Managing The Reputation of Your Business

Managing the Reputation of Your Business

The continued growth of social media has subjected businesses to a great deal of publicity, some good, some not so good. If consumers are not happy with any product or service, they can very easily go online and vent their anger on a business Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, Twitter, LinkedIn pages, and let’s not forget Google. Even if you’ve done your everything that you can to provide amazing customer service, you won’t be able to please everyone, every time. That’s why as a business owner, it’s critical for you to have a comprehensive business reputation management strategy in place so that when the bad publicity hits, and at some point it will, you already have a plan outlined to minimize the damage.

 

Business Reputation Management

Here are some of the key online reputation management do’s and don’ts you should be aware of:

Business reputation management claim your social media profiles

 

Be sure to claim your business on Google, Yelp, and other important industry-specific platforms that could be relevant to your business like TripAdvisor, Vitals or OpenTable — and if you don’t already have one, create a Facebook page. Even if you haven’t taken the time to setup these social accounts yourself, customers have the ability to do it for you, so the pages may already exist and you don’t even know it. When you claim your business, make sure the pertinent information like your phone number, address and other contact information associated with it is accurate. After you have claimed your business profiles you are going to want to start optimizing them on each of these platforms. Make sure to add your company description, high-quality images, videos, contact information and a link to your website.

Check out our blog on how to create your Google My Business listing.

 

Reputation Management Understand Your Target Audience

 

This might be obvious, but it’s a frequently forgotten step: understand who your target audience is before trying to market to them. This includes everything from location, demographics, purchase behaviors, needs, and any other characteristics that you need in order to construct a specific buyer persona. Knowing your target audience is going to help you set the appropriate tone, subject matter and content that you plan to share with them. This will help you to obtain maximum results from your online channels.

 

Reputation Managment Don't Market to the wrong audience

 

Advice here is the same as with the advice above. Once you understand precisely who your target customers are, be sure not to waste time and resources chasing ones who are unlikely to frequent your business and most importantly convert. Plan out your communication strategy and review so you’re not just throwing marketing fluff into the wind, not to mention your hard earned money. Targeted, data-driven campaigns with clear, tangible goals are the most likely to succeed.

 

Reputation Management Engage with your target audience

 

Customer engagement is crucial. Take full advantage of the online interactions by having conversations with your customers, in real-time, wherever they are. Comment on their social media posts and publish interactive posts of your own that get them talking to you and each other. Regularly ask for their input and feedback, and be sure to respond promptly and productively to their complaints. The more authentic conversations that are out there and available, the better; customers are going to rely more on the opinions of their peers than learning about your brand from advertising.

 

Reputation Management Do Not Ignore Customer Feedback

 

When consumers make noise about a business, it often means they either love it or hate it. Although negative feedback can be frustrating, don’t make the mistake of turning your back on it and hope it goes away. It not going anywhere so take advantage of the potential opportunity to turn it around. Instead, make a point of sympathetically responding to customer complaints regarding negative experiences. This can stop complaints from turning into catastrophes and turn negative reviews into positive interactions that won’t steer prospects away but instead draw them to you. People know every business makes mistakes, it’s how they positively remedy them that counts most.

Check out our blog, Negative Online Reviews – Don’t Ignore Them.

 

Reputation Management Manage Complicated Customer Issues Offline

 

When you engage with an angry customer, let them know publicly that you are fully committed to resolving their issue — this way, other customers who are watching the post or review, and trust me they are watching, know you care about your customers. However, working through the whole issue in one long public thread is hardly ever the best approach. This usually just escalates into a heated argument that solves nothing. Instead, provide the name and contact information of the employee who will work with them to resolve their issue, and make sure that person is available immediately to provide comprehensive support. Handling problems in this manner has even shown that it can lead to the customer deleting or editing their original post or review.

Check out our blog, Turn Your Negative Online Reviews into a Win for more insights on why you need a Reputation Management Strategy.

 

Reputation Management Do not try to sell with every message

 

Don’t add pushy marketing messages when responding to customer reviews. The simple fact that you are responding to customer feedback is the positive message — just let them know that you appreciate the fact that they took the time to share their experience.

 

Reputation Management Always Show Gratitude

 

Most importantly, always be thankful. Your brand’s success and reputation depends upon your customers, so wherever possible, show your appreciation for them. Responding to positive feedback is as important as managing the negative.

 

Reputation Management Do not argue with customers

 

Always be professional, sympathetic, and avoid disagreeing with the customer, even if they are actually in the wrong. The best route is to always try to clear up any misunderstandings with patience rather than getting defensive, remember other customers are watching. This demonstrates confidence and authority, strengthening trust in your brand.

