Don’t be under the impression that your reputation is not important. Small businesses can be greatly impacted by their reputation and consumer perception. It is a good idea to keep in mind what factors consumers consider when deciding where they should shop. They look at many things, including customer service, reviews, social media, and pricing, so it is important that your reputation is good. Below are some tips on how to solidify your online reputation.
Work on Your Offline Reputation First
Your reputation online is built on the experiences you give your customers offline. A negative online reputation is usually not down to competitor sabotage. Reviews submitted by real customers are usually what influences how your business is seen. By making sure customers have a good experience, you are ensuring you receive positive reviews that build the reputation of your business.
Having a system such as software that logs a customer’s support ticket and deals with dissatisfied customers provides a buffer against bad reviews. These systems allow you to look at and reply to any support requests your customers may have, whether they be queries, complaints or cancellations. This simple but effective system provides customers with support via the FAQ page, before giving the customer the option of contacting you directly. This will satisfy your customers that their concerns or queries are being answered.
Collect and Review Customer Feedback and Reviews
If you haven’t read any reviews, you will not know whether you have a good or bad reputation. It is important to address negative reviews promptly, both to the customer directly and online. This will decrease the impact of a bad review and it gives you the chance to put it right with the customer. It also shows potential customers that you care about the experience they have, and you take note of any feedback received.
Learn How to Rank Higher in Search Engines
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) may sound expensive, but if you can make your own blog posts or web pages on your website, it is straightforward and will not cost a fortune. SEO steps like structuring your titles, selecting keywords and using headers and tags correctly can increase how your website is viewed and indexed. If done correctly your website will rank it higher in the search results.
Become Active on Social Media
Claiming your company on social media can increase your reputation online. Having a good social media presence is a great way to market your business and it is an easy way to talk directly to your customers. The main pages to register on are Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. You should also think about the social networks that impact your business and register with them too. If you are not planning on being active on social media, it is important that you tell people where they can get in touch with you instead, e.g. on your website.
Claim Your Profile on Local and Review Sites
Just like social media, by claiming your business on local and review sites, you will be placed higher up in search engines. On these sites, such as YellowPages, you can add pictures, tell customers what your business hours are, and reply to comments and reviews.
Managing your online reputation may seem like a big problem, but if you don’t monitor and manage what people are saying about your business, you are at a higher risk of suffering from a bad online reputation. Negative reviews, lack of exposure and false information are just a handful of issues that could damage your business.