According to a recent study, 97% of successful businesses make reputation management a top priority. In this article, we’re going to tell you how some of the world’s best companies manage their reputation online. Why should you care? Because there is a direct relationship between a company’s online reputation and their bottom line.
Managing your firm’s reviews and reputation requires some knowledge and lots of hard work. After all, it can take years to build a solid rep in the market but only a few seconds to destroy it.
Building and sustaining a good business reputation takes more than positive customer reviews and uplifting word-of-mouth advertising. Below are the four most effective strategies for managing your company’s good name:
- Be Transparent
Social media is the easiest way to keep customers up to date with what’s going on behind the scenes. It is also the easiest medium for customers to lash out when they are upset. Some companies make the mistake of trying to pass the buck when something goes wrong, especially when a client or customer posts something negative on their Facebook or Twitter account. Customers want to know what they’re dealing with when doing business with your company. If you mess up, own up to it. By providing some transparency, they are more likely to trust you and recommend your goods and services to others. If a customer feels that your company is hiding things, they might be quicker to find fault where there really is none.
- Respond to Customer Concerns
Show customers that you care about them by promptly responding to the things they say about your business, especially via online reviews. Remain professional and objective, avoiding getting upset at all times. Most customers are willing to accept human error if they’re treated with respect.
However, if the customer is really a competitor or disgruntled employee, there isn’t a great deal you can do when it is a fake review. You can try asking them to respond to you privately, you can call them out like this business did, and you can attempt to get Google to remove the review (which rarely works).
The way in which you manage a customer’s bad experience is important because it shapes their expectations of your company. The difference between gaining and keep a long-term customer and permanently losing a patron often lies in the way you handle yourself in times of conflict.
- Know Your Target Market
Targeting your ideal audience is a great way to develop a positive reputation in the market. However, it’s important that you’re aware of the demographic that would find your goods and/or services most beneficial. Once you know this information, you can create a relevant marketing campaign with pertinent verbiage, tone, and content. There should be people that you don’t want as customers, so being selective in whom you choose to work with will typically result in greater customer satisfaction.
4. Ask for Reviews
While it is against the terms and conditions of all major review and social media sites to pay for good reviews, there is nothing wrong with asking satisfied customers and clients to share their experience online. Typically, the only people who leave reviews online are those at either end of the customer satisfaction spectrum–those who are angry and those who love you. If you have a few repeat customers, you can be certain that they like your business and would be more willing to leave a positive review than someone you’ve served only once. So don’t be shy about asking them to leave you a review.
NOTE: Both your online and in-person reputations matter, especially since many consumers prefer live interactions with your business. So don’t forget that you and your employees are the face of your business.
- Know what’s being said about your business online and put a stop to misrepresentations if possible.
- Claim your brand so that you can control what’s being said about it; you don’t want just any Joe Shmoe responding to customers’ inquiries.
- Study your company’s SEO to ensure it is popping up on search engines appropriately.
- Study your backlinks to determine whether you’ve been subjected to a negative SEO attack.
- After responding to a displeased customer online, ask that customer to update their review.
- Send out surveys and encourage former clients to fill them out honestly so you can get a feel for what you need to improve.
- Make sure your business information is updated and correct at all times.
If you are dealing with bad business reviews, negative news, or other problems online, and need help, get in touch with us to learn about how we can help.