January 28, 2016
Recognizing and Addressing Problems with Your Online Reputation
Having a good online reputation is absolutely vital to the success of your business. You must have strategies in place and enforce this consistently. This strategy must include tools and actions to use if bad reviews are posted. And, if there are multiple bad reviews, you also need to start thinking about online reputation repair. Below are a few things to think about.
Is it Possible to Prevent Bad Reviews?
Not really. You can do your very best to only attract positive ones, but there will always be people who simply love to complain. Additionally, there are trolls who will find it funny to literally pick on your company. Censorship is also a bad idea and will ultimately damage you more than do you any good.
How to Lessen the Damage
What you can do, however, is regulate the narrative of the bad review. People can say about you what they want to, and you can only hope they at least do so in a place where you can respond. If, for instance, you spot a negative review on a forum that you are not a member of, invite the reviewer to your Facebook page instead, or to complete a customer feedback form, so that you can respond directly to their issue.
Most of the times, consumers like to speak to a company directly if they have problems with a certain product. If, however, they are unable to do so, they will think nothing of positing things publicly on their own Facebook or Twitter, for instance. This is what you need to avoid and why it is so important that you give them the opportunity to come to you directly, preferably through social media.
You also need to make sure that positive elements are boosted as much as possible. You do this by frequently updating your website and social media pages, effectively pushing the negative reviews back. You need to find any information you can that makes your brand look good, while at the same time making sure that you don’t post too much, as customers will then grow tired of reading it. The information you post has to be interesting and relevant, and delivered at a logical time.
You also need to monitor and track information that is out there about your brand, your products and your business as a whole. You must figure out what people say about you and what the impact of that is.
How to Monitor and Track
You want to be at the head of any conversation about you. This means you need to figure out where the conversations are being had. Unfortunately, this will require a bit more work than a simple Google search. Rather, you should work together with a reputation management company that truly understands your needs. If you are on a very stringent budget, there are also a number of good but free reputation management businesses software packages that you could use.