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Indigo Business SolutionsBlog Like It Or Not – Your Online Reputation Matters

Like It Or Not – Your Online Reputation Matters

Like It Or Not – Your Online Reputation Matters

If you are in business long enough, someone will take their gripes about your company to an online review board for everyone to see. In most cases, once this content is posted it becomes a permanent part of your online reputation forever.

There is a large gap between business owners who believe this is not that big of a concern and the consumers that value these reviews as a critical piece of information. If you are one of those business owners, take caution and think again about your online reputation. It matters more than you may think.

84% Trust Online Reviews

A recent article in Inc. Magazine boasts a headline that 84 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as a friends recommendation. This means that the negative review that your unhappy customer posted is literally pushing new business away from you. Even though the review is inaccurate in your view, it is a fact to the new prospect doing research on your company. I have heard clients tell me how they gave a customer a full discount even though they didn’t do anything wrong and they still wrote a negative review.

The problem for most businesses is that customers who have great experiences never write a review, and the few customers who have bad experiences rush to tell the world. But the bigger problem is that most businesses do not have a system in place to influence their online reputation. They only pay attention to this vital part of their marketing once they become aware of a negative online review.

The key to improving your online reputation is to have systems in place. These are activities that are on every employees mind with every customer interaction. Each company must evaluate their own processes and points of contact with clientele, but here are a few ideas that might help you right away.

Take These Steps Now

To Improve Your Online Reputation

 

1) If your business works with customers on the phone,  have your customer service reps be on the lookout for positive customer experiences. After your customer tells you that your company did a great job, ask your customer service reps to email customers a link to your Facebook account so they can write a nice review for you. Give an incentive to your customer service reps for each positive online review they can get.

 

2) If you are a brick and mortar retailer, have Ipads on premise so customers have an instant opportunity to praise you online. Imagine a customer who just made a purchase in your store. They are thrilled with the service and care they received. Now is the time to hand them an Ipad with links to each of the online review boards you are on. They will be happy to say thank you in such a convenient way.

 

3) Have someone monitor all online boards so you are aware of every new review that is posted about your company. It is imperative that you have a skilled writer respond to every review no matter if it is good or bad. Keep in mind that even if you get a negative review, the quickness and words used to reply to that review can minimize the impact of the bad review on a potential new prospect reading the posts. As an example, you never want to get into a yelling match with your old unhappy customer on a review board. It is better to take the high road. Do not apologize, but emphasize your years in business or how you value great customer service and have had internal discussions to investigate what took place etc.

The key is to let the new prospect realize that you are always looking to improve. Nobody expects a company to be perfect, but they expect to have a good experience and your response can show them that you are constantly striving to do just that.

The bottom line is that your online reputation will affect your bottom line. don’t delay, start working on this critical part of your marketing today.

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