Managing a business is a difficult task, I know it first hand, but managing your business’ online reputation can seem next to impossible. As we wrote about a few days ago, it is certainly possible to manage your online reputation, but not something that is terribly easy to do for the average business owner. With that said, I’d like to provide today five simple tips for managing your business’ online reputation on your own, without calling in the professionals.
Don’t Have Reputation Problems In The First Place
It can be difficult and costly to manage your online reputation, so the best way to treat it is with an ounce of prevention. If you have a customer that is angry for whatever reason, try to remember that within certain boundaries the customer is always right. Instead of getting ego’s involved, try and remember that your business’ reputation is on the line. If its just a matter of spending a few bucks more or a little more time to rectify an issue for a customer, regardless of whether you agree with them or not, then go that extra step to fix it and salvage your relationship with them. Hey who knows, they may even write you a good review for going out of your way to help them!
Respond To Negative Reviews With Class
Way too often I see hot-headed business owners respond to a negative review in a less than classy way. By going onto a review site and blasting the negative reviewer and defending yourself, it shows the public that they hit a weak spot in you or in your company, which isn’t a good thing. Rather you want to respond with dignity and class, explaining that you tried to fix the issue and couldn’t for some reason, and should the reviewer want to further discuss it with you that you would be more than happy to talk. Or better yet, say that you reached out to them again via email or phone to resolve the issue again, who knows maybe after some time goes by you can resolve the issue and they’ll take down that negative review.
Build A Strong Online Presence
If you have a strong website, strong social sites built around your company and brand, and are active in promoting your website online, then one or two bad reviews won’t really show up anywhere or do much harm to your business. Everyone gets bad reviews, but usually it’s the businesses with a weak online presence who are hurt the most from just a few negative reviews. Do everything you can before you get bad reviews to build a strong online presence, and chances are people will never see those bad reviews in the first place.
Encourage Positive Reviews Whenever Possible
A good business has tons of happy customers and a few not so happy ones. I know first hand that even when someone is super happy with your product or service, it isn’t always easy to get a review out of them. Find some sort of incentive program to get them to write you a review, or just ask them to write it for you and email them the details. This way, if you ever get a negative review down the road, you’ll have dozens of positive reviews to help flush out the effect it will have.
If All Else Fails, Hire The Pros
Professional reputation management doesn’t have to be extremely expensive. In some cases we can get dubious online reviews removed for clients, in other cases we can promote other content to make the negative reviews disappear from page one of search engine results. We understand that even the best businesses out there sometimes get hit with negative reviews and that more often than not they don’t deserve the negative review in the first place. If you’re struggling from this and have tried the steps above (or don’t want to try them yourself) then reach out to us via our contact form to the right and we’ll be glad to talk more about your situation and explain how we can help!