Online Reputation Management
“On average a dissatisfied customer will tell between 9-15 people about their experience, while around 13% of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people.” – White House Office of Consumer Affairs
Ever get a bad review on Yelp?
Perhaps you’ve felt as though you’re at the mercy of the anonymous trolls that with a stroke of the keyboard can damage your business for years to come, regardless of whether they speak lies or not. It can keep you on walking on eggshells and has the potential to make your blood boil.
And with the cards stacked against you from the moderators at the review sites, and out numbered by the torchlight pumping, pitch fork waving town folk, managing your online reputation can seem like a war you can’t win.
“It’s Not The Size Of The Dog In The Fight, It’s The Size Of The Fight In The Dog.” – Mark Twain
You won’t turn everyone into a happy customer, but there are measures you can take to minimize your risk and protect your livelihood long with the business you’ve put so much blood, sweat and tears into.
The Reputation Fix With 6
One of the easiest things you can do to help your online reputation is to take a look through your content and remove that which might be considered suspect. Any images that may be less than desirable, get rid of them. Same goes for comments on your website and social pages. Many review sites won’t allow you to perform a vanishing act, but many social sites including Facebook & Youtube will. You can take this a step further by setting up your spam & profanity filters, along with customizing your page moderation settings.
Bring On The Crocodiles
Protecting your reputation before you’re attacked is one of the best ways to keep the trolls at bay. When a prospect is interested in doing business with you, among the first things they do is look you up in Google. If anything negative comes up on the first page of results, you’re a goner.
A simple way to protect your business from this is to build a mote around your brand. You can do this by claiming and configuring your brand on as many social sites as possible. Choose at least 10 and add your basic information, along with a little bit of content to help them rank in Google for your brand terms. Depending on how serious you are about it, you can launch SEO initiatives to each web page you’ve claimed and effectively build a mote controlling what shows up when someone looks you up. You can take this even further by purchasing the various permutations and domain extensions for your brand, such as .net, .org, etc… and loading these up with content and launch SEO initiatives on these as well. While this is a very effective strategy to protect your business and even knock existing negative content off of the first page of Google, you’ll want to implement a well thought out strategy and understand the requirements, timelines and what type of results you can expect to receive.
8 of 10 US Internet users say that the negative information read online made them change their mind about a purchasing decision. *Vendasta
Now that you’ve got your pawns in place, you have an opportunity to publish content as you desire. While a picture is worth a thousand words, a thousand words can certainly paint a picture. Consider publishing content that is educational, entertaining and overall engaging. To get the ball rolling, you can write about your history, the history of the company, what brought you and your business to where you are, case studies, testimonials, tutorials and content that is inspirational, aspirational and other affinities that could help create bonds between you and your audience. Politics, religion and anything that might be deemed as controversial or negative should be left by the wayside.
Ask For The Moon
96% of unhappy customers don’t complain, however 91% of those will simply leave and never come back. You can address this rather easily with the use of survey’s and questionnaires. As the saying goes, less is more so it’s a good idea to keep these short and sweet. A great strategy to help you save a customer on the edge and simultaneously boost your online reputation is to have a reputation survey system in place with a filter that will send participants to the web page of your choosing upon completion.
If the customer gives you a five star review in your reputation survey, you can redirect them a web page on a review site where they can write a stellar review for you. If a customer gives you negative feedback, they can be redirected to a page that you control and gather information to help you correct the situation and stop them from attacking you in public.
You might be surprised to hear that most people simply want to be heard. If you give them the attention they’re looking for with an empathetic ear, you may even be able to convert them into a raving fan.
Revenge Is Not Sweet
When you discover a negative review posted about your business online, a natural first inclination is to fight back. Unfortunately you’ll likely just add fuel to the fire and then open yourself up to a slippery slope scenario. When others that might have kept quiet now feel it’s okay to join in, you may wind up with a giant boulder of business destruction continually picking up momentum down hill as it destroys everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
Its best practice to be as professional as possible and avoid fanning the flames. Additionally, responding in a timely manner will greatly minimize your exposure. It’s also a good idea to try and navigate the conversation to a private setting like email, direct messaging or even a phone call if need be.
“41% of companies that experienced a negative reputation event reported loss of brand value and revenue.” -Forbes Insights on behalf of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
Alert The Press
To help you stay on top of your brands reputation in an ongoing manner, there are various tools available that will send you alerts via email and/or text message should your brand be mentioned on websites and social media platforms. It’s a great way for you to be able to address situations as they arise.
Live To Fight Another Day
While your reputation is among the less pleasurable things to deal with, it’s without a doubt, one of the most important. In a study conducted by Harvard Business Review, a one-star rating hike on Yelp can mean a 5% to 9% rise in revenue.
By implementing these various reputation strategies and tactics, you’ll likely see improvements in your bottom line as well as your sleeping habits. If you’d like to learn more or find out how we can help keep you protected from the monsters that await you, Click the button below now for a complimentary, no obligation consultation.