The time and effort you’ve spent building your brand’s online reputation can be damaged quickly. In today’s digital world, a single negative review can dramatically alter the public perception of your brand, your people, and you.
A decade ago, most companies were selling to a passive audience. But now, consumers are engaging with businesses, talking about them, and evaluating them through social media and other online tools. No question—they’re talking about YOU and without online reputation management it’s behind your back.
Simple Tips for Outstanding Online Reputation Management
86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses before choosing a product or service, because of this transparency in reputation management is crucial. Elements of a transparent process include:
- Encouraging employees to talk about your products and services on social media
- Actively soliciting feedback on your website, social media by using surveys
- Openly addressing criticisms via public platforms
It’s important to reach out and ask customers for their feedback and then share these as testimonials, reviews, etc. All feedback is unpredictable, but your response shouldn’t be.
89% of consumers read businesses responses to reviews. Especially the negative ones. The key with reviews is to respond quickly to negative reviews. Even when something goes wrong, responding in a timely fashion looks good to other customers who will read the review later. You also want to encourage customers to leave and respond to favourable reviews; this looks good and sways customers to choose your business.
10 Steps to Responding to Reviews
1. Never be defensive
Negative reviews are all about PR (Public Relations), so never write responses when you’re irritated. Remember that the response will be read by future customers.
2. Thank reviewers
Use these opportunities to promote your business and to learn from the feedback. Sometimes reviews are rants, but most people who read them realize this and you get a chance to skillfully put your side across in the replies.
3. Keep it Short and Sweet
Capture the sentiment, transfer the emotion, and move on. Do not repeat the complaint, i.e., copy and paste the same response on reviews, keep it personable and human.
4. Don’t Always Take the Issue Offline
Even if you end up continuing the conversation later, it’s good practice to give some form of response in public view.
5. If It’s Personal
Sometimes people are just frustrated or having a bad day, and they want to vent. However, if they attack you or specific employees, it may be necessary to mark them as inappropriate and use the approved process to remove them.
6. Set Ground Rules with Employees
Establish clear ground rules for who can respond and how responses are created. This keeps the process organized and effective.
7. No Gifts
Giving gifts or discounts in your response to reviews can read like bribery. A public thank you is all you should do.
8. Take Ownership
Nobody’s perfect, people know that. Many times, reviewers just want to be listened to, admitting you made a mistake and apologizing may be enough for them to remove the review.
9. Review Your Response
Before posting your response, have someone or several people proofread it. This ensures all information is clear, accurate, and has an appropriate tone.
10. Ready Your Supporting Content
If you frequently refer to policies, make them accessible. An easy-to-navigate FAQ page can be a wonderful library to refer to in reviews when appropriate.
All-in-all, online reputation management is integral to your business. And while it may be a complex endeavour, we aim to make it as simple for you as possible. If you’d like our help with your online reputation management, contact us today.
Allemande After earning her degree at Simon Fraser University for New Media Journalism and Editing, Allemande has become an accomplished writer and editor. She is also certified in strategic social media marketing, Google Ads, Google Analytics, and digital sales.
Allemande fluently identifies the channel and content mix that is precisely right for your business and audience. She conducts in-depth analytics for continuous improvement in your audience engagement and generation of sales leads through strategic planning and search engine optimization (SEO), establishes KPIs and related metrics and prepares meaningful reports that you can quickly action. Connect with Allemande.