Nowadays your online reputation matters at least as much as the live reviews that people get from your previous customers. That is why you need to pay extra attention to what people say about you in the Internet.
Tracking and monitoring all the reviews about your company might seem like a lot of work, but it is worth it - if you constantly stay updated, you'll be able to prevent major blows to your reputation, as well as use favorable comments to boost your reputation.
Comments of satisfied (or vice versa) customers can ruin your reputation on instant - in the age of social media it only takes a moment for the negative review to go viral, especially if your company really made a mistake or offered a product of a low quality.
And even people who've never heard about your company will think twice before ever considering your product or service. Which is quite the opposite of what you hope to achieve.
You certainly can't keep everyone satisfied, and making mistakes is only human, but with smart and thoroughly planned reputation management you can avoid most of the mistakes that can harm your brand.
Here are several steps that you need to take in order to start managing your online reputation smartly and responsibly:
1. Constantly track your reputation
Knowledge is power, and without knowing what people dislike about you fixing situation is downright impossible. That is why you need to keep track of everything your customers say about you and swiftly react to the negative feedback. You need to know about the critique to do something about it.
Also keep an eye on the main referral websites in the industry - they are the main source of reviews.
You can also use different online tools to do the search. There are both paid and free tools that can come in handy.
2. Monitor the niche review websites
Google reviews are not the only source of feedback from your customers. If you want the full picture, you need to go deeper and monitor the industry referral websites, too.
Almost every industry has those, and the reviews appearing on such websites can have more influence than Google one, as they are often written by the experts in the field an can therefore bring more damage - or boost your company's reputation, if the aforementioned reviews are positive.
3. React without anger
When you are faced with negative reviews, there are two wrong ways of dealing with them. First one is not responding to the critique, and the second is responding angrily, therefore provoking the confrontation and multiplying the negative effect of the comment.
Make sure you avoid both of these mistakes. Stay friendly even if the customer is asking for confrontation, and do all you can to resolve the issue.
Even if you can't satisfy the said customer, it will show other people reading the discussion that you care about your clients and act professionally even in the worst situations.
4. Make people talk about you
Even if your customer is 100% satisfied with his or her purchase, it doesn't guarantee you'll get a positive review instantly. Unfortunately, satisfied people tend to be less active than dissatisfied ones, and therefore you need to motivate them in order to get your positive feedback.
A smart idea is to remind your satisfied customers about the possibility to speak their mind about your company and product.
You can also motivate them by offering small discounts and other bonuses for writing a review - it will get people talking.
5. Keep your customers satisfied
When it comes to your online reputation, there are no matters too small. Make sure that every issue your customers face is swiftly dealt with.
Also remember to inform everybody about the fixed issue - otherwise it won't add to your reputation.
If you constantly monitor every mention of your company, track all the negative comments in time and respond adequately, your reputation will be strong, and your results - astonishing.
Remember about the importance of the online reputation - it can determine your success or be the reason you failed.