In Business, Reputation is King.
In today’s ever growing digital world, a positive online reputation is crucial for business success. Being known as a respected authority in your niche will attract new customers and retain loyal clients. But what happens when that online reputation gets called into question?Coming back from a tarnished online reputation is not an easy task, but it can be done. Click To Tweet
Coming back from a tarnished online reputation is not an easy task, but it can be done. By putting in the work necessary, it is possible to regain a positive reputation and move forward. By following these steps, you can help your business recover gracefully with its online reputation intact.
Why Does Your Online Reputation Matter?
Online reputations have the power to skyrocket a small company into stardom, or to bring a billion-dollar corporation to its knees. Why is this? It’s because consumers are spending more time online researching companies and forming opinions than ever before. In fact, one research company found that 97% of consumers search the World Wide Web to find information about local businesses. So, if almost every one of your customers are doing online research, its important that your online reputation is stellar.
Except for businesses large enough to have a marketing team, many businesses are unaware of the current state of their online reputation. Given the amount of work required to run a business, it’s understandable that a business may be behind the ball in monitoring the online chatter. While finding time to fit in all the jobs necessary to run a business can be difficult at times, it’s important to monitor what is being said before a small negative comment snowballs into a catastrophe.
How to Save Your Online Reputation
In business, as in life, the adage “you can’t please everyone” holds true. Businesses will try hard to keep their clients happy, but at some point an unhappy party may surface. Whether it’s a mistake made by the business, or an unhappy rival who wants to tarnish the competition, negative comments can start to arise online. Since negative press tends to spread faster than positive, a small negative comment can quickly become a large issue.
While we all wish there was a permanent delete button for items on the internet, it simply isn’t the case. So what steps can you take to reverse the situation? Here are our tips to help save your online reputation.
1. Professionalism is Key
Regardless of the allegation’s authenticity, that negative review is now out in the public domain. This means that the world is watching how you handle the situation. With that in mind, the first rule is to remain professional at all costs. While that may be difficult at times, the watching crowd will give you points for remaining calm. This can go a long way in earning back a positive reputation.
2. Face the Music
Next, try and track down the source of the negative review so you can address it head on. Whether the claim has merit or not, at the end of the day you still have a strike against you. Listen to the comments with an open mind to determine if the problem has a simple fix or not.
While it is easy to become defensive about a negative review, it’s important not to have a heated debate about why they are wrong. Instead, take the high road and listen to their concerns with an open mind. Taking the time to address valid complaints is never a waste of time and may even win that customer back again.
While the negative review might be unjustified, it might have stemmed from a simple misunderstanding. If the customer thought one thing was going to happen, but it never did, a clarification of the situation may suffice. On the other hand, if the review has merit this might be a good opportunity to rethink your business practices to avoid similar situations in the future.
4. Counteract the Bad with the Good
If you have received a number of positive reviews, this is the time to show them off. You can add them to your website, your social media feeds, your print material, and so on. By balancing out the negative with a greater number of positive reviews, you are letting the public know that your business can be trusted to do the job and get in right.
What if you don’t have a lot of positive reviews on hand? This is the time to go back to your previous customers and ask them for a review. If you provided them with fantastic service, they will be happy to write you a favorable review.
This is also the time to show your customers that you are a trusted authority in your niche. By continuing to add content to your online platforms that is helpful and relevant, you are showing your audience that they can still benefit by working with you. For more information on creating great blog content, click here.
While negative comments will happen for every business at some point, this doesn’t have to spell the end. If your business is offering great service and fantastic products, the number of positive comments will outweigh the negative.
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Jolene is a strong operations, compliance, and paralegal manager. She also loves to research and write about business as well as personal topics that help others.