Nowadays, if someone hears about your company and is interested in your products or services, they head to Google or another search engine to seek out more information. After they hit that “Search” button, they won’t only see your business’s contact details or hours – they’ll also see Google reviews, social media profiles, and every other channel where you’re being talked about.
So, what’s the big deal?
Well, about 87% of people report that they’ll change their minds about a purchase if they see negative things about the company, making it crucial that you take an active stance in your reputation. However, you can’t go around and try to change minds individually; instead, you need to turn to the powerhouses like Google and other review platforms to help showcase your brand in a positive light.
How exactly do you do that, especially when you have no control over what is said about you online? It’s a continuous process that feels daunting, but here are some simple steps to get started:
1. Take an initial audit
You have no idea where your reputation stands if you don’t take inventory of what’s already out there. Head to Google and search for your business and see what comes up, then head to other relevant search engines, review sites, and social media platforms and do the same. While you’re at it, take a look at what is being said about your competitors and how many reviews they’re getting to see what you’re up against.
2. Build a strategy
Now it’s time to figure out what to do with the information you’ve found from your research. If you find mostly positive feedback, don’t think the work is over and that your reputation will take care of itself – now is the perfect time to keep growing your great reputation and secure your spot as the local leader in your industry.
One thing you need to establish when creating your strategy is designating a person within your company to be in charge of conversations about your business online. They will need great customer service skills and be ready to respond quickly and professionally to bad reviews that arise.
How you will respond, to negative reviews in particular, is another aspect that you need to plan for when developing your reputation management strategy. Write up a few management-approved templates that can be used as a guide when responding to make things faster and more efficient.
3. Respond to the good, and the bad
It’s exciting to receive, and respond to, those feel-good reviews about your company, but replying to the not-so-good is just as important. When you receive a negative review, resist the urge to get defensive or ignore the review – instead, consider the feedback and how you can use it to make your business better. Apologize for the person’s experience and see if you can find a way to make it right. Doing so will not only improve your image to the person who left the review, but also the countless people that will visit your listing after them.
4. Generate more reviews
Having a plan for gathering more reviews can be just as important as having a plan for responding to them. The more reviews you have, the better positioned you’ll be to turn up first in relevant search results. Building up positive reviews also helps “bury” negative ones so that they’re not the first ones that pop up when someone looks up your company.
Are you ready to take control of your reputation? Our team can take care of all of the heavy lifting, as well as the day-to-day monitoring and responding. Call us today at 605-716-5666!