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Manage your Online Business Reputation

By Admin Posted in Blog

Looking at the diverse business entities around the world, it is clear that globalization is playing a major role in customer engagement. Your business, whether a small shop, or a Fortune 500 company could deal with customers all around the world all day, every day, so the importance of online reputation cannot be understated. With the recent emergence of social media, customers are more aware of your products and services and have become more engaged with business entities than they used to be. It’s very easy for customers to post reviews online. As many businesses have discovered, negative reviews and criticism can have a challenging effect on revenue, so businesses should be more aware and pay careful attention to managing their online presence.

Managing online presence

Online reputation management means establishing your business as a credible, authoritative entity. You should try to keep the most relevant, useful results about your business on the first page of the search engines. Between 50-75% of transactions start online now, and if a current client or a prospective one sees something negative about your business as a top result, you risk losing a prospective client and potentially many others. Satisfied customers will post good reviews- so you must strive to provide excellent products and service.

But that’s not enough. Encourage your customers to provide feedback and comments and make it easy for them to do so:

  • Ask your customers for comments at the point of online/mobile sale, because it is unlikely they will return to comment after completing the purchase.
  • Set up a computer or a tablet at your point of sale for customers to rate your service, or to post their comments.
  • Enable a Share social media review feature in your mobile store to share their reviews right from the app itself.
  • Provide a small incentive for every review a customer posts as some businesses are doing.

Responding to criticism

Reputation management has become a necessity for many businesses as mobile applications and websites allow competitors and customers to post whatever they pleases to the Internet, but this transparency is overall a good thing because it gives power back to the customer. There may always be one competitor that relies on criticizing other competitors, and one customer that will post a bad review about your business for a mistake you’ve made.

Responding to criticism or a bad review in a fair, polite, and apologetic manner can actually have a positive effect on your online reputation. A negative review of your business may seem like a personal attack rather than just feedback on your business, making it difficult to respond calmly and objectively. Although it’s tempting to reply in kind to a bad review, it can negatively impact your business’ reputation.

Here are some of the points that should be included in a good response:

  • A thank you for visiting your business, and a genuine apology for their disappointing experience.
  • An explanation for the poor service, if there is one, however don’t use this as an opportunity to make an excuse.
  • Direct responses for each of the complaints. These should be polite, honest and to the point. Take the conversation offline if necessary, to avoid making the situation worse by inviting even more comments.
  • An offer to make the situation “right” for the customer.

On the positive side, a solid reputation management strategy can help your business not only bury negative damaging reviews in search results, but it can place your most important business news and customer interactions at the top of the search results pages.

Managing your brand name

Many businesses don’t realize their online reputation has been damaged until they have suffered a drop in revenue. One of the most important building blocks of reputation management is actually monitoring your brand online. Monitoring search results, blog posts, tweets, status updates, web mentions. In reality, not all the negative reviews will just drop into your Inbox or on your official Facebook page. Therefore, monitoring your own online brand mentions is absolutely essential.

There are number of tools available to help you keep track of, and properly monitor, your brand name. Here are a few:

Each tool will scan the Internet for your chosen keywords, highlighting any new comments or reviews of your business. In the case where you do happen to come across something that is less than favourable for your company, take immediate action so your company and brand do not suffer.

Here are some tips for removing negative search results.

  • If you control the site where the result is coming from, then simply remove the mention of it from your site/ blog.
  • When the content has been removed, expedite the removal of the result by using the Google removal too.
  • Create profiles (top ones mentioned above) to help push negative ones off of the first page.
  • Post client testimonials on your website, blogs, and on social media channels.
  • Make an effort to resolve the issue if possible and request an updated review.
  • The best thing you can do to protect, manage and monitor your brand and online reputation is to post a lot of interesting, useful content. This content should be anything that has to do with your business.

Of course, your business should have a standard way of dealing with all complaints. As a business entity, you must remain courteous and polite and treat your customers with respect. The best way to manage your online reputation ultimately is to provide an excellent product and great service.

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