Managing Your Online Reputation

Are you aware that your customers are talking about you online and that everyone can see what they are saying? Online review sites are what the vast majority of consumers are reviewing before making a purchase or doing business with a certain company. What sort of feedback do you see when you type your company’s name into a search engine? Is it positive or negative? For some business owners, this can be a disturbing “wake-­up call”. Negative feedback needs to be viewed as a challenge and you must be willing to address the issues that are in front of you. Positive feedback, conversely should on local review sites can be viewed as a remarkable success, as traditionally this is one of the best sources of new business for you and your company.

Managing your online reputation requires you to step out of your comfort zone and learn new skills and tactics on how to improve your business. This may include close observation
of online conversations that that your customers are having and finding tactful ways to respond and promote yourself and your business in the best possible means. These abilities are becoming a necessity for mainstreaming your business.

Make sure you go into these situations with a confident outlook and what type of resolution you are hopeful of. The last thing you need is to be reactive with a customer who has made a spiteful comment. If that becomes the case, force yourself to step away from the computer and address the issue at a later time. Do not feel that you are required to respond to every negative comment that is posted on the internet. Let’s face it, negative reviews are going to happen, and there are people out there that will never be satisfied. We need to come to terms with this and move forward to improve the services for our loyal customers, or work with the ones that are willing to cooperate.

The bottom line is that we all need to pay close attention to our surroundings and what others are saying about us and our businesses. As always, the principal source for increasing new business is word of mouth by existing or previous customers, whether in person or online. If you are not giving consumers a reason to post or speak positive remarks about you, do not be surprised if there are struggles while attempting to grow your business.