 

Reputation Management Do not take happy customers for granted

 

Happy customers are the ones who enthusiastically promote your brand without expecting anything in return. You are going to want to try and show them some appreciation on a regular basis, whether this is through a customer loyalty program or special promotions based on their past purchases. Little gestures of gratitude like these keep your business at the forefront of their mind and reminds them why they do business with you in the first place.

 

Reputation Management Do not let negative reviews get you down

 

Don’t forget, negative reviews are still honest, genuine feedback on how your business is doing, and that is very useful. Consider them constructive criticism, and work on improving in certain areas based on their comments. Negative reviews also lend credibility to all the good reviews you have, providing transparency that customers value. Nobody expects you to be absolutely perfect, at some point you’re going to make a mistake. It’s all in how you deal with it and learn from it.

Check out our blog on Review Responses and Local SEO for more insight on a Reputation Management Strategy.

 

In closing the reputation of your business is by far one of your greatest business assets if it’s managed effectively. It can be a lot of work, but there are ways to make it manageable. If you are looking for help or guidance with defining your Reputation Management Strategy or are wondering how you manage and improve your business reputation, make your customers happy, and get more customers — the answer is super easy. Just book a call with us for a free discussion, we can talk about your challenges, where you are doing great, and how we can help you streamline everything.

Take charge of your business’ reputation and show people that your business is active, reliable, and trustworthy.

As always, drop me a line if you have questions and be on the lookout for our next blog.

 

Ken G.

 

Turn Your Negative Online Reviews into a Win

Let’s be honest, even when you’re doing your best to deliver top quality services to your customers, there is still a chance of making a mistake at some point. For example, you’re a business owner that’s working around the clock to be the leader in the local market. Chances are, even with your best efforts to please your customers, there possibility of failure exists. The end result is that you could potentially end up having an unhappy customer. What’s worse is that these unhappy customers can leave you negative reviews on review sites or social media channels despite your best efforts.

Having a proactive approach, you can turn these negative reviews into a positive story for your business. In fact, these are the stories which your customers will always remember.

Here’s Ranked Brain’s step-by-step on how you can minimize the damage that negative reviews could cause to your business.

  1. Acknowledgment and timely reach engagement
  2. Request for a second chance from the reviewer and amaze them
  3. Take feedback and share with the world

 

Step 1: Acknowledgement and timely engagement

The first thing you should need to do after receiving a negative review is acknowledge them through your official business account. Respond to the negative review with a professional and polite message expressing your sincerest apologies regarding the situation. Go ahead and ask the reviewer to share their contact details. After that, you need to personally follow-up in order to understand what went wrong. Once the customer details are shared, make it a priority to call them up as soon as possible.

Step 2: Request a second chance and amaze them

When you are reaching out to your unhappy customers, make it truly meaningful by taking an immediate corrective action. To make this initiative more sincere, extend them an open invitation to come and retry your service free of cost. When your customers accept your request, make sure that you’re ready to exceed their expectations this time around. Have your best staff member or an executive to attend to them to ensure everything is done as expected.

Step 3: Take feedback and share with the world

When you complete the follow up service with the customer, don’t hesitate to ask your customer to share their feedback regarding their follow up experience. Take this as an opportunity to communicate that as a hard-working small business owner, you sincerely value your customers.  Let them know that you’re prepared to make the necessary changes if customers are not satisfied.

Lastly, ask your customers to share a Facebook post or tweet regarding their follow up experience with your business. Once your customer posts about how pleased they were with their recent experience, then share their update with your online audience. For instance, you can create a specific blog post that features your customer.

Make sure that you narrate the story around how you managed to change their experience through your dedicated customer experience efforts. Also, don’t hesitate to share a screenshot of the Facebook post or tweet shared by your customers on your blog post. Then go ahead and share across all social media platforms, where the visibility of your business matters.

With this simple approach, you can very easily turn the bad experience into a positive one. This will help you reassure your customers about your services and your dedication to customer service. It will also make them understand that you don’t mind going the extra mile to make your customers happy. Also, when potential clients read about this story, it will put your business in a good light. Negative reviews no longer have to be a red flag for potential customers. They are real and can be harmful if not addressed properly, but the good news is that if they are handled with the right approach, you can turn it into a win for your business. So don’t let the next negative review leave a blemish on the reputation of your business, turn it into a five star win for customer service.

 

As always, drop me a line if you have questions and be on the lookout for our next blog.

 

Ken G.

