Managing your online reputation in four simple steps

Managing your online reputation

Online reputation is becoming increasingly important for businesses, so the way you handle yours is critical. Feedback can be given in many different ways, and if it’s not handled well you could be doing your organisation a big disservice. New and existing customers rely on reviews from other customers when they buy products, so it’s vital that positive reviews are maximised and negative ones are not left to languish in a way that will put others off.

Establishing and maintaining a good reputation will not only increase sales but will help turn loyal customers into online advocates, which will further bolster your brand. Following these four steps will help you improve customer sentiment when it comes to your brand, products and services.

1. Be proactive
Rather than waiting for reviews to be posted, set up a review requesting programme. More often than not, customers who leave uninvited reviews will do so because there is something they are unhappy about, while your satisfied customers simply enjoy the good service you have provided. Requesting reviews will prompt happy customers to leave feedback. This will help to drive up your average star ratings and give prospective buyers a more complete and favourable overview of your brand. Strike while the iron is hot and ask for a review after purchase! Make sure it’s really simple for customers to leave reviews using streamlined, graphic-driven templates and mobile review requests. Statistics show that the best time to send our reviews requests is during the morning and midway through the week.

2. Monitor your reviews
Your customer reviews will contain important insights, so make sure your customer service staff are monitoring them continuously. Put together protocol so that staff members know how to respond to positive and negative feedback. Your customers will appreciate the interaction, especially if you are able to put something right for them, and this will give your brand a real boost. You may even wish to change elements of your business based on the reviews, for example, if your delivery service is a continual problem or if a particular product hasn’t been well-received.

3. Use social media
Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter offer customers a chance to give feedback very publicly. Make sure your approach is as interactive as possible. Remember that you can respond to any comments you receive and that the way you do so could really impact your business. You will be able to showcase positive feedback and clearly be seen to show concern at times when you have got it wrong. You could even use the feedback to rename products or to drive your advertising campaigns (think Sainsbury’s, Starbuck’s and Andrex). Be friendly and inclusive, creating a welcoming community for people to get to know your brand better.

4. Update your information
When customers google a business, for example, a hair salon or a locksmith, they are often looking for something in a particular location or at a specific time, as well as taking into account any reviews. If your business is listed multiple times on Google there’s a chance that some of the information is missing or incorrect, and potential customers may eliminate your company from its search as a result. Make sure your customer service team is on top of this. You should be able to update listings fairly quickly and easily providing you are aware of any gaps. Make sure that the business name, address, website address, contact number and operating hours are correct as a bare minimum.

You may find this in-depth article interesting reading: What’s an Online Review Worth?

If you need help or advice in managing your online reputation, we would be very happy to help. The team at WSI-eMarketing will help you implement instant strategies to raise the profile of your brand as well as working on longer-term options to give your business that added polish for many years to come. Give us a call today to find out more!

Image credits: Taduuda

This entry was posted in Business Growth, Customer Reviews, ORM, Reputation Management and tagged , , , , by Rob Thomas. Bookmark the permalink.

About Rob Thomas

Rob lives and breathes Social Technology, Social Media & Mobile Marketing. He will show you how to use them to improve many areas of your bottom line, not just Marketing! He’ll show you how to enhance and protect your reputation, whilst generating increased sales, reduced costs and improved customer acquisition and retention. Recognised as an expert in reputation management, digital and mobile marketing, Rob is a professional speaker both in the U.S. and across Europe. In addition to consultation services, including the “12 step process to achieve Social Proficiency” programme, Rob also coaches, trains and provides implementation services to help business owners, organisational leaders and their teams. If you want/need Rob to speak at one of your events please email him rob.thomas@wsi-emarketing.com You can follow me on Google+