According to Business.com, 88 percent of all consumers refer to online reviews when deciding with whom to do business. With statistics like that, good business management demands stellar online reputation management.
With the invent of computers, cell phones and tablets, anyone can leave a consumer review with a moment’s notice, but more often than not, the unhappy consumer is more apt to leave a review than the satisfied customer. That means the wise entrepreneur must protect his reputation promptly and regularly.
Use these tips to protect your online reputation:
1. Be cognizant of your online image. When consumers search the Internet for your business, what are the results? Do the resulting links present you in the best light? Would you do business with you after reading the remarks?
2. Monitor review websites, both those that cater to general products and those that specialize in your industry. If the traffic generated from a review site suddenly drops, odds are someone left a negative review that requires your attention. You do not need to hire a full-time employee just to monitor search engine results. Software, such as ReviewPush, provides multi-engine results and even offers email alerts about negative reviews.
3. Respond promptly and positively to bad reviews. Publicly, post a response asking the reviewer to contact you privately, and then resolve the issue out of the public’s eye. While the customer may not always be right, personal and professional attention will go a long way toward rebuilding the business/customer relationship. Follow up by asking the reviewer to post new and positive comments.
4. Give consumers reasons to leave positive reviews. You can do this by offering frequent customers a discount or a free product incentive to shire their positive experiences in reviews.
5. If the damage to your reputation is more than you can handle in house, hire an expert like Darius M. Fisher , president of Status Labs, to access the damage and create a full-proof plan to give your sagging reputation an online facelift. Darius Fisher has a reputation for the cleanup and creation of glowing online reputations for both businesses and prominent individuals.
Word-of-mouth can make or break a business. Make sure you maintain a stellar reputation by being your own best advocate.