Create Your Google My Business Profile

For starters, if you are a local business that has an online presence with a physical location as well, if you don’t already have a Google My Business profile, I am going to show you how easy it is to get. Google My Business is what I would refer to as coveted online digital real estate for showcasing your products, services, and most importantly showing that you exist. Oh yeah, did I mention it’s absolutely free? Other than having to wait for a verification card to come in the mail, it’s a relatively easy and painless process. One more time, it’s free, so other than investing a few minutes of your time to setup there is literally no excuse for not having one.

I’m even going to walk you through how to set up your Google My Business profile to ensure everything is done correctly. The process just takes a few minutes and once your are verified you can immediately start leveraging it.

Setting Up Your Google My Business Profile

 

Step 1.

Follow this link to get to the profile creation page.

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Step 2.

Click the Manage now button.

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Step 3.

Enter your business information, which would be your company name. Make sure when you are doing this that you enter it by the actual name, not a short name, use the actual name of your business.

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Step 4.

If your business listing shows up, select it, if not don’t worry I’m going to cover that part as well.

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Step 5.

Select your business name if it populates in the results, if not again, I’m going to cover that one in just a minute so don’t worry. If your business name does not populate, which would not be unexpected, just enter the name of your business as it is formally called.

Your business name may populate and just need to be completed, or, someone else has already claimed your business listing on Google My Business. I’ll cover that in another article.

If your business is not listed, then proceed by entering the name of your business.

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Step 6.

 

Click next to proceed after entering your business name.

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Step 7.

 

Next you will be asked to choose the best category that best describes what your business does.

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

There are multiple categories, so make sure to take your time and look around to find the best primary fit for what you offer and where you want your business to be seen.

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Once you have selected the category that best describes your business click next to proceed.

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Step 8.

 

Next you will be asked to provide the location of your business, such as your store or your office address. Here is another situation where if you don’t have a physical location, I’ll cover that part in another step.

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Step 9.

 

For now we are going to go with we have a physical location, again, I’ll cover how to setup without a physical location that customers can visit.

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Step 10.

 

Now you are going to need to input the address of the physical location of your business to move to the next step.

 

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

After you get that information populated we can move to the next step. For the purposes of this setup I have intentionally masked the address due to the fact that it is a real address as Google My Business does not like virtual addresses such as shared office spaces, etc. So make sure when you fill this out you are using a location that can be validated and not seen as a shared office solution where your mail is delivered to. I’ll show you how to deal with not having a physical location in another step.

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

 

Step 11.

 

Once you have confirmed the address of your business, the next question that you will be asked is regarding if you service customers outside of your location. In other words do you visit or deliver to your customers, this is considered as “your service area(s)” that will show on your Google My Business profile.

If you don’t have a physical location you can use this option to populate what service areas your business has a presence in.

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Once you have listed all of your business service areas by city, state, etc. Click Next to proceed.

Step 12.

 

Here is where you are going to be asked to populate information such as your contact phone number, your business website URL if you have one. Make sure that this information is accurate as it will be used to let customers know how and where to find you.

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Step 13.

 

Once this has been entered the profile creation process has been completed! See how easy that was?

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Step 14.

 

Now comes the Google My Business verification, a postcard is going to be sent to the address that you provided. That postcard will have a verification code on it that you will need to enter once you receive it to use your profile. This does not mean that you can not proceed with adding information, products, etc. It just means that it will not be visible or listed on searches until this verification process has been completed. Typically it take about 5 days to get the postcard in the mail, so this gives you plenty of time to add content and be ready to go once you enter the verification code on the postcard.

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Now, here are the alternative steps if you do not have a physical location that I mentioned above.

 

After choosing the category that best fits your business step shown below, we take a different direction than shown above where your business has a physical location.

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

When you are asked if you want to add a location that customers can visit, like an office or a store, select No.

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

 

Now we skip to the step from earlier where you were asked to provide your “service areas”, these are the areas that you potentially visit or deliver services to.

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Now the next step is different from what we were asked to complete above,

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Now back to the contact details that you want to show your customers, again make sure that this is accurate because you want customers to be able to find you.

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Back to the finish and manage this listing section to finalize profile setup.

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas citySame process, need to fill in business address, but this way there is no physical address shown on your Google My Business profile for everyone to see.

 

google my business profile setup;how to create google my business;is google my business free;what is google my business; google my business online reviews;reputation management strategy;local search;near me search;kansas city google my business;google my business kansas city

Don’t forget to look for your postcard in the mail, typically takes about 5 days.

 

If you are interested in a free audit of your Google My Business profile, just leave a message in our chat bubble just to the right of this article. I’ll get back with you and set up a time that works with your schedule.

Ken G.