What You Need to Know About Reputation Management
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Just like every individual, trustworthiness in business is one of the most important characteristics that can be upheld. If your customers trust and rely on your products and services, the positive reputation you gain will serve as a force multiplier to your sales. Likewise, a negative reputation will greatly inhibit your ability to keep current customers and find new ones.
Reputation management may sound difficult to accomplish, something that (besides your current dedication to quality and customer service) is outside of your control. It might surprise you to learn that a negative reputation can be remedied—even a positive reputation can be boosted through reputation management.
What is Reputation Management?
To put it simply, reputation management is the action of positively influencing your customers and shaping the public image of your company. The main idea of reputation management is to be proactive in the online connections your brand makes with your customers. At times, businesses turn to companies that help repair damaged reputations due to negative reviews, false information, and even stopping the spread of such information on websites dedicated to hating certain types of businesses.
Although reputation management services exist, there is much a business owner can do personally to repair the damage to their business’s online reputation. But reputation management isn’t merely about fixing damage. With the right tools, you can lift an already positive reputation even higher and create room for increased growth.
Why You Should Guard Your Reputation
Your brand doesn’t stop with your products. The reputation of your business is as important as the logo on your business cards. In a way, your reputation can become so integrated with your brand, it becomes your brand, for good or ill. You always want positive opinions when your business is spread through word-of-mouth. But when your services are searched for on Google, people are looking to hire or buy from the business with the highest rating. Besides being common sense, improving and maintaining your business’s reputation determines your overall profits: some statistics show that even a single negative review can drive away 22% of people that might have chosen to become paying customers.
Is Reputation Management Unethical?
When done right, not at all! The sound of “reputation management” may sound a little fishy. At first, you might imagine some shady business owner going in and erasing all the negative reviews from their online accounts. Unscrupulous businesses are even known to create multiple accounts just to write phony five-star reviews to puff up their numbers.
How to Ethically Manage Your Reputation
Fortunately, there is much you can do to improve your business’s reputation without resorting to lying and cheating. Many of these methods may sound very familiar, and you may be doing them already. If not, consider incorporating a couple of these tips to boost your reputation ethically and effectively.
Keep an eye on your social media.
Facebook and Google Business are excellent places for your customers to share their reviews. While some might not be pleased with your results, reaching out to each unsatisfied person for more information shows others that you are serious about customer care.
Make it easy to leave reviews.
Whenever they see you in person, visit your website, or check your social media, ask them to review your service. Believe it or not, a good amount of three to five stars is immensely better than a single five star. And, naturally, better than a single one-star!
Personalize every review.
Care for the dissatisfied reviews, but also thank those that leave great reviews. Even better, share those reviews on your Facebook page or website.
Offer something to your reviewers for sharing their opinion about your business.
A positive review is worth its weight in gold, and certainly worth more than a 25% off coupon on a product or service.
Keeping a Positive Reputation
Reputation management is all about communicating with your customers about their thoughts and feelings about your brand. If you spend time with past customers, you will make both new and returning customers. Follow these four reputation management strategies to ethically improve your company’s reputation both online and offline. For additional reputation management tips and other online marketing services, contact Skoshe today.