Last week, I Googled the name of a well-known car dealership in my area and added the word “reviews”. I wanted to see what was being said about businesses I knew to be reputable in my area. The first to pop-up was the largest dealership in my area and to my knowledge, they offer excellent service and sell at a fair price.
However, if I didn’t know the company personally, my perception would be different, as the search results that came up when I Googled them, did not offer such glowing reviews.
The second listing was written by a supposed customer that allegedly bought a vehicle up front and was promised delivery within 4 weeks. It was a special order of some type. Apparently, the delivery was some three months late; and when I returned 5 months later, he had added that he was still waiting.
Whether this was an exaggerated review or not, it is still something that needs to be addressed as this type of listing can cause other future clients to change their minds with regard to a purchase. People will continue to write about their online purchasing experiences, but even more so when they aren’t happy with some facet of their purchase.
To compensate for this, you need to be proactive about managing your online reputation, or you could seriously lose a large number of opportunities. The following are a few “best-practice practice tasks you can perform to reclaim control over your online reputation.
1– Get your listing on Bing Business Pages, Yahoo Local, and Google Places. Make sure all of your information is complete and target the right keywords to make sure you get a better local ranking on the search engines. While you’re at it you should also set up Facebook Business Page, a YouTube channel and a Twitter account. Make these as pleasant as possible and a consistent place to engage with customers.
2– Monitor your reputation. Keep an eye out for what is said about you online. Do this by searching for your business online. To make monitoring your reputation a little easier you can set up Google alerts to email you when something new is posted that refers to your name.
3– Expect negative reviews to happen. It is the nature of the beast. You can’t please all customers, all of the time, but you don’t want to pretend these unhappy customers don’t exist either. People see the absence of a return response as a demonstrated act of guilt.
Use the negative reviews and comments as an opportunity to grow, just be sure to offer a response without getting offended. Respond by appreciating the reviewers time, express your desire to help, and offer a correction of the problem.
4 – Ask a reputable online reputation management team that uses business products for reputation management to produce positive information and reviews for your reputation. By adding positive information and reviews to the web, you mitigate the impact of those negative comments and reviews.
An online reputation management company can help implement favorable reviews and information that will give you a more reputable image, improve your credibility and even allow consumers to find your company more easily. The cost you may pay in contracting the services is easily mitigated by the increased number of sales you make, as a result of improving consumer trust in you.