On the web, reputation really is everything. Customers can’t always step inside your storefront – doubly so if your business is entirely digital. So how do they form an impression of you? Through reputation.
To get a better idea of reputation management, let’s look at how the customer thinks. Let’s say you run a restaurant, and the customer and their family came in for a bite to eat one day.
On this particular day, your restaurant is hectic. You’re short-staffed. For whatever reason, you ran out of ingredients needed to make the day’s special, so they couldn’t order that. The cashier was so rushed, she forgot to give them back correct change. Little things…but things that add up quickly. Hey, we get it. Mistakes happen.
But your customers isn’t having any of it. As much as you’ve tried to accommodate them despite the rush, they hit up every social and food review network to destroy your restaurant’s reputation. To make matters worse, your competition jumps into the fray (although they’ll never let on that’s who they are), and starts fanning the flames.
Before you know it, your business is in shambles. One star reviews appear prominently at the top of the page, souring your reputation and causing your profits to suffer. All over one incident. This happens every day to businesses across the country and around the world. Small, family-owned or service businesses are particularly hard hit because their local reputation can make or break them.
Exactly what it sounds like – reputation management can help restore your good graces in the eyes of your customers, particularly in areas where you can’t control the message being spread about you, such as on social networks or review sites.
It’s important to understand that reputation management is not simply whitewashing your business to make it sparkling clean and fantastic – it’s about helping customers get to know the core values that make your business, yours.
Good reputation management emphasizes the positive – without lying or giving customers the wrong impression. It doesn’t belittle their honesty about their experience with your company, but it amplifies the message that you care about them and are striving to do your best.
We proactively monitor social media and online communications about your business and help steer the conversion in a positive light. In addition, we encourage each business to create microblogs surrounding their owners, executives and staff to create a more friendly, open and personable impression.
Finally, we write and submit press releases emphasizing the positive facets of the company to encourage more good experiences to “percolate” to the top of the search engine results. This helps push the negative review(s) further to the bottom of the pile, and less likely to appear at the top of the search results when someone looks for your company or industry.
If this has happened to you, there’s still time to save your reputation, but you need to hurry, and use reputation management to build yourself back up.
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