Online reputation is extremely important for business, since it is reputation that customers turn to when choosing which business to use. Good business and great customer service may create great recognition; however, it is essential for companies to monitor their reputation and invest in its maintenance. Companies must put time and effort into online reputation management to protect and, if necessary, improve it.
With attention on reputation management, businesses can maintain better control of their online persona and resolve concerns when they develop before they turn into problems.
Claim and Update All Online Profiles
There are many local business directories and business rating sites where companies may have “unclaimed” profile pages and not know about it. Businesses should search to find all of these directory and social listings, then claim all pages in order to have complete control over them. Claiming directory pages on sites like Yelp!, Google+, Yahoo, Bing and other similar local directory sites gives businesses the ability to provide correct information to their customers as well a the ability to monitor their reputation. Most of these sites allow customers to rate and review businesses, making them important places to control and monitor.
Monitor Reputation Every Day
Reputation can be damaged very quickly, with just one negative comment left on a popular review site. Considering how quickly word can be spread online, it is essential that businesses make online reputation management a priority and monitor it daily. All social profiles and directory listings should be checked daily for new comments or reviews for an immediate response. Google alerts and other social media monitoring tools can help facilitate the process of keeping track of who is saying what.
Never Fluff Reputation with Fake Testimonials
Good reviews and testimonials are worth their weight in gold for the value they provide in generating good reputation. Yet businesses should never try to improve their reputation by posting fake reviews or testimonials. Posting fake testimonials is illegal; companies caught doing so can face legal repercussions if discovered. The reputation of the business will likely suffer much more should this happen.
Respond to Complaints Immediately
Every business will get its share of complaints and negative reviews since it is impossible to please everyone. When these comments are discovered during routine monitoring and reputation management, a response should be generaed immediately. The sooner a problem is acknowledged and handled, the smaller the chance of it becoming an issue that could damage a company's reputation. In many cases, a prompt and courteous response that acknowledges the problem and offers resolutions can even improve reputation.
Understand Legal Options
In extreme cases where a business may find themselves the victim of persistent fake reviewers or someone is out to intentionally harm the business, there may be legal recourse. If attempts to remedy the situation in a normal way do not work with complaints that are baseless and intentionally harmful, a business can sue for slander.
A good reputation is something that every modern business needs. Therefore, protecting reputation with good reputation management practices should be considered an essential part of everyday operations for all businesses. With proactive online reputation management, businesses can more easily control their reputation and do whatever is necessary to protect it in a competitive business world!