It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.
Your Online Reputation Matters
Maintaining an online presence is extremely vital for most businesses and thus, keeping a good online reputation is essential. Companies need to build and maintain a positive reputation to attract new customers and appease their loyal customers. These loyal customers are the ones who are likely to make the most use of your services.
Online reputation may include reviews from consumers, social media pages, the website for your business, or 3rd party review sites like Yelp. These are some of the sources that help consumers make better decisions when using your services. Along with good marketing, you should focus on maintaining a solid reputation for your business. However, most companies do not realize the importance of reputation and concentrate solely on their marketing. They do not take the required measures to manage and build their reputation, which may be harmful in the long run. So, here we will take a look at why proper reputation management is vital for your business.
Online Reputation Management
Reputation management is an attempt to influence how online viewers perceive your business. It is the process of managing what people think of your business and how they assess your services. In today’s world, both human experiences and Artificial Intelligence systems can analyze your reputation, although the latter seems to be getting much more prevalent.
Here are some ways you can manage your business’ online reputation;
- Be Transparent – This might be a hard one; customers love open and upfront companies. Make sure that your customers know every aspect involved with your products or services. Being transparent forces businesses to make better decisions about their workflow to appeal to a broader range of consumers. Transparency allows your clients to understand who you are and what you stand for. Buyers make more informed decisions these days; the more you share with them, the more it will build trust.
- Utilize A Review Management System – Managing your reviews can be cumbersome; services are available at a nominal cost that can help you streamline, organize, and build more positive reviews. These systems can use both email and SMS to engage your best customer base. These types of services help reduce negative reviews and build more 4 star ones.
- Dealing with Online Reviews – Online customer reviews carry much weight these days. Before purchasing any service, customers like to check the reviews on said service and asses how satisfactory it can be for them. Thus, a business needs to maintain a good stream of positive reviews. Negative reviews on your services can severely impact your business’s reputation as not only will people be discouraged from purchasing from you. There might be cases where previous customers may choose to discontinue using your services as well. Thus, any complaints that those negative reviews make must be handled appropriately by either giving them a refund or similarly compensating them. Doing this will let people know that your business can be trusted even if your services turn out not to their liking.
- Avoid Defensive Behaviour – If a consumer points out something lacking in your services, make sure to let them know that their opinion is being taken seriously instead of dismissing it and getting defensive. Getting defensive in front of your customers can risk them turning away from your business along with ruing the business’s reputation in front of all other customers. You need to have good communication with your customers and review their opinions rationally without getting frustrated or defensive. Otherwise, it can leave a long-lasting negative impression on your business’ image. Do not, under any circumstances, ignore criticism. Customers can feel invalidated when companies do that; thus, you should always address the complaint in the best possible manner.
- Do Not Repeat Your Mistakes – In a business, mistakes are bound to happen. Whether those mistakes are related to your services or your customer care, there will be some mishaps here and there as nothing can be perfect. But do make sure that you do not repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Try your best to overcome those shortcomings, and please your customers the best that you can. Customers may be willing to forgive you for the first time that you make a mistake, but if it happens repeatedly, then they may turn away from your services entirely. Thus, it is crucial to not only acknowledge your mistakes but also to improve on the mistakes that you have already made.
- Legal Management – Some online users can go overboard and may post reviews that could potentially unfairly ruin your business. You must be aware that such acts are considered illegal in the eyes of the law. If a user is deliberately posting defamatory comments about your business or if they are posting something that is not true about your business, or in the case that they aim to ruin the reputation of the company’s business solely, then it is considered illegal. It would be best if you took legal action against such claims. You can hold the people who deliberately attempt to defame your business accountable. They should not be able to ruin your business maliciously. If the complaints are fair, they must be regarded, but if the users are making unfair demands, they must be handled legally. In the case of anonymous posting, you can hire an online analyst to help investigate the people threatening your business and legally handle the situation. If such problems are not taken seriously, then they may be disastrous for your business.
- Seek External Help – Reputation management can be a tricky affair, and with all the other requirements that come with running a business, it can be easily overlooked. Thus, in this case, you can get help from external management services, which can help manage your online reputation for you. These services make sure to track reviews and comments about your services and try to maintain a healthy reputation in the market. Getting professional help can ease some of the burden of reputation management from your shoulders, and you can concentrate on other tasks instead.
So, here were our tips for managing the reputation of your business. While it is essential to manage your business reputation, you do not need to stress it too much. Just make sure that you provide an excellent service and regularly follow the steps given above to see good results. Reputation management for your business is not as hard as it may seem, and once you integrate it into your regular workflow, everything will become seamless. Again, if you do not think that you will handle it properly, you can always get help from a professional service company.
Business nucleus helps our clients by using a 2-stage approach; managing your reputation while building more positive reviews. With over 15 years of industry knowledge, our team can help you reach new levels with your marketing. Please contact us to discuss how we can help you manage your online reputation affordably.
Here are some other useful pages on the topic of review and reputation management:
Review and Local Citation Management