For many years companies looked at online reputation management as a reactionary issue, meaning companies were reacting to negative information put out online about the company. This could be in the form of a Yelp or Facebook review or a Tweet that goes viral. However in this day and age companies have now learned the importance of Online Reputation Management and are approaching it in a more proactive manner than in the past.
In today’s online environment one of the most powerful and effective tools a company has at its disposal is positive customer reviews. With sites like Yelp, Brand Yourself, Amazon and Angies list offering hundred if not thousands of review to current and potential customers it is imperative to have a positive presence on these sites. One of the ways to help ensure your reviews of adding to your overall online reputation is to actively monitor the reviews. You can set it up to be alerted when a new review goes up and if it is a negative one you can quickly respond to the customers concerns. Be mindful when responding to the concerns, as you do not want to be drawn into an online battle with the customer. A positive response acknowledging the customers dissatisfaction and offering an apology should be enough to make them feel their concerns were taken seriously.
In addition to monitoring reviews, businesses must also actively seek out reviews in order to continue to grow their online reputation. Often the reviews that are online are negative because satisfied customers just do not think about it. You will find that if you actively seek out reviews from satisfied customers that they are happy to oblige. You should have detailed instructions available to them so they do not find the process difficult.
Finally use those reviews to promote your business, people trust third parties when deciding to try a new brand or company. You can use these reviews in your marketing efforts to help potential customers feel more confident that you are a reputable company with the best product or service around.
Whatever type of business you are in is important to stay ahead of the online reputation management forefront because if you find yourself reacting to a negative reputation it might already be too late.