Are you aware of what customers are saying about your company, including the products and the services you provide? The only way to find out your reputation is by searching yourself!
Take control by literally discovering what is being said about you and your business. This is something every business must do often. The truth is that most businesses are unaware of the fact that they have bad reviews online. In order to find out if customers are leaving bad reviews, use Google. Type in your business or your name into the search engine along with negative words or terms such as “scam” “the worst.” The search engine will give you results of pages that associate your business or name with those words. If you do not get any results, then your online reputation does not need saving!
But what happens if you do get results from that search? When you are presented with a bad review, it is completely normal to feel a little hurt, surprised, and upset. After you calm down, you must work to fix the issue by figuring if there is any validity to the review. Was your company experience a crisis? was one of your employee’s having an off day? Or did your customer simply misunderstand a procedure or standard of your company?
Review sites that remain most trusted have a section for the owner of a business to add a comment to the negative post. You should use this section to apologize for what happened. Customers admire when companies admit to their mistakes and thank them, even for a bad review. This helps your upset client feel like their opinion matters and helps potential customers understand that you are a trusted business that truly cares. After apologizing and thanking the reviewer, try to very briefly explain that this rarely happens and/or will never happen again. Your calming words with allow you to seem like you are a reasonable business and the bad review was just a rant. Also consider the fact that using slight humor can defuse the situation and also attract new customers. The most important thing to remember when responding to any review is to let the client know that you are listening and that you do care.
Good reviews are also good at working to diffuse the negative reviews. If you currently do not have a way to encourage customer reviews, consider creating one for them. Good reviews work to help your online reputation but also help with your search engine rankings too. A great strategy to use for encouraging customer reviews is through the signature line at the bottom of your emails. This works to remind them to leave a review while also not seeming too desperate. To make it easier for the customer, hyperlink the site into your email signature.
Another great way to develop reviews is to offer an incentive for a review: if they leave a review, they could receive a discount off of their next purchase or visit. This does also involve giving an incentive to those that leave a negative review too. Managing your reputation is a continuous process. If you are providing excellence service, monitoring your online reputation, responding to negative reviews, collecting positive reviews, and have a sense of humor, you are truly well on your way to maintaining a positive reputation.