Reputation management is a topic that has been buzzing around lately, and it’s actually surprising the topic didn’t become mainstream sooner. Given that reputation is something people and businesses always have, managing it is something that seems natural to do.
A lot of posts out there try to explain reputation management, but some of them spread ideas that no ethical business should do. These include paying people to write reviews, generating fake reviews, or other review sources that don’t originate with the really important people – your customers.
Having legitimate reviews is extremely important because reviews can define your brand and online image. They instill customer confidence before they buy, and help you gain local exposure. You wouldn’t want your brand, image, and exposure defined by fake reviews. So we’re here to talk about proper reputation management.
I like to break reputation management down into three categories.
Every business has a reputation. Some just have a longer reputation history. If your business is new, or even if it’s not new, and you don’t have a lot of reviews or online feedback and chatter, then that’s your reputation – the lack of a solid reputation.
So the first step for any business is to build a good reputation. We like to help clients do this by asking every single customer to leave a review. Yes, you may have unhappy customers and wonder, “Why would I ask them to leave a review?” It’s imperative, however, that you have a system in place to handle all reviews and control the review process from start to finish, otherwise you risk unhappy customers finding a way to leave a bad review on their own. Plus, if you don’t ask your happy customers to leave a review, most of them will never leave reviews.
The custom system we’ve developed for our clients sends bad reviews straight back to the owners. They never go public. And happy customers are giving ways to publish their reviews publicly. However, every customer goes through the same process, so you make sure you have full control over your reviews and reputation.
Once you’ve built your reputation, you have to protect it. With our custom system, this goes hand-in-hand with building your reputation. Our system is made to not only provide a way for customers to leave reviews, but like stated before, it helps keep negative reviews in privacy and maximize the publicity of positive reviews.
But an important part of protecting your reputation is watching out for negative reviews or any chatter about your company. You should check all the major review sites, industry review sites, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. It’s extremely important that, if any negative press slips out, you respond to it immediately and resolve it.
Luckily, our system has features built-in to monitor your reputation. View the admin demo with username “demo” and password “demo”.
Sometimes businesses come to us when the damage has already been done and they have bad press about them on the web. We work to suppress this negativity and rebuild a good online reputation. Often, the issue is that looking up the company on Google results in one or more negative pages showing up, such as angry customers at Ripoff Report or low rating review sites (often Yelp).
Ways to suppress these are by building positive content that will easily show up for searches for the company, which in turn pushes down and washes out the negative press. Examples of this kind of content are:
- blog posts
- press releases
- directory submissions
- more review sites
- website pages
Simultaneously, a positive reputation needs to be built, so we cycle back to the “building” category, using our custom system, to start establishing good reviews online, then follow-up with protection.
As you can see, every business needs to manage their reputation; else it could slip out of control. Fortunately, we have very affordable, proper reputation building/protecting solutions starting at just $189/month for the platform shown above in the demos. And our skilled reputation repair specialists can help you rebuild your reputation right away and create a good online image for your company.