Most of the time, when our clients reach out to us for our reputation management services, they’re coming to us when there’s already a problem. However, reputation management is an entirely different service from crisis management. In a world where people rely so heavily on faceless online reviews, not managing the reputation of your business on the internet can cost you the loss of potential sales.
In the digital age, your reputation isn’t built solely on word of mouth recommendations. Customers have instant access to mentions, comments, and reviews, across a plethora of publishing sites like Yelp, Google My Business, and TripAdvisor. More often than not, when customers are looking for your goods and services they browse recommendation sites full of consumer reviews. What do you do if you’re looking for a new coffee maker to buy, or want to find the most reputable handyman in your area? You look for reviews! If a product or business has positive reviews, it usually means you can trust this business with your money.
Review websites can either boost or demolish your online reputation, opening new doors for opportunities or divert business to your competitors if mishandled. If you want to get the upper hand and gain a competitive advantage, it’s time to think about adding reputation management to your marketing arsenal.
What is Reputation Management?
Of course you want to build your audience around a positive reputation, but what does doing that look like? At Outer Banks Media, we focus on three things when building your reputation management plan: monitoring, engagement, and amplification. Instead of managing your reputation, we market it.
The first step in building your reputation is to monitor your online presence. We start off by establishing if your company is active on social media and local listing sites. People search for reviews on Facebook too, so it’s important to be active and engaged with your social media following. We use a management software to organize and hook up your brand on recommendation and local listing sites in one place. The software ensures all of your operating information including hours, accepted payments, and services, are accurate across the internet.
After we’ve confirmed that you’re listed on recommendation sites, we begin to monitor the reviews left across them. Even on a small business budget, monitoring your reviews can be made easy by making it a force of habit. Recommendation sites send out email alerts for new reviews. Most platforms offer a command center where you can review all posts in one place. Our reputation management package has options for monitoring reviews on your own or we can handle them for you.
Believe it or not, people are talking about you. Once you set up listings on recommendation sites, you need to develop a response strategy for engaging with both disgruntled and happy customers. Look out for common phrases reviewers are leaving in their comments and make note of positive and negative experiences. These are things you’re succeeding in or things you can improve on. Our reputation management package includes expert, custom crafting of review responses to help you accurately develop and monitor your company’s reviews.
Our development of appropriate response strategies incorporated with consistent monitoring can help maximize every opportunity you have to influence potential customers. It’s hard to not take negative reviews personally. Especially, if you do not agree with what is said. You’ve all seen it: screenshots going viral of business owners arguing with a reviewer and making themselves look even worse. Bringing in a third party to respond to reviews can prevent an emotional argument from ensuing.
If someone leaves you a negative review, you don’t want to leave their comment out in the public with no response. You want to chime in and encourage feedback and seek common ground. If it’s a genuine review, ask the unsatisfied customers how their experience could be improved, say that you’re sorry, and mention your commitment to providing exemplary service. Not only does this create an opportunity for you to turn the consumer’s opinion around, but it’s plain old customer service. Sending a comment back shows people searching for your goods and services that you care about getting it right and builds trust.
If you suspect that a review is fake, there are ways to have it removed. Ensure the reviewer is not in your point of sales system, or match up transaction dates and product purchases align with the complaint. If a competitor is mentioned in the review, make sure the reviewer has no connections to the organization. It’s also common for previous employees of your business to leave unhappy comments. Chances are, if the reviewer doesn’t leave a detailed review or if you’re experiencing a surge of negative reviews, the review could be spam. Appropriate monitoring and response strategies can keep you on the lookout for spam reviews that can be reported and potentially removed.
After you’ve established a protocol for monitoring and engaging to reviews, you’re ready to boost your presence on review sites. Our reputation management package helps you gather positive reviews from your loyal following. The testimonial page you have on your website won’t cut it. You need a strong social signal that can come from reputation sites to show potential customers that you’re better than the competition. We use these reviews to amplify the social signs that funnel in sales. We can embed positive reviews from third party sources onto conversion pages, turn reviews into social media posts, and incorporate them into your Google Ads and other marketing strategies.
If you find that you’re ready to amplify your influence to a new consumer base, we can help! Our reputation management packages offer flexibility and engagement that builds a lasting impact for your business. If you’re ready to get started, fill out our contact us form below!