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Tips to Help You Manage Your Online Reputation

July 26th, 2017 by gtowsley Leave a reply »

Guest Blog Post By: Amber Henning - Amber Henning is an online marketing expert, who has worked for several plumbers and other in service industries, such as Knight Plumbing. Through search engine optimization, reputation management, and social media advertising she has helped several clients find success in the online marketing world. 

 

How Do You Manage Your Online Reputation?

Word-of-mouth sounds like an outdated marketing strategy, but there is truth behind those cliched words. Even in a world where digital is king, what people say about you and your business can have a huge impact. In fact, these days the Internet is right at people’s fingertips which is why it is important to have a strategy in place to manage your

manage your online reputation

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online reputation. For plumbers, and others in the service industry, online comments and reviews can make or break your company’s online reputation ultimately affecting how successful your business is. So, don’t you think it’s time you were paying attention?

Guess What? Your Customers are Talking

Only a few years ago, the Internet was a less interactive place. Most websites were nothing more than extended business cards. However, with Google, Facebook, Yelp and

other review sites gaining so much credibility, people are encouraged to engage with companies online giving them a chance to express their opinions, in an extremely impactful way. These are critical forums for your business and are good sites to monitor for constructive criticism.

No matter how small your business may be, your current and prospective clients are talking about you. Maybe they are tweeting, leaving a review, liking your social Media profiles, or sharing your website. If you have an online presence, they will interact with you.

 

Let’s Talk About Transparency

manage your online reputationBeing transparent in a company can be difficult, but if you are doing solid business, opening yourself up to feedback can provide you with untold benefits. Transparency in business is, in fact, becoming more the norm and the Internet and online reviews are a major part of that.

Being transparent does have its risks, however, in the long run, the alternative can have far more detrimental circumstances.

 

Get Up to Date Online

One of the first things you want to do to manage your online reputation, is make sure your online presence is strong. The first stop for that will undoubtedly be Google. Verifying your Google Listing, if you haven’t yet, is imperative to having a strong online presence. Not only will it help with your search engine rankings, it will ensure that all your Google Reviews will show up in the right place.

It’s also helpful to make sure you have verified for your listing with Yelp, as well as developed your social media profiles. Resist the urge to ignore social media; developing a profile page gives your current and prospective clients more opportunity to interact with you and that will hopefully result in a more positive online reputation.

 

 

Reacting to Your Feedback

Sometimes it can feel extremely challenging to respond when someone has left you a negative review. Honestly, even responding to good reviews can be difficult. However, it is important to help you manage your online reputation. Here are some good rules of thumb to help you.

Responding to Negative Reviews

Be More Apologetic Than Defensive– There is always more to a story than a review reveals; reviews by their nature are one-sided. That is why it makes sense that so

manage your online reputation

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often your immediate response is to jump on the defensive, however, for your business’s sake, you will want to curb this impulse. Remember to remain humble and understanding of your client’s situation in response to any negativity. Take responsibility and if possible, offer to fix the situation or make it right for next time they need service.

Think of Your Audience – Remember, when responding to an online review who your audience really is. While you want to speak to the person who left the review, your real audience is the prospective clients who are reading those reviews. Your job is to instill trust and the feeling of respect for your prospective clients. You may never see the reviewer again, they have their mind made up, but if you handled a response with care and respect, that will speak volumes to those who are still trying to decide whether they should pick up the phone and call.

Sometimes No Response is the Best Response-  If a previous customer has left a negative review with zero constructive criticism, it can be frustrating and hard to not respond in the heat of the moment. Even loyal customers may see the need to defend your business for you in a heated manner.  In these situations, the best thing to do is to not respond and focus on the positive. If you were to respond to the negative comment, it is actually drawing out the longevity of the situation and driving it’s ranking up the results list on Google bringing unwanted attention from prospective clients.  A better way to bury the issue is to have your loyal customers post positive testimonials on your website so that the positivity surpasses the negativity on google results.

 

Responding to Positive Reviews

 

Being Humble Goes a Long Way – Responding positively is a great way to retain clients and garner new ones. Always thank your customers in reviews and make sure they know they are appreciated and their business is valued.

Highlight your Employees – If your clients had a great experience, make sure you acknowledge the staff that helped in your response. This makes your company appear more personal, which draws in clients who are looking for someone they can trust. In addition, when your employees are getting accolades online it often encourages them to work harder so they can get positive praise again.

 

 

 

React Quickly

monitor your online reputation

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One of the most important things to help you manage your online reputation is your response time. If someone leaves a public comment or negative review, especially on social media, respond immediately. Left unmonitored, a negative comment can snowball online, growing bigger as people share or leave comments. If you feel like a proper response will take some time to formulate, make sure you have at least acknowledged the comment. A simple message like, “We are looking into the problem and will get back to you as soon as we can,” can help calm down the poster or reviewer long enough for you to research the problem, without them losing their patience and making your review even worse.

Stay Consistent

A solid strategy to manage your online reputation goes beyond responding to reviews. To really attract an online customer base, you must be prepared to manage all online interactions, likes, re-posts, shares, comments and messages.

Stay consistent with your profiles. Make regular posts so that is apparent you are not just coming online when you have something to promote.  While you are regularly posting, you can easily monitor your social media and quickly respond when someone reacts in one way or another with your company.

Get Alerts

If monitoring your online presences feels too cumbersome, there are several programs that will help you manage your online reputation by sending you alerts whenever your business is reviewed online. You can also set up your social media profiles to send you notification when someone interacts with your profile.

Ask for Reviews

There is no shame in asking for reviews, referrals and testimonials. When you know a client is happy with the services they have received, ask them to leave a review online. If your service professionals aren’t comfortable asking for reviews, send a follow up email with your invoice or bill and ask for one then. You can also offer incentives for those that leave reviews, like a percentage off their next maintenance or service call. The more positive online reviews the better it looks for prospective clients and it helps with your search engine optimization too.

 

Online reputation is integral to success, especially for those in service industries, like plumbers and other home contractors. Creating a strong web presence and cultivating your online reputation is as important as that old-fashioned word-of-mouth advertising that helped so many plumbers grow back in the day. Taking a few simple steps can help cement your company as the one to call and keep your clients coming back again and again.

 
Internet Marketing

 

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Building Trust and Growing Business – Tips to Build Your Credibility with Your Customers

Digital Marketing – Protecting Your Online Reputation

 

 

 

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