Mistakes happen. Unfortunately, a dissatisfied customer can relay their experience in one negative online review that speaks louder than a dozen positive ones. Whether you accidentally said something offensive or an order wasn’t fulfilled properly, your business shouldn’t suffer. Sadly, there is no delete button for you to erase negative reviews just as there isn’t one that can erase the reviews from someone’s memory.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to improve your business’s online reputation. Just because something might have happened that was or wasn’t in your control doesn’t mean your business should be doomed.
The following guide will help you improve your online reputation, so your business doesn’t have to suffer for a simple mistake. Then again, your business might need to establish a reputation to attract more customers.
Ask Customers to Review Your Business
The first thing you can do is ask your customers to review your business. When a customer has a good experience, they are less likely to write a review than if they had an amazing experience or a bad one. It’s good to remind them that they can relay their positive experiences to the public. If you have a lot of reviews online, the negative ones are less likely to stand out. “Readers will see that one review in the midst of many positive ones and not give it much weight,” says a popular reputation management Edmonton Company.
If you have asked customers to leave reviews before they leave your place of business and they forget, gather email addresses so you can send out an email reminder. When a person receives an email on their computer or phone, they are in the position to go ahead and write a review.
Another strategy is to give customers an incentive to write reviews. Perhaps this incentive can be a coupon or even a free product. You don’t have to ask them to write a positive review. In fact, a mix of good, bad, and mediocre reviews will show people that your brand is real. A flood of positive reviews makes the reviews look fake.
Establish a Presence on Review Sites
The second thing you want to do is make sure you have a presence on multiple review sites. While Google and Facebook are must-haves, TripAdvisor, Foursquare, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Citysearch, and BBB.org are other trusted review sites.
Even if you don’t have profiles on these websites, customers can still leave reviews. It’s best for you to claim those pages to ensure that all of the information is accurate. In other words, this gives you more control over your online presence.
Encourage Customers to Interact with Your Business Online
In addition to reviews, you can encourage customers to upload any photos they have taken of or inside the business. This shows off your brand in a more authentic way. Customer photos have a significant impact on buying decisions than professional photos. Even with these photos not being in perfect lighting, consumers tend to react to them better. They’re just enough to improve your online reputation.
You could even run a contest that will encourage customers to upload their photos. The photo with the most votes wins a prize. There are different ways you can do this, so don’t be afraid to run with it.
Don’t Respond to Customer Complains in Private
If a customer complains in public, answer it in public. This is an opportunity to handle conflict with class. Of course, you need to defend yourself. However, doing it in a way where their happiness is the focus will make a world of difference in how the complaint is viewed by the public.
Even when a customer is wrong in their assessment of their experience, it’s necessary to treat them right. Empathy and professionalism are your best friends in these cases.
Show Your Customers You’re Watching
Customers will share their experiences, which can include social media posts and photos. Search social media platforms for your business name. You’ll be amazed at what you will find. When you find a post or photo about your business that you like, share it. This shows customers that you’re paying attention to them.
Monitor Your Reputation
To see what people are saying about your business, it’s important to use the available tools to monitor your reputation. Google Alerts is one option because you will be alerted every time your business is mentioned. If you need more specific software, there are programs out there that will help you keep track of everything that is being said about your business. Knowing what is being said will help you quickly address issues.
Keep Up with Your Blog
Blogging is a great way to show that you are an authority in your field. It’s also a wonderful way to keep content fresh and increase your website’s domain authority. Sites that have higher domain authorities tend to rank higher than those that have lower domain authorities. Regular publishing will help SEO and will help you acquire both inbound and outbound links that will give your site even more SEO juice.
Nonetheless, one of the primary purposes of the blog is to give visitors information. Providing information establishes trust. That trust then translates into more traffic that turns into customers. Just make sure you are writing about topics that interest people. Look at what they are talking about in forums and on social media so you can get an idea of what they want to see.
Show Off Testimonials
Testimonials show the world what people have to say about your business. Use the top reviews about your business as testimonials on your website. You can also ask customers to write a testimonial for you. People like this because it’s an opportunity for what they have to say to be seen.
You Can Fix Your Reputation
If your company’s reputation has been damaged, there is still a way to correct it. Even if you are trying to build from scratch or give the business more credibility, the above tips will help you achieve that goal. Just remember to get testimonials, ask customers to write reviews, ensure photos are in the mix since they get a good response, and write blog posts for your website. Doing these things will make a world of difference in how consumers see your business.