Does your Google review page look like a page out of a Bram Stoker novel? Reputation management used to mean dealing with customers face to face and being able to resolve an issue quickly and discreetly. In today’s cancel culture your online reputation can either make or break your business.
Before we dive into strategies to help shape your online reputation, it is important to know that even the best companies in the world have to deal with a Karen every now and then. Sadly, there is no way around this type of person and ignoring any issues they bring up can no longer be ignored.
Take a deep breath and realize that even your one-star rating on Google can be improved, and doesn’t have to be the stuff of nightmares. Feeling overwhelmed? The Your Business Marketer team is ready to help you battle those demons and get your business back on track.
Why Is Reputation Management Critical
So, why should you care about your business reputation? Does it really matter that some random person halfway around the world had an absurd issue with your product and subsequently left you a 1-star rating on Google? To be blunt, YES!
Now more than ever, consumers are doing their research when looking into their next purchase, regardless of how much it cost. Over 80% of shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase, many of whom will spend between as many as 12 hours evaluating their choices for larger purchases.
These numbers are just a starting point and primarily reflect retail businesses. Businesses that provide a service—such as retirement communities, home services companies, car dealerships, salons, etc.—can expect their online reputation to come under much closer scrutiny as prospective customers decide the best local option.
Google reviews consistently rank as the most frequently visited site used to inspect companies before a purchase. This means every review counts, and any minor incident turns into a revenue-sucking vampire that cannot be ignored.
5 Ways Businesses Can Manage Their Online Reputation
Implementing a sound reputation management strategy will remove any doom and gloom. That being said, working through all of the sludge can be a down and dirty job. Do not underestimate the time and resources you’ll need to devote to earn an All-American reputation.
1. Update Your Business Listing
We live in a society that expects online information to be correct. When it is not, you lose before you even start to play. One of the simplest ways to help your business avoid negative comments is to regularly update your business listing on Google.
This will eliminate the random reviews that cite that the number had been disconnected or the website was not functional. These minor details can kill a company because any lead that sees that review will immediately have second thoughts about clicking that link or making that call.
2. Engage With Customer Feedback
We said it before and we will say it again, the days of simply ignoring cranky customers are long gone. You need to respond and do your best to resolve customer conflicts. Just by apologizing and asking for more information, companies can do some serious damage control. It may be as easy as issuing a clarification or offering to help
Most sites show the interaction between the company and customer, and most reasonable people will not fault you for dealing with an occasional off-the-wall complaint. The most important thing is that you do not ignore the negative feedback.
3. Devote Resources to Social Media
Social media can be a great tool for businesses that are looking to grow their customer base. Both cost-effective and highly targeted, you should try to harness the power of social media like Zeus mastering the thunderbolt.
Where most companies fall short on social media is in engagement. Sure, you might post once a week, but most platforms prefer that individuals or companies engage with other content, not just their own. Try to be a resource for customers, so that the next time they think of a product as you provide, they know where to start their search.
4. Use The Press To Your Advantage
The press can be an asset. Let us say that again: the press can be an asset. Typically, when businesses focus on the press it is to avoid reputation management fiascos, and rightfully so. Creative companies use technology, like Google Alerts, to notify them when their company is mentioned in the press. This tactic can help companies stay in front of reputation-killing stories and lean into the sunshine and rainbows pieces that show the business as a positive presence in the community.
5. Get Outside Assistance
Effectively managing your company’s business reputation will take time and resources. The thought can be overwhelming for small businesses where team members are already wearing multiple hats. Technology to help streamline the process is available, as are companies that provide a dedicated service to build or maintain your reputation.
Finding A Reputation Management Partner
Managing your business reputation should always be a central cog in your overall digital marketing strategy. Whether you plan on tackling everything yourself or outsourcing to a trusted partner, acknowledging your reputation’s power is a great first step.
For larger issues, or if you are looking to offload the task to a dedicated team, the Your Business Marketer team is here to help. Call today at 800-499-1996, or visit our website to learn more about our services. We look forward to getting your company on the road to success.