As any experienced businessperson will attest, reputation management is one of the most vital skills a new entrepreneur can acquire. Knowing how to shape the way you are perceived is vital to long-lasting success. The article below is intended to offer some useful pointers to help get the process started for you.
Set realistic expectations with your customers. If you own a small business, let your customers know when you will respond to their questions. If you cannot answer every question immediately, place a banner saying that all questions will be answered within a certain amount of time, such as within 72 hours.
When people take the time to say something about your business, it is important that you are courteous enough to respond. While you may be a very busy person, it shows your audience that you actually care about them and what they have to say. This is vital if you want to maintain a steady customer base.
Try Googling yourself to see what type of information comes up about you. If there is a lot of negative feedback, you can use this to better yourself. In the event that you notice any discrepancies, you should do your best to correct them. You wouldn’t want any misinformation to damage your reputation.
Write articles on other sites for a better online business reputation. This can help many people see you as a professional. End your articles with your name, company, and a link back to your website. Where you write will depend on the purpose of your business, your niche, and your target audience. Try to keep the content as relevant to these items as possible.
Counteract any negative online content on your company by contacting its creator. If there is ever any negative content when you do a search of your company, try contacting the reviewer, blogger or whoever posted it as soon as possible. Ask them if there’s anything you can do change their negative sentiment to a positive one. If they are unwilling to do so, write a comment(if possible) with your side of the story.
Personalize each of your responses. Avoid using templates for your responses. Instead, personally write each response as if you were talking to your customer face to face. Your customer will know if you are using templates and will feel as if you do not care about their opinions or business.
Bring people that are looking for your site directly to your website. You can do this by using your business name and other identifying words as frequently on your website as possible without being annoying. This will bring searchers to you instead of websites with negative and possible untruthful reviews.
Make sure you welcome complaints. Customers may wish to leave bad reviews due to no apologies or follow-ups to issues. Try including a complaint form that is highly visible and easy to use on your website. Respond to them all. They will know that you’ve heard them and that you’re dealing with the issues. This can help you decrease or eliminate negative reviews.
Respond as quickly to complaints and concerns as possible. The sooner you fix a problem, the lesser of a problem it becomes. If you wait until a customer has complained across the Internet, it may be too late. Show your customers how much you care to keep them coming back.
If you want to improve the reputation of your company, consider getting more involved with your community doing volunteer work. Consumers like companies that take social responsibility seriously. By donating your time or money to your local community, you are putting a positive spin on your company’s reputation, and customers will see that.
It would be a good idea to check in with customers several times after they make a purchase. It is not unusual for issues to arise a few weeks after the purchase, and sometimes customers do not use new products immediately. Making contact gives you the opportunity to address any problems.
Maintain good communication with your customers to develop a good reputation. Customers do not like to be in the dark about things. When you keep them updated and informed, they will appreciate this good service from you. Their trust in your company will grow and your reputation will improve along with it.
Be careful of what you and your employees say online. Anything said on Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere online can stay online forever. Make sure that your company has a social media policy in place. The voice of your employees may represent your company, which can be good or bad. Therefore, it is important they act according to the established social media policy.
Even if a customer contacts you with an unfounded complaint against your company, be sure not to dismiss his complaint so readily. You should always acknowledge and thank the customer for taking time to contact you. Offer to investigate further. Offer to give him something extra for his troubles. This will lessen the likelihood that he will bad-mouth your business around his social circle.
When you are online and you know that you want to do something that may ruin your business reputation, you should always use a pseudonym. This will give you someplace to hide so no one knows that it is you. Do not tell anyone about this or you risk the chance of others finding out.
Talk to your friends to make sure that they are not doing anything that can make you look bad. For example, if there are pictures of you drunk and acting silly, make sure that your friend does not post them anywhere online. While it may seem like a joke, it can definitely do a number on you.
It is impossible to dispute the notion that without a solid reputation, success can prove quite difficult to attain. Failing to understand the fundamentals of reputation management can be the death knell of any burgeoning enterprise. The good news is that with the above tips in hand, you can steer clear of many trouble spots along the way.