Problem with Your Reputation?
Things have changed in the last few years. Reputation Management needs serious focus from every business and business owner.
Companies like Tripadvisor, Yelp, Trust Pilot, Google My Business and Facebook have changed the way companies need to approach negative reviews. In the past a disappointed customer lead to negative feelings between you and that customer.
Today, a disappointed customer has a multiple platforms and channels to vent service or product frustrations. These platforms have millions of visitors a year and the way you treat your customers can be seen by anyone at anytime.
You need to remember most of your future customers will check out your reviews before deciding on whether to become your customer.
With nearly 95% of shoppers reading online reviews before making a purchase, reviews have transformed the way consumers make purchase decisions.SPIEGEL MEDILL NORTHWESTERN
You need to keep this in the back of your mind.
Hopefully you’re already customer focused, this is the first step to enhancing your reputation. Satisfied customers leave the best reviews and feedback so be sure to ask for reviews when you’ve had positive interactions.
If you’ve had negative reviews, you need to have a strategy in place to respond appropriately. It can be difficult to receive a negative review. Especially if you have difficult customers. Breathe!!! There’s ways to deal.
If you’re having trouble with your online reputation and need advice on how to deal you should contact me today.
If you’re not ready to book a consultation and you need more information on reputation management, then keep reading.
I’ve created the following resource to help you handle reputation management problems.
What is Reputation Management?
Reputation Management is when a business or person decides to actively control and influence their own reputation. This function of the business should be controlled by your public relations department. However most businesses especially if they’re a small medium business or a start up will usually outsource to an agency or freelance PR consultant.
The growth of the internet has changed how reputation management is conducted. A simple search of a product or service with ‘reviews’ or ‘testimonial’ is becoming common practice for potential customers. Your job as a business owner or public figure should be to enhance your profile online.
Your online reputation management or ORM should be part of your digital marketing strategy. Being proactive could help you land those potential customers who are keystrokes away from buying.
Reputation Management Tips
The bigger you get the more problems you’ll encounter. With scale comes growth problems. It could be unfulfiled orders because of a technical glitch. One of your customers service agents could have had a bad day on the phone. A third party provider or contractor could destroy a hard earned relationship you’ve taken years to build.
It’s ok. We’re human. Mistakes are made. As long as it’s nothing illegal it can be fixed. You just need to handle it in a proactive manner.
1. Create a Review or Testmonial page.
If someone searches your company with testimonial or review the keyphrase you need to get that search engine real estate. Sure people could click on third party sites like yelp but if you’re number one people will want to hear what your customers have to say about you.
2. Get Your Web Identities
Ok, so a lot of companies I see don’t want to go on social media. They don’t have the time etc. I don’t care you need to claim your web identities. People want to know if you’re credible or not. Having social media accounts or web 2.0 identities shows you’re more likely to be a legitimate company. Get photos of yourself on their explaining your services or products. Get active on online. What happens if someone else takes your brand name.
3. Start Posting on Social Media
People are out there right now speaking about you. It could be positive or negative but they’re talking. People speak in person, on the phone, via email and most importantly on social. When it’s on social it’s there for the world to see.
If you customer complains on twitter or instagram you should be there to respond if necessary. The more engaged you are with customers the more likely a customer will be to engage back.
Plus social media networks do ok in search results. It takes up more brand real estate for you.
4. Personal Identity Control
The business will always need a bit of reputation management but don’t forget yourself. When a person has a bad experience with a company service or product they can be quick to attack the owner of the business. Your reputation can be just as important as the companies.
If your name is strongly associated with the company you should have a biography page to speak more about your expertise and knowledge of the product or service you’re promoting. Sometimes people will use a service because of the reputation of the owner.
It’s very important to get you found.
5. Start a Blog
The blog of a website acts as the company public relations tool. It can be helpful to answer questions, provide service or product information and broadcast important news regarding the company. It helps you with your content marketing initiatives as well.
6. Be Real, Apologise and Come Up with Solutions.
If someone complains about your business online don’t react. Everything you say is public. If you think a call is private, there’s nothing to stop the customer from going on and complaining even more and referencing your new conversation.
Really think about your reaction and the impact it may have. Ask questions, respond quickly and publicly to show you’re all about customer care.
Do not offer refunds publicly. If in special cases you need to offer a refund so be it, but if you announce it publicly you’ll open the flood gates and everyone will want one.
Show you care, be personal, and apologise sincerely when someone has a bad experience.
7. Do Not Fight
Sure fire way to come across as a business no one wants to deal with is to get react poorly online. Pretend your next potential customer is reading your every word and think how they’d like to be treated in this situation.
8. Don’t Skip Over Online Reputation Management
90% of people that have come to me regarding the reputation management have only done so when an issue regarding the reputation has popped up.
Get ahead of the game. Be prepared. Have a plan. Don’t neglect your rep.