The Importance of Reputation Management
Reputation management became a hot topic a few years ago, and today it is increasingly more important when it comes to customer acquisition and brand awareness. Negative online reviews are bound to arise in all types of companies in all types of verticals, and the internet unfortunately has made these reviews readily available to everyone- especially your customers.
It’s vital that businesses manage their reputations online, especially since a negative review could show up in search results when someone conducts a branded search. Even a simple negative post on social media could appear when someone is searching for your business name. Think of the adverse effects an angry review from just one unhappy customer can have on your bottom line! Your click-through rates could drop, sales could plummet, and you may lose out on potential customers in the future.
This is why it’s vital that you’re prepared for how to handle any online criticism of your company. Have a plan for how you’ll respond if a negative review should pop up. 85% of consumers these days say that one of the steps they take before selecting a business is to read online reviews while they search for information, and these consumers will be deeply influenced by what other people are saying about your company.
Here are just a few quick reputation management tips to put into practice:
- Have a presence everywhere. There are dozens of social media sites out there, and depending on your business, you need to make sure you’re focusing on the most important sites in your vertical. You should have a Facebook page, Twitter account, and Google+ page just to start; but you may also need a presence on LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
- Listen to what consumers are saying. Of course, nobody likes to read negative reviews of their company. But it’s important to really listen to what consumers are saying, especially if you’re receiving multiple complaints about the same topic. Remember “the customer is always right”, so give their complaints some serious contemplation before dismissing them as just disgruntled customers.
- Respond to every review in a timely manner. The sooner you respond to a negative review, the better. Most consumers appreciate at least being recognized, even if you don’t have a specific resolution to give them immediately. Apologize, let them at least know you’re looking into the situation and you understand their frustration.
- Avoid arguments online. Sometimes, even if “the customer is always right”, you know they are actually dead wrong. This can make it extremely difficult to try to avoid responding harshly or pointing out where the customer made a mistake. However, by doing so, you’ll simply present yourself and your company as petty or unprofessional. It’s always best to take these sorts of situations offline; ask the customer if you can contact them via email or phone to help resolve their issue.
- Stay on top of social media. This goes back to our first tip; having a presence online means you need to stay on top of all those social accounts. Just having a presence on the platforms won’t do your business any good if you aren’t engaging with your customers on a regular basis.
Proactively responding to online reviews- both good and bad- should be thought of as somewhat of an insurance policy for your company. Follow these tips to help eliminate the damage a bad review can cause. Linkmedia 360 is here to help! Contact us today for more information about reputation management programs.