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Electronic Countermeasures for Amateur Restaurant Reviewers

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Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/amber-rae/4128609140/">Amber Rae Lambke</a>
Photo by Amber Rae Lambke

A server and former manager who would like to remain anonymous passed along an idea that might help business owners keep tabs on customer experiences in a newfangled way:

If you have an iPhone, you could join Yelp, log in on your phone and see who in the dining room is "checked in." Users who are "checked in" may not be there to review, but you could certainly make a mental note of whatever they experience and then keep an eye out for their review. Then, you could make your own assessment and take action if necessary... I'd consider it "Yelper Radar."
Watching the watchers, genius! Some other tips?

Our source also recommends subscribing to your review page on Yelp using Google Reader, which also offers a service to track updates to pages without built-in feeds, such as OpenTable reviews.

Another way to know when the digerati are in the house (besides the camera flashes) would be to set up a Twitter search on your business name that would allow you to track check-ins through location-based applications like Gowalla or Foursquare. You might not know who a particular customer is (though it's likely the one who's texting at the table), but you'll know they're there, and if they come back.

Any other tips for other small business folk looking to manage their customer relationships online? Or should you just ignore the Web and focus on the service?

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