15 Online Reputation Management (ORM) Tips
Your online reputation can either make or break you. Check out this ultimate guide to learn 15 simple online reputation management tips that will help you succeed.
Online Reputation Management (ORM) Tips for Every Individual & Brand
Business owners and entrepreneurs don’t give strong consideration to online reputation management until their reputation is on the line. It’s a horrible yet humbling experience to receive your first negative review. Your flaws get exposed to the world, and there’s nothing you can do about it because the internet is forever.
Even worse, reviews may not be true or accurate.
Having an online reputation to uphold is new to a lot of people. Online reputation management tips aren’t always taught to brick and mortar business owners.
As the business world changes and digital platforms grow, it’s vital that we get ahead of negative reviews. We do this by creating a means to deal with individuals that walk away unhappy with their experience. This includes both customers, internal and external, and employees.
Are you wondering how to avoid a hit to your reputation? Keep reading to learn 15 tips for managing your online reputation.
1. Online Reputation Management Tips to Help Avoid Bad Reviews
Your digital footprint is real and needs attention. Your online presence needs to be intentional. Brick and mortar businesses today rely on websites to garner attention. If you’re a home services business, you’ll want to utilize platforms like Google, Yelp, and other review sites to grow your local traffic.
With online reputation management, you’ll know what people think and feel about your services. Great reviews are sure to bring in new business. Studies show 90% of consumers read online reviews in their decision to try a business.
You cannot afford to have bad reviews on prominent review sites without your knowledge. Reputation management shows you how to not only find bad reviews but how to respond to them.
2. Invest in Reputations Management Tools
Have you heard of Online Reputation Management tools (ORM)? It’s important to monitor what people are saying about your business.
Company websites are one place where people can leave comments about their experiences. Even though the comment gets left at your front door, there are businesses that do not read testimonials on their website.
Some business owners don’t know the web designer set-up an email address where these comments are sent to be reviewed and responded to. With an ORM, you’ll get notifications right away whenever and wherever a review gets posted.
3. Respond to Clients and Customers Immediately
It’s not always a good idea to respond to bad reviews online. With the right online reputation management, you’ll know how and when to respond.
The first step is to read the review with objectivity. Try to see the issue from the customer’s point of view. This may mean stepping back from the review and revisiting it a few hours later.
Have an internal process for responding to reviews. This could mean appointing a designated employee. Try to get the customer offline and into a private conversation. Express your regrets and extend an opportunity to discuss the matter further by providing a phone number or email.
4. Create Strong Digital Marketing
If you see your online reputation in trouble, call in a reputation management expert. This’s someone who can help devise a strong digital marketing plan to rebuild your image.
This may come in the form of rebranding. There are various reasons for a rebrand. Sometimes rebranding can be as extreme as changing your business name. It’s also as simple as reimagining how you do customer service.
Honesty is the best policy, so let your customers know you recognize you heard them loud and clear. Express that the changes are because of their feedback.
5. Understand Your Reputation Extends Beyond the Business
Big brands like Starbucks understand the importance of reputation management. When incidents involving their locations, whether company-owned or franchised, the CEO gets in front of the story. This comes in the form of an apology and plan of action.
What happens when it’s the CEO that’s at the center of the controversy? For this reputation management tip, we focus on going inside the brand.
Sometimes a business can get negative press because of the behavior of its CEO or an employee of the company. There’ll be times when a personal action is so egregious it impacts the business.
For this, just in case moment, you’ll need to respond quickly to separate the brand from the person. It may even come down to firing the individual.
6. Invest in Brand Advocacy
One way to boost a brand is via brand advocacy. Your employees and customers help your online presence more than you realize. By investing in advocates, you’re increasing your positive digital footprint.
The positive reviews and recommendations can oftentimes overpower the few negative comments posted about your business.
Reward your advocates with branded apparel for employees and rewards for customers.
7. Accept Responsibility for Poor Service
The next best thing to not giving bad service is accepting responsibility when you do. Apologizing for a bad experience may seem like you admitting a failure. Trust us, acknowledging your customer’s experience and promising to do better speaks louder than ignoring the issue.
It can also save the reputation and turn the experience into a win. The customer who posts a bad experience is just as likely to also post how you responded.
8. Don’t Get So Big You Can’t Apologize
Never get so big that you ruin your online presence with a refusal to apologize. It’s becoming popular for business owners to go on review sites and confront customers regarding their experiences. This isn’t what reputation management is about.
You want to get the customer offline. Never engage them on a social platform where others can read the back and forth.
First and foremost, apologize for the negative experience, whether real or perceived. Next, offer a solution to investigate the matter and then follow-through.
9. Become the Authority in Your Industry
This is a reputation management tip about being proactive. A customer who sees your brand as an authority in the industry may think twice about posting a negative review. Instead, they may seek an offline remedy to the problem.
To help build your standing, invest in content marketing that educates and raises awareness about your industry. Use testimonials to tell a story about positive experiences. Let your satisfied customers speak to the reliability and professionalism of your company.
10. Invest to Overcome Shortcomings
If most business owners were honest, they’d admit in the early years their brand suffered.
Through experience, people learn the importance of maintaining a positive reputation. No matter how awesome the product or service techniques, people want to feel good spending money with you.
Reputation management doesn’t come to the forefront until the first negative experience. A positive response is to listen and work on your shortcomings before they become unbreakable bad habits.
11. Remember the Customer is Always Right
Even when the customer is wrong, they are always right. This is the first lesson everyone learns in business. No matter how bad you want to defend your service or an employee, look at the bigger picture.
Arguing with the customer isn’t worth the negative response escalating? Is there conflict resolution that makes the customer whole? Most important, is there a learning opportunity to benefit your brand?
12. Investigate and Correct Repeat Offenses
The best tips for managing your online reputation center on your processes to investigate and correct repeat offenses. If your online reputation score shows that the receptionist is rude, replacing the person is a simple solution.
There are some traits that can’t be taught. Either the employee has it, or they don’t. Allowing your business to suffer when the evidence points to the same issue makes no sense.
13. Invest in Reputation Management Tools
Online reputation tools are a necessity in this day and time. Sharing reviews are easy, and review sites encourage it. With the anonymity in posting reviews on some sites, people are more comfortable saying what they feel.
Reputation management isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution—research tools geared towards your industry and business size. Register for review alerts and learn proactive tips.
14. Post a Customer Dissatisfaction Policy on Your Website
A customer dissatisfaction policy is a list of steps a customer can take to resolve an issue. Display it on your website and include links in prominent locations such as product descriptions, check-out, and booking pages.
This step can be the difference between someone posting a negative review without contacting your company first.
15. Learn From Customer Experiences
Customers are the greatest teacher. Learning from both positive and negative experiences improves your digital reputation. People show us how they want businesses to treat them. The task as a business owner requires observing interactions and extract the gems that can help you improve your customer service.
Your Reputation Is Everything
Implement these reputation management tips and protect your brand and business. It may seem like a lot in the beginning, but when done religiously, they become a part of your core strategies.
Don’t become consumed with worry over your online reputation. We are here to help. Click here to contact us for one on one consultation or use our live chat to ask a question.