Your company’s online reputation is very important. After all, that’s the public face of your business that you put forward, so it’s important that you don’t undermine your good standing. Many business owners, however, don’t understand how to manage their company reputation, especially when it comes to dealing with customer feedback. Here are some tips to help you respond to positive and negative feedback.
It’s always wonderful when a customer leaves a glowing review, but that’s not the end of it. You should always make a response. You should always thank them, just as you would if a customer complimented you in person. Remember, everyone is looking at reviews these days, so saying thank you is a good way to speak to these people too. Let them know this is how you run your business. Replying to a review can sometimes also improve its SEO ranking.
[pullquote]No one likes negative reviews but occasionally they happen and you can’t just ignore them and hope they will disappear.[/pullquote] Doing so can actually worsen the situation. In this scenario, you are not only replying to the poster of the review but also potential customers. By making an appropriate response, you are giving yourself an opportunity to put things right, just as you would if someone complained in person. Replying online shows other readers that you don’t neglect your customers when they’ve had a less than satisfactory experience. Do apologize and be sympathetic in your response. Move the conversation offline to avoid making the review even more negative. Once the issue has been resolved, you can politely ask the customer to update their review.
How To Gain More Positive Reviews
– Ask happy customers for reviews: If you ask when the customer is most pleased with the product or service, they are most likely to post a review. People love to share opinions and a happy customer will take more time over the review.
– Place reminders: You may not always be able to ask customers in person, so you can place reminders at the checkout, on the receipt or on the delivery slip.
– Ask online: You should present as many opportunities as you can for people to post reviews online. You don’t have to limit them to your website pages, you can also ask across your social media channels.
Benefits Of Using A Reputation Management Service
You may not be familiar with reputation management services, but they are there to help companies like you because they know that customer feedback can very quickly make or break your online reputation. Unfortunately, when customers do take the time to leave a review more often than not, it’s a negative one. You can combat this by using Reputation Management Software, which will help you garner positive reviews exactly where you want them and you can handle the less desirable reviews privately. Other benefits include:
- Collecting your reviews in one place, wherever they are.
- Ability to custom select which sites you want your reviews to go to.
- Preventing negative reviews from becoming public.
- Completely monitor your reputation.
- Positive reviews can be auto-posted to social media.
You can do all this just by signing up for HOTHSTARS Reputation Management. You get a custom widget that you can install anywhere you like, such as your website homepage or thank you page, your email footer, or submit it to your client email list. You even have the option to select certain websites where you’d like to improve your reviews.
Keeping An Eye On Employee Comments
You should be aware of any comments made online by your employees, particularly disgruntled ones, as these could also harm your company’s reputation. There have been instances where an unhappy employee or ex-employee has taken steps to publically darken their employer’s reputation. In this situation, your reputation may certainly be harmed, even if their comments are untrue.
Fortunately, a bad review isn’t the end of the world. You can take steps to repair your reputation and prevent the same situation from happening again. The number one thing is knowing exactly what is being said about your company, which is where a reputation management service comes in. They will be able to keep an eye on your reputation when you don’t have time to. If you know you’re getting negative reviews and you know where they are, your well on the way to fixing them.
Millie Carey is a small business consultant who likes to share her marketing insights with others online. Her posts appear on various small business and startup sites.