropes out there who make use of the Internet to damage other people and company’s reputations just because they can. While it takes years to build up a great reputation, it can take minutes to destroy one online.
Even if someone is not actively trying to destroy a company’s reputation, often negative online chatter will show up in the top search results or on social networks just in time to cost you significant amounts of money. Negative comments about a company on a review website, on random forums, in the blogosphere, or on social networks has a way of biting back at the company. It is for this reason that companies should pay attention to what is being said about them online.
Not Good Enough
Doing occasional market research or online surveys simply is not good enough more. While it once sufficed, it is now a negligent way to handle media monitoring, especially the online component. Feedback forms and emailed complaints or compliments just can’t do it anymore. You have to be more proactive, and for the most part that means working with some experts.
Overtone: Offering the Solution
Overtone is a company that helps other firms to monitor the online discussion about them, their products, services, etc. If you want real-time intelligence on what customers are saying about your business and your industry in general, then Overtone is a company that absolutely can help.
The Product: OpenMic
OpenMic is a product that Overtone bills as a “Customer listening system” and that seems to be pretty accurate. It is all about haring the voice of the customer online and taking heed of what they are saying in order to improve upon your company’s existing infrastructure, products, customer service, etc. Keyword based online media monitoring is certainly more helpful than nothing at all, but it doesn’t do the job anymore in an age when the Internet is so expansive. This is more than buzz monitoring–OpenMic actually deciphers the intent of the messages and analyzes them.
This is the website of both Overtone and OpenMic.
Whenever possible, I like to include a link to the company or product’s crunchbase profile. So here you go:
This is a video, actually, a demo of the advanced sentiment analysis.
Lastly, this is a news article from DigiDaily about Overtone’s entry into the “customer listening” market.