Put yourself in the shoes of a customer for a moment. You come across a one-star review for the business you’re researching online. The review is scathing, detailed, and profoundly negative.
You’re ready to give up on this business altogether after reading the review, but then you scroll down a little bit.
You see that the business responded to this disgruntled customer and offered a full refund and a discount for the next time the customer wanted to come in. How do you feel about the business now?
This is just one example of great business reputation management. Businesses that actively manage their reputation can limit the damage of negative reviews. Responding to reviews is just one of many ways that a business can improve its reputation online.
The article below contains a complete guide to managing your business reputation in a digital world. Once you read through this post, you should have all the information you need to create a stellar online reputation. Keep reading to learn more about this often overlooked part of managing a business.
The first step in any strong reputation management plan is to get a sense of where you’re starting from. You can’t manage your company’s reputation if you don’t know what the reputation is.
Performing a reputation audit means looking around the internet for any mentions of your brand name. You can do a Google search to see how your company is being talked about online. Be sure to look at how your company is discussed on blogs and other websites.
What are people saying? Are high-traffic blogs mentioning your brand, or do you have a lack of visibility online?
Once you’re done with the blogs, move on to review sites. Take stock of the reviews and don’t be afraid to read the negative ones.
Every negative review that you read will help you improve your company’s reputation moving forward. Once you’ve performed the audit, compile all your notes into a document.
This document is your starting point, and it will be the foundation of your reputation management strategy.
As mentioned previously, responding to reviews is one of the best ways to improve your company’s reputation online. You should respond to the negative reviews first, but don’t forget to thank people for their positive reviews.
When responding to negative reviews, be sure to avoid being combative. Try to make things right with the customer whenever possible. If you can’t find a way to make things right, you can respond with a short, simple message.
Tell the customer that you appreciate their feedback and that you’ll take steps to make sure they have a better experience next time they buy your product or service. It may not seem like much, but anybody looking at the reviews will appreciate the fact that your business is actively monitoring reviews.
Of course, it’s not enough to just respond to reviews that were left before you started paying attention to your reputation. You must set up a system that enables you to respond to new reviews as they come in.
This could involve using reputation management services. A reputation management service can respond to reviews for you or alert you when a new review comes in.
Once you’ve developed a strategy for dealing with reviews, you can move on to the websites where your brand is mentioned.
If your brand is mentioned in a positive light on a blog, ask the blog writer if they’d be willing to write about your brand again. If your website is mentioned in a negative light, ask the blog writer if they’d be willing to give your brand another chance.
Whether you’re trying to improve a poor reputation or maintain a good reputation, you should always be trying to get positive reviews. The best way to get more reviews is to ask your customers for a review.
You don’t want to bribe customers into giving you a positive review, but you can use incentives to get reviews. These incentives could be as simple as a 10% off coupon.
When you’re trying to solicit reviews, use all the tools you have at your disposal. If your business has a physical location, you can put up a sign that encourages customers to leave a review on Yelp or Google My Business.
You can also use email to your advantage. If you receive a customer’s contact information after a transaction, send them an email asking for a review.
Finally, you should encourage all your employees to be on the lookout for any satisfied customers. If an employee talks to a customer who is especially happy with your company’s product or service, make sure the employee asks the customer to leave a review.
You can even set up an incentive program for employees in which employees are rewarded for getting customers to leave reviews.
The tips in the post above should help you manage your business reputation and improve your company’s reputation over time. Be sure to use all these tactics as part of your complete reputation management strategy.
If you’re interested in getting a professional to help you manage your company’s online reputation, go ahead and contact the experienced team at The SMB Hub.
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