Helping businesses track their online reviews: Review Trackers’ Chris Campbell

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Published on Apr. 29, 2014
Helping businesses track their online reviews: Review Trackers’ Chris Campbell
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At the debut of new coworking space Patchworks in Chicago, I had the delight of meeting Chris Campbell, who co-founded Review Trackers. From Campbell: It “helps enterprises and multi-location businesses listen to, manage and respond to what their customers are saying online.” In a digital society where everything is increasingly remarkable, especially for businesses, Review Trackers empowers business owners to be organized and responsive to their customers’ impressions, whenever and wherever they give feedback online. Here, Campbell talks about his customer review-tracking software platform, his team, their toolkit, and what makes Chicago a vital place for digital makers:
 
What sparked the idea for Review Trackers?
 
When I was still working as a marketing and digital strategy consultant, one of my clients came to me with a problem they needed to solve. They were trying to track their online reviews. They realized it was critical to their business, particularly in terms of gathering business intelligence, managing their online reputation, tracking customer feedback, and identifying problems in their different stores nationwide.
 
After testing and demoing a lot of the solutions that my client and I had researched on the Internet, we realized that we needed to build something new: a better mousetrap, if you will. So we developed a prototype, with core features that I knew our business users would need, and this is the foundation of what Review Trackers is today.
 
When did Review Trackers officially launch and became available? A tremendous journey since then. What were essential activities/steps taken to start and establish Review Trackers? And why were these activities/steps important?
 
We launched Review Trackers in early 2013. After the launch, we worked on ways to scale our sales team, systems, and processes in order to continue to expand and grow our client base. (An example of this was establishing partnerships with online review sites. The partnerships we have right now enable us to secure more efficient and cost-effective ways of collecting review data.) We also took steps to raise capital and gather the resources we needed to improve the product, develop new feature enhancements, and acquire new customers. 
 
Who and/or what keep(s) you going to keep Review Trackers going?
 
Receiving great feedback from Review Trackers clients keeps me going. We have several competitors in this space, and that number continues to increase, but we are lucky enough to have clients who have called or emailed us to say that our platform, and the service that comes with it, is so valuable to their business. It doesn’t get any better than that, and their words serve to affirm the work that our team has been doing, and will continue to do. 
 
What tools do you use and recommend to work on ideas and make them grow, to collaborate and get things done?
 
At Review Trackers, we use a lot of team collaboration and productivity tools like Basecamp, Hootsuite, Google Docs, and Salesforce. Recently, I’ve also turned my attention to tools like Rival IQ (a competitive intelligence tool for tracking competitor activity), Bitesize PR (for crafting media pitches and attracting press attention), and Zapier (for connecting multiple APIs and automating everyday business tasks). 
 
How does the city of Chicago contribute to your work? And what makes Chicago special for startups/business/creativity-at-large?
 
Chicago is a city that has a lot going for it, in terms of having the business climate and infrastructure to attract top creative and entrepreneurial talent. The ecosystem in the Midwest, in general, may not be as sexy, or get as much of the share of the spotlight or media buzz as its Silicon Valley or even New York counterparts. But there’s no shortage of experienced people willing to help entrepreneurs, invest their time, share their network, and provide advice.
 
Some might say that Chicago is still at that nascent stage, but just because the local startups are not making as much noise as the Bay Area does, this shouldn’t be taken to mean that we don’t have companies that experience explosive growth. And it doesn’t mean that there’s no environment to nurture and foster entrepreneurship. Chicago is actually a major center for corporate IT and B2B tech. Plus, you have places like 1871, for example, which is a great community-based space where a lot of digital startups get their start. Other communities include Built In Chicago, Technori, and TechStars.
 
Photograph courtesy of Chris Campbell
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