Do you have a good reputation?
No, not “in real life” (though that’s certainly helpful), but online. Is your online reputation up to snuff?
A bad online reputation can be the difference between a company that thrives and a company that struggles. People like to see positive consumer interactions and reviews, and if they don’t witness them, they might leave you behind.
So what can you do about it?
Well, the first step is being a good and trustworthy business. The next step is investing in online reputation management services. Your business needs an extra line of defense when you’re trying to keep your reputation afloat. Don’t do it alone.
Keep reading to learn all about the importance of your online reputation.
How Is My Company’s Online Reputation Negatively Influenced?
On the internet, anyone can write anything for the most part, regardless of whether or not it’s true.
If a customer has a bad experience with you, it’s not unlikely that they’ll make themselves known. People love sharing their experiences with others, especially if it’s negative.
Now, obviously, if someone has a genuinely bad time with your business, they’re entitled to post these things. You should always be striving toward improvement and an unhappy customer is bad for business whether they post about you or not.
If you have a Yelp listing, a Tripadvisor listing, a Google business listing, or anything else where reviews can be posted liberally, you know how the review process works.
You’ve likely looked at these listings for other businesses yourself before making decisions on where to shop, where to eat, and where to visit. When you see even a single 1-star review, doesn’t it make you question the business?
That one negative review can do serious damage.
Similarly, if someone is posting on their personal blog about your business, that also contributes to your negative online reputation. If they rank high on your search engine of choice, it can be seriously detrimental. People might see the review before they see your own website.
In short, this applies anywhere that people are able to post. They can voice their displeasure in forums, on blogs, on social media, and even on your own site’s comment section.
Think of it as “online word-of-mouth”.
What Does Poor Online Reputation Do for My Company?
If you have a bad online reputation, people might be less likely to patronize your business.
Like we mentioned, even one bad review can make a company seem untrustworthy. Not everyone actually reads the comments associated with reviews.
The comment might show that the person in question never went to or utilized your business. It might be evident that the customer was actually in the wrong or just confused. These things don’t matter, though, when your star rating has gone down.
If you want to prove yourself as a valuable and trustworthy business, you need to improve your online reputation. You could be hemorrhaging customers and not even know it.
How Can I Improve My Online Reputation?
There are a few steps that you can take when you can see that your online reputation is tanking (or if you’re just very concerned about it). You should act quickly, stay calm, and remember that this can probably be fixed.
A few negative voices can do some damage, but there are ways to mitigate it.
Are the things that these people are saying actually accurate? It’s easy to get caught up in the negative reviews and forget that these might actually be genuine criticisms of your business. Remember, providing a good service is the first step toward getting a good reputation.
It never hurts to do a little bit of employee training when you get a bad review.
Respond Kindly, Firmly, and Quickly
Whether or not the reviews or comments are accurate, sometimes people just need to feel heard. You or someone on your staff (or someone that you hire specifically for this purpose) should be trained to answer customer concerns with grace and confidence.
There are different solutions to bad customer reviews. You may need to simply explain your side of things, especially if the review is clearly fake or incorrect. This needs to be done professionally.
Other people can see your professional behavior and find you as a more trustworthy business for it.
Getting ahead of the naysayers is easier than trying to catch up after the damage is done.
Whether comments are positive or negative, being generous and responsive is a great way to build trust in your brand. Let people know that you’re paying attention to both compliments, and criticism and they’ll have an easier time remembering that there’s a person behind this business.
Actively listening to your customer base isn’t just about silencing bad reviews. It’s about encouraging good ones through awesome customer service.
This probably sounds like a lot of work, right?
It can be. You and your team are busy trying to put together an awesome brand. You don’t have time to respond to every customer comment.
That’s why online reputation management services are here to help. They’re full of people who are specially trained to keep both you and your customers in mind. They want to help your business thrive while also addressing customer concerns quickly.
They’ll know when it’s time to respond publicly, and when it’s time to take the conversation into the DMs. They take the stress out of reputation management.
Are Online Reputation Management Services for You?
Let’s face it, you need to be tapped into the online world if you want to protect your business’s reputation.
You don’t have to do it alone.
Reputation management is crucial, and online reputation management services can make it simple.
For more information, or to check out some of our awesome services based around online reputation and more, visit our site and contact us!