You had dreams of running a business, and now you that you have your dream, you want to protect it right? Your business has a face to it, an image so to speak, and you must protect the face of your business. Simply put, you need a good business reputation in order for customers to continue doing business with you.
You can monitor your business reputation by doing online searches for your business. This can give you an idea of what people see when they search for you. Make sure you pay special attention to both the web results and image results. The images will show you what graphics are tied to your company online.
If you make a mistake, apologize quickly. Most people realize that everyone is human and mistakes do happen. If you are able to rectify the mistake do so quickly and address it on your website or social media site. If you are unable to rectify the mistake, apologize and go on with your business.
Keep any private sales or promotions private. This definitely goes for when you are settling complaints and offer customers a discounted remedy. Do not post what you’re doing to take care of issues. Some people might complain to get free things.
Do not ask site owners to remove information about you just because it is a bit unflattering. People are entitled to their opinions and you don’t want anyone to think that you believe the opposite. There is a chance that petitioning site owners to remove opinionated statements will backfire on you.
A corporate sponsor is something that you should look into. This will improve the reputation of your company. Your consumers will see the types of public events you sponsor and what you do for the community, and that can really give you a favorable reputation. If customers think positively about your business, it will grow.
Have a plan available to deal with individuals who post numerous poor reviews with the intent of harming your business. It is better to have a plan and never need it than to find yourself the victim of such an attack and be unaware of your rights with no idea on how to manage the situation.
Customer comments on something like Twitter can make or break a company’s reputation. Word travels so quickly across the web that if a major company makes a blunder, people around the world will know about it within minutes. Monitor what is being discussed in Twitter in regards to your company and respond when appropriate to protect your company’s reputation.
Check to see if your company is listed on Wikipedia. This is a very good thing for your reputation because Wikipedia entries consistently rank high in the search engines. If your company is not listed, it may be a good idea to find a journalistic writer who can create a Wikipedia entry without bias to write one. You shouldn’t write it yourself as this would not present a neutral picture of your company.
Customers like companies that are responsive. When a website visitor contacts you by filling out a form, respond to it within one business day – the sooner, the better. You want to make a a good first impression. When you respond quickly, you are telling your visitor that you are paying attention to his needs. You will quickly develop a reputation of providing great customer service this way.
Do all you can to keep your emotions in control. Effective stress management is a great tool to have. Play a sport or participate in some other physical activity to help you deal with stress and keep your cool. Never get entangled in online battles. This will hurt the way the public perceives you.
Web users often look at the rating of a company before they do business with it. As the business owner, you should find out if you have any one or two-star ratings. If so, you may want to consider responding to those. This can balance out what the negative effects of a one-star rating.
Be thoughtful when replying to personal criticism. Know what the person is saying first. Research facts to support your own perspective. If you do this, your reputation will benefit as a result.
When handling online disputes, be sure to stay calm and avoid sarcasm. Just stick to the facts at hand. If there is some part of the problem that is actually your fault, you should apologize for your part in the problem. Suggest resolving the difficulty off-line through a phone call or e mails. This will help bolster your online reputation and allow you to work more intensively on the problem at hand.
You remember the saying fool me once….? Well, customers are going to take that approach with you if you are not doing good business. You might get an initial purchase, but are you actually going to retain and grow customers if you don’t use the reputation management tips you learned about here?