Reputation Management

 

Your company’s reputation management can make or break your business!

Especially online.

 

To put it simply…
 
If you have a good reputation, people are more likely to trust you, and do business with you.
If you have a poor reputation, they’re going to spend their money somewhere else.

 

According to a recent consumer survey (from 2016), more than 90% of potential customers will look for reviews about your company, before deciding to do business with you.

 

Here’s a few key ‘Takeaways’ from the research
 

  • 92% of consumers now read online reviews
  • 97% of consumers aged 18-34 read online reviews to judge a local business
  • 40% of consumers form an opinion by reading just 1 to 3 reviews
  • Only 13% of consumers consider using a business that has a 1 or 2 star rating

 

These days, with review sites like Google reviews, Facebook, YellowPages.com, and Yelp; it’s easier than ever for someone to write a review about your business, for all the world to see.

 

What does this means for your company’s reputation?

 

The good –
Simply put… Good reviews can boost your reputation; leading to more consumer trust, more customers, and ultimately more sales for your business.

 
The bad –
Online reviews are a double edged sword. Because while positive reviews can boost your reputation; negative reviews can ruin your company’s reputation in the blink of an eye. Causing your sales to plummet.

 
The ugly –
Online Reviews are not always legitimate!
Sometimes it’s just a competitor, or disgruntled ex-employee who writes a bad review about you.
 
Unfortunately, most potential customers don’t know the difference. All they know is, you have a bad review, and it makes your company look bad.

 

The bottom line is this…
 
The more positive reviews you receive, the better your company looks.

 

Your reputation management solution

 
Of course, no one wants to worry about reputation management until there’s a problem. But it’s always easier to lay a strong, positive foundation, than it is to fix a bad reputation.
 
Getting a head start with a positive reputation (especially online) can help over-shadow any negative reviews that may come your way.

 

Here’s a couple strategies for building your “positive reputation foundation”:

 

1) Encourage positive reviews:

 
Follow up with customers and ask them to leave reviews. If asking for positive feedback feels awkward to you; I promise, it’s easier than you think. And I can show you a few super effective systems that make it even easier.
 
But for now just keep in mind, the best time to ask for reviews is immediately after someone makes a purchase with your company.
 

There’s two main reasons for this…
 
a) When someone has a positive experience with your company; if you wait too long to request a review, most of the excitement from their positive transaction has worn off.
 
At this point many people will either ignore your request, or their review will be far less enthusiastic than it would have been. Which is still better than nothing, but not as good as it could be.

 

b) If someone has a negative experience with your company, it’s better to find out quick so you can try to make it right. Before they decide to vent their frustrations, all over the internet.
 
A small issue can often be nipped in the bud, before it grows big in the mind of your customer, thus keeping your reputation intact.
 
I’ve even seen many negative reviews flipped over into positive reviews, thanks to a quick customer service response.

 

2) Promote your positive reviews:

 
If you find positive reviews and feedback about your company on a website, blog, forum, or even in print; don’t be shy about letting people know.
 
Link to them from your website, or mention them on social media. Positive reviews can also be used like testimonials on your website, or in your advertisements.
 
The trick is to let people know about them without sounding like your bragging. Which is fairly easy, once you know how.

 

3) Always remember, the reputation of your company starts before a customer ever shows up:

 
It starts with a customer oriented business culture.
 
Simply put… A positive, friendly, customer oriented culture, shows through in every aspect of your business.
 
By contrast, if you have a group of disgruntled or unhappy workers, all the employee handbooks and guidelines in the world, will never be able to keep the negative attitudes from coming through. And your customers will feel it.
 
Here’s something for you to think about… When a client has a positive experience with your company, even if your product or service does not perform 100%, they are far more likely to “cut you some slack.”
 
But if your customers are made to feel “less than important” – you can have the best products in the world and you’ll still get a Luke-warm review, at best.

 
Remember, customer service is not a single department within your company. For good, or bad, everyone from the owner down to the lowest employee represents the reputation of your company.
 
After working with many different businesses, I’ve discovered that company culture (good or bad) always starts at the top. So if you’re the business owner, it’s up to you to create the culture you want your business to have towards your customers.
 

Of course, those are just a couple of “baseline” strategies for your company’s reputation management. There are a few more essential strategies I can teach you; If you’re interested.

 

What you can do when your reputation has already been tarnished:

 
Don’t panic if you find some negative reviews about your business; it happens to the best of us. But how we manage it can make a big difference for your company’s reputation.

 

First we need to determine if the negative reviews are legitimate:
 
Sometimes it’s just a competitor, or disgruntled ex-employee who writes a bad review about you.
 
In that case; many times we can simply report the fake review to the review sites — most legitimate review sites are eager to remove fake feedback, because it reflects upon their own sites reputation for integrity.
 
If the review site doesn’t honor our request to remove the false review; then we may need to resort to more aggressive tactics, to convince them it’s in their own best interest to remove the fake review.
 
Some of these tactics could include legal action against the site. But it rarely ever goes that far if we can show evidence the review is not legitimate.

 

What if negative reviews cannot be deleted from the internet:

 
Sometimes negative reviews (real and fake) become a permanent part of the internet. As such, they become a permanent part of your company’s reputation.
 
When this happens, we have a few of options…

 

First – If the negative reviews are legitimate, then we may need to consider what your unhappy customers are saying. Is there something you really could do better?
 
Read their opinions and consider using the feedback to improve your company’s service.
 
It may also be a good idea to directly reply to customers who have left a negative review.
 
Sometimes, responding allows the reviewer to feel heard, and they may even revise their review and give you a higher rating.

 
Of course, we need to be very careful how we word your response. Because when you get it right, it can help your reputation; but if you get it wrong, it can do more harm than good…
 
“My job is to help you get it right.”

 

Second – We can try to get negative reviews “de-indexed” from the search engines. That way, when anyone searches for your company, the negative review won’t show up in the search results.

 

Third – If we can’t get the bad reviews changed, deleted, or de-indexed; then we move on to “dilute and suppress” tactics.
 
This basically means we dilute the negative reviews, by drip feeding positive reviews and stories about your business, to strategic websites across the internet.
 
This begins to suppress negative reviews and news stories about you, away from the first few pages of search results.
 
Few people ever look past the first couple pages of search results. When we flush your negative reviews to the back pages of the search engines, few people will ever see them.
 
And if people do find them, the negative will be surrounded by so much positive, that the poor reviews will be rendered nearly insignificant.
 
CAUTION: This third technique must be handled carefully. It requires a combination of “content curation, SEO, and strategic placement of positive reviews” for it to be effective.
It can be a short process, or a long process, depending on how many bad stories already exist, and how intense they are.
 
If you simply slam the internet with hundreds of positive reviews in a short period of time, it will look phony and could easily backfire, causing more harm than good.

 

Finally: Reputation management is an on going process

 
Once your company has a positive reputation, we need to make sure it stays that way.
Which brings us full circle; back to building, and maintaining your “positive reputation foundation”

 

You may never be able to stop every person from leaving negative reviews about you and your business. But with solid reputation management, we can build a more positive reputation, and make it much easier for people to choose to do business with you.

 

If you need help building your positive reputation, or repairing a negative reputation, I’m here to help you.
 
Simply contact me right now using the contact form below.
 
I’ll help you assess your situation, and then we can talk about the best positive course of action for your reputation management.

 

To your success.
 
All the best,

SARubin

 

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