July 31, 2015
Most businesses today have realized they need an online presence, but many either haven’t made it a priority or they don’t maintain that presence properly. An online reputation is important in the business world, as it helps customers see your company in either a (hopefully) positive way and leads to more sales. Or, a negative way that drives customers away.
According to a survey performed by BrightLocal, 88 percent of consumers trust reviews they read online just as much as advice from their own friends and family. If these reviews are negative, customers will steer clear of your company. So improving your online reputation and ensuring good reviews are posted is important if you want to keep customers coming.
Here are three things to do and keep in mind to achieve a positive online reputation:
Set Up Google Alerts
Google Alerts allow you to keep track of a certain search term (what someone will type in when they’re searching for something online). Any time that term or name comes up in the news, in online reviews, blog posts, social media or elsewhere on the internet, you will be notified. You can set up a Google alert with the name of your company and anybody associated with it to see what is being said about the company or employees. Learning about what’s being said in regards to your company can help you see what needs to be improved, as well as what’s working well.
If you get creative with it, there’s actually a lot you can do with Google Alerts. By setting alerts for the names of your competitors, you can see what they’re doing right and what customers are raving about. This will help you better understand what products are the most useful or well-liked, and which promotions to use to help get those customers over to you. You can even set an alert for industry-related terms to see what popular trends are going on at any given time.
Communicate with Customers
One of the most popular complaints found in reviews is the fact that companies fail to communicate. They often leave people wondering just when an upgrade will be finished or when a new product will be coming out. By answering these complaints, it shows customers that you’re willing to communicate with them and give them the answers they need. Of course, it’s even better if these questions are addressed before they become complaints online that you have to deal with.
Ensure Reviews Can Be Left
Many customers may in fact be happy with your product. The problem is, most of them just simply don’t think to leave reviews about it since they don’t have a problem. Or they think it’s too much of a hassle. The best way to ensure reviews can be left is to have a link located directly on your site to where they can leave reviews. Make it clearly visible, possibly include them on a receipt page or download page, as well as including them in any followup or thank you emails. These links should direct people to your Google My Business listing, Yelp profile, Trust Pilot page or other Google approved review sites.
You can also offer customers a step-by-step guide on how to leave a review on these sites. Some may be unwilling to put in the time to leave a review, but giving them the option is at least a start. Orange Fox is a leading reputation firm that has tons of free help and guides to help you get started with getting and managing online reviews.
Improving online reputation isn’t usually a quick process, but putting in the time and effort to make your reputation better will only pay off. By adding links to review sites, communicating with customers often and keeping tabs on what people are saying about you, you will have all the information you need to build a good reputation and change your business for the better.
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