With customer expectations higher than ever, it is imperative that you manage your online reputation to know what people are saying about your company. Because the Internet has made it so simple for anyone to post a review on sites like Google and Yelp, one bad business decision can have you looking like a villain in the eyes of potential customers. And with the standards of service being set so high by companies such as Disney and Nordstrom, it is critical to always put your best foot forward. Paying attention to your online reviews and rating will help you to stay on top of your game.
Keek Up on Your Online Reputation
Tips for Reputation Management
- Make business transactions easy and hassle-free. Most people are very busy and seem to run out of time in the day. Providing an easy and seamless transaction can go a long way. Educate them with your knowledge. Sometimes a customer may feel as if you are taking advantage of them or overcharging them. If your product or service is worth the amount you charge, explain in detail what they are getting and why it is set at that price point. People love to be educated, especially in a field that they are unfamiliar with.
- Understand your customer’s point of view. Knowing why a customer has the view that they have, is highly important. Whether they have been ripped off in the past, were promised false expectations, or just had lack of knowledge could all be a part of why they have their reservations. The key is to listen to them. Respond to your reviews. Whether positive or negative, always respond even if your company is at fault. Companies make mistakes and people know this. Owning up to them goes a long way. And if it’s a positive review, let the customer know that you appreciate them.
- Remove negative reviews on Google or Yelp . Can you remove negative reviews? The unfortunate answer is “No.” You cannot control the reviews on Google or Yelp whether good or bad, a review is a review. What you can do is strategically make efforts to push that unfavorable review to the bottom of the screen, or even better, to the next page. If you can accomplish this, it gives the review decreasing value. As we all know, first page placement on Google is our goal, however, getting there is the tricky part. You have to come up with a smart strategy to do so.
- Get more positive reviews on Google or Yelp. Encourage your satisfied and happy customers to write positive reviews about your business. People are more likely to complain when they are dissatisfied than to vocally appreciate when they are satisfied. Persuading happy customers to write good reviews will require effort on your part. Ask customers how they liked a popular product/service or what they like best about your business. Additionally, persuade them to post positive reviews on other reputable review sites as well. It is also advisable to spread the reviews over a period of time by allowing posts to be made every few days or weeks instead of all at once.
- Respond to your reviews on Google, Yelp, and Yahoo. Respond to all reviews whether good or bad. Remember, if you ask a customer to write a positive review, they want to know that you truly care. When you respond to a negative review, comment in a professional manner. It might not only help you win back the dissatisfied customer, but it will also show that you as a business values its customers and strives to improve. Take the high road when replying to an unfavorable comment. Don’t use foul language or abusive words. Instead, respond in a true and apologetic tone. Assure the customer that you are addressing the situation so that the negative experience will never occur again.
Reputation Management is vital in the Social Media Community as well. Because of all the evolution social media and community blogging, Social media has vast differences when compared to other advertising models. Our professionals understand that trust is about genuine interaction and relationship-building as opposed to just posting a message and trying to sell you something. The engagement must be informative and beneficial or the effort is a waste.
The days of people bragging about “Great Customer Service” are gone. Yes you will get an occasional “shout out” from a customer or client that you have a solid relationship with, however, the other 94% are quick to complain and post reviews if your standards slip just a bit. Making a mistake in business seems to be a crime, and if that mistake is exposed, via online review, it can show up extremely fast on the search engines. So what can we do as business owners? Actually, there are a number of things that you can do.