If you don’t know what’s online about your business, it could be killing your profits
Reputation management is a real thing. Knowing what people are saying about you, good or bad is something that you have to constantly be aware of. In the old days it was not as easy to know what people said, but online these days? Much easier. There are even special programs made to track down mentions of your business name. There are companies that specialize in finding your mentions online and doing damage control if needed. Just having one bad comment can damage you for hundreds of other people, so it is very important that you know what’s there and keep on top of it. You need to know if it’s something you can fix, or if it is a competitor just trying to cause you damage. Whatever the source, you need to know.
There are a few main review companies, such as yelp, and you should always keep an eye on what’s said there. Doing an occasional search is important, and responding to them in a good way, whether it is a negative or positive review is also equally important.
Whatever you do, don’t lose your cool online when replying to reviews. Always be polite, and constructive, and apologetic when needed. Remember that thousands of eyes will see your response and judge you by it. A good response can often undermine a bad review, and go a long way to fixing things. It can change the mind of people reading the review so that it is more in your favor.
No matter what, always respond and if they respond to your response, then again, respond as soon as you can. This is the mark of good customer service and will go a long way. We have found that just talking to someone and not being a faceless company has repaired many bridges that seemed impossible to cross. Remember this is like free advertising that thousands will see. So be the person that you aspire to be and show that face in all replies.
Software or service
While you can do your reputation management yourself just by searching google, you stand to miss a lot of possibilities. You might think that some negative review that ranks hundreds of pages down the search engine won’t matter, but on other keywords, it might rank at the top, so never assume. If you do it yourself you can miss a lot. There is software such a Buzzbundle or Awario, and if you have the time they are great. If you don’t have the time or someone that you can assign, you can use a service to help you. Just finding them and forwarding them to you is worth its weight in gold. You can reply yourself, and as you know your business better than anyone, it can make a huge difference.
While it doesn’t seem much, keeping track of your own name online, it can really be a landmine that can cost you thousands, if not millions (if you are big enough) if you don’t keep it under control. Keeping public opinion on your side it a must. Any negative reviews must be dealt with or you can find your business going down without knowing why. Your reputation is everything, so keep an eye on it.