In my last post, What is Reputation Management and Why it’s Important, we talked about why it’s important to pay attention to your online reputation. Here are a few of the highlights in case you’ve forgotten.
In this post, we’re talking about a few Reputation Management best practices. This isn’t a comprehensive list or a full Reputation Management plan, but these 5 tips will help you make a big improvement in your online reputation over time.
Set your self up for success online
Just having a review showing up on a review site doesn’t mean you have a verified or accurate account with that review site. Most review sites allow anyone to create a profile for your business if it doesn’t already exist – meaning that person, whoever they are, gets to enter your contact information, business name, everything. Sometimes they’re accurate, but many times they aren’t (how motivated is an unhappy customer, or even worse, one of your competitors, to enter correct information for you?). If your information isn’t accurate, you stand the chance of your stellar reputation being attributed to a different business entirely if their information is at all similar to yours.
BOTTOM LINE: Set up accounts with all major and local review sites and make sure your contact information EXACTLY matches that of your Google My Business account, website and social media info.
You’re probably doing this naturally already, but I would be neglegent not to mention this most important part of maintaining a stellar online reputation. People aren’t going to go out of their way to say nice things about you unless you give them a real reason to. Many service-based businesses have some real serious competition, so providing great service, and making your clients feel really special is important and necessary just to stay in business. But in order to to encourage your clients to share their experience with you, you’ve got to take it up even a notch more.
Statistics show that 90% of typical US consumers read reviews, but only 6% write them (Local Viewpoints). Happy customers who intend on leaving a review still won’t if they forget, it’s too hard or if they’re too busy so it’s important to ask strategically, and in multiple ways, so you catch each individual during the time and in the way thats most effective for them. Here are some ways we’ve found to be the most effective, especially when used in concert throughout the customer experience.
- Mention reviews early, and often. Let your customers know you love getting reviews.
- Make the process easy! Offer multiple ways for customers to get to your review sites.
- Print reminders: QR codes printed on business cards, receipts, and other printed materials (flyers etc) make visiting review sites easy, even after your customers leave.
- Ditigal reminders: Text and email campaigns to customers as soon as your service or sale is complete.
Showing every prospective customer that you appreciate, and respond to the reviews people leave for you is a huge check in the positive column – especially if the review you’re responding to is less than stellar! Showing that you’re willing to work with those who didn’t have a perfect experience with you is HUGE. Don’t try to respond to every review, that can begin to look disingenuous, but be sure to respond to negative reviews, and those positive reviews that really stand out, or that highlight things like attention to detail or a specific service or offering you provide.
Shout it from the Rooftops
Online reviews are already available in many google searches, and whenever someone visits an individual review site, but to get the most bang for your buck, make sure that no matter where a review is submitted, it gets displayed in as many places as possible. There are various WordPress plugins that will allow this for some of the major review sites. You can also manually screen shot reviews to create social media posts. Even better, a good marketing service will provide you with the ability to stream reviews live on your website, and push reviews to your social media streams automatically – like we do ;).Sharing is fun!