Building a great brand takes time and dedication. A big part of your brand is your business’ reputation. Thanks to the internet, word of mouth can travel faster than ever. A disgruntled customer now has the ability to log into a review site, leave a review, and spread their word like wildfire.
Being aware of what’s said about your businesses is crucial. It can give you insights, mend damaged relationships with customers, and even help you to improve your brand.
Below are some simple steps for improving your online reputation.
- Monitor what’s being said. You know the saying that Big Brother is watching? Well, be the Big Brother. Know what people are saying about your business and who’s saying it. Set up Google alerts and monitor all of your businesses review pages (Yelp, Google+, etc.). If you don’t monitor what’s being said, you can’t respond and solve an issue.
- Take an active role in your reputation management. Regardless if the review is positive or negative, you should always respond. This lets the reviewers know that you’re involved and want to take part in the conversation.
- Apologize. If you come across a negative review, say you’re sorry. But don’t offer a cookie-cutter apology. Make sure to listen to what the person said, be specific in your response, and make sure that what you are say isn’t easily misinterpreted. The more detailed your response, the more evident it is you care.
- Take the conversation off the internet. When responding to negative reviews, it’s important to direct the conversation off the internet as soon as possible. When leaving a reply, make sure to provide a personal contact number or email where the reviewer can reach you directly. It’s not only easier to resolve the issue verbally, but leaving contact information shows the reviewer that you’re interested.
- Present the facts online. If you come across a negative review that stems from confusion or incorrect facts, include your side of the story. A false or inaccurate review is damaging, so settle any confusion to better your reputation
- Own up to it. If you come across a negative review, it’s best to acknowledge it and attempt to solve the issue. It’s all about presenting your business in a positive manner.
Negative reviews can provide good insight and help your business grow for the better. It’s basically learning from your mistakes. Through reviews, you can see your business’ weaknesses and strengths. You can see where there’s room for improvement or perhaps which strategies are working and which aren’t.
Learn from the reviews and figure out how to ensure that similar mistakes don’t happen again.
It’s really up to you to make the changes. Look, listen, and learn from you online reputation in order to improve your online reputation.
Are you interested in learning more about what Stream offers? Make sure to check out our free eBook page to learn more!
—Erik Krass is a Digital PR Coordinator at Stream Companies, a full-service Philadelphia-area advertising agency.