Your business’s reputation is important. It directly influences how your customers/members/clients interact with your brand and is largely dependent on social media and online review sites. Because of this, online reputation management is something every business needs to prioritize.
What Is Reputation Management and Why Is It Important?
Reputation management is a continuous process of monitoring and managing what’s being said about your business online. This includes having accurate business listings and relevant advertisements, staying on top of engagement with consumers on social channels, and responding to reviews and surveys. One of the most valued sources of information is user-generated content – what others say about you in reviews and on social media, and how they rate you online. If prospects don’t like what they see, they’ll move on. By implementing reputation management, your business can take control of your brand’s public perception and address potentially damaging situations as soon as they occur to create a positive brand image.
How to Manage Your Online Reputation
To ensure your business is accurately represented online, reputation monitoring and management are crucial. Let’s talk about the best ways to stay on top your brand’s image.
Research your brand reputation
The first step is finding out what people are saying about your business online. Are your customers satisfied? Are you struggling with negative comments? To gather this information, open an incognito window in your browser and look at customer reviews, review sites, social media, and search your business’s name on Google or other search engines. Be sure to search for each location of your business too, not just your main office.
Develop a management strategy
Once you know the overall perception of your brand, it’s time to develop your action plan. With your team, address the following:
Who will be in charge of monitoring reviews and comments?
You want to designate specific people in your company to be in charge of monitoring conversations about your business. It’s best to choose someone on your marketing or customer service team, as they are the most experienced in dealing with customers.
How do you decide which comments, reviews, or mentions need a response?
Whether you’re responding to positive or negative feedback, you should have a clear vision of what your response will be, and which ones warrant a response. If you receive negative feedback, communicate your genuine concern and commitment toward addressing the issue. Your response to negative comments can actually leave your business’s reputation stronger than before if handled properly. Instead of seeing it as a bad thing, look at it as an opportunity to improve your brand and customer service experience.
Occasionally, you may be faced with negative comments from online “trolls.” These comments are fake and purposely trying to hurt your reputation. Never respond to reviews that seem fake, and take action to have them reported as spam.
Who decides what position the company should take regarding potential issues or questions?
If you’re responding to harsh criticism, you need to know that the person crafting the response understands the vision and voice of the brand. Make sure you know who will take responsibility when the time arises. When questions do get tough, you’ll be glad you have someone in place to make these decisions.
Follow through on changes
Listening to your customers and understanding their pain points will lead you to areas of improvement for your business. Make sure you’re following through on changes your customers want to see. If you offered them a discount for bad service or promised them a phone call to discuss an issue further, it’s important you actually do these things. Taking advantage of these opportunities creates a strong brand reputation and forms trust with your customers.
Put Your Plan into Action
Managing your brand’s reputation should be a key business focus. To do it effectively, you need the right tools and a good plan to ensure you’re being presented properly online. At PMD Group, we know it can be overwhelming to manage your reputation across multiple sites, which is why we offer a reputation management dashboard to help you protect and promote your brand. More than 100 review sites are connecting into one dash, making this dauting task extremely manageable. You can see and respond to reviews directly from the dashboard.
If you’re interested in hearing more about online reputation management, contact us! We’re ready to help.