How to Manage Your Online Reputation
Most people these days go online to research products and services before buying anything. This has become such a standard practice that hundreds of review sites have sprung up all over the internet to help consumers make an informed decision when they are choosing a product or a service provider.
As a business it’s important that you keep up to speed with what people are saying about you. Review sites can have a lot of influence on your prospective customers’ decision-making process and a negative review could really impact your business’ profitability.
If you don’t spend time monitoring and managing your online reputation you may not even be aware that people are talking badly about you until the damage is done. If you do get a negative review, it’s not necessarily a disaster as long as you take action to rectify the issue, but if you don’t know about it there’s no way to prevent a minor issue affecting your business reputation over the long term.
Here are a few suggestions to help you limit the damage caused by negative reviews and potentially even turn them into a positive.
- Encourage your happy customers to write positive reviews about your business online. You can even offer incentives to help with this. If you have a lot of positive reviews, there’s more of a chance that potential customers will take one or two negative ones with a grain of salt.
- Where possible, try to respond to negative feedback in a non confrontational way, without getting defensive. Express your concern and offer to resolve the problem or invite the reviewer to contact you directly to discuss the issue. Even if they are in the wrong, showing publicly that you are willing to resolve issues and complaints can demonstrate your great customer service skills and win you loyalty.
- If you are consistently getting negative feedback, you may need to look at what you are doing wrong and take steps to improve. Offering the highest possible level of service and quality of products is always going to be your best defence against negative reviews and poor customer feedback.
While negative feedback can be confronting, it’s important that you don’t let them continue unchecked or you could find they seriously impact your business over the long term.
By monitoring your reputation online and taking steps to deal with negative comments and feedback you can help ensure that your business gets attention for the right reasons and maintain yourself a great online reputation.