Have you ever gone to Yelp before visiting a dining establishment in your town? Check out an evaluation on TripAdvisor prior to making getaway strategies? How about had a look at a mechanic on Google to read their testimonials? Read Amazon’s consumer testimonials before purchasing a product? Unless you actually don’t care about quality and how you spend your hard-earned cash when searching for new services and products, you have most definitely done at least one of these things.

This is called the online reputation and it can be discovered for companies, brand names, items, services, restaurants– even instructors in college on a website called Rate My Professor. The internet is the Amazing Equalizer when it comes to putting the power back into the hands of the customer because how you interact with your client today might simply end up plastered all over the web tomorrow.


Getting Good Online Reputation

Think about the last time you examined out a company’s online track record. Having an excellent online credibility is hardly ever something that takes place by accident. In some instances, the business is so incredible that their customers instantly write awesome reviews on their own.

In other cases, companies will  employ individuals or firms to manage their online reputation. We’ll get to what exactly this means for getting rid of bad reviews in a second, but for now, let’s concentrate on the best ways to build great online reputation.

An online reputation management campaign will likely consist of an extremely basic practice: asking your customers to simply review you online. You can do this face to face, you can send them an e-mail; you can even call them or send direct-mail. The point here is that your customer base might not even understand you appreciate online reputation, however if they understand you want it, they’ll likely be more than pleased to oblige (providing you are a great service provider or have top-notch products!).

Naturally, if you truly want them to assist your online reputation grow in a favorable way, you can reward your consumers for helping you out. For example, “Review our business on Yelp and get 10 % off your next visit!”.


Dealing With Negative Online Reputation

On the other side of the coin, you might also have some negative online reviews out there. Perhaps it was an entirely irrational consumer who you tried to satisfy in every way possible, however they went totally bonkers, called you every name in the book and stormed out of your shop kicking the gumball device over in the process.

Do you think that individual is going to go home and write what truly happened on your Google+ page? Nope, they’re going to make you appear like an old lady-kicking antichrist. And when other people see that, they are going to reconsider picking you over your competitors, who have only glowing reviews from their clients.

So, exactly what do you do? Well, the awesome part of reviews and your online reputation is that it provides you another chance to fix the problem. Possibly a couple of days later when cooler heads have actually prevailed, you can connect through personal message, or respond publicly. Do the best you can to make amends with the disgruntled customer and you never know, you may turn them into an evangelist for your business.

Further, when a company or individual takes an active interest in their online reputation, it shows other potential customers that the company cares. If you saw a rant tearing into a canine groomer on Yelp, but then saw the groomer replied with an enjoyable apology and an offer to make things right with the reviewer, wouldn’t that negate the unfavorable sensations you had for the groomer after reading the testimonial? That’s why online track record management is so vital.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What happens if I don’t manage my online reputation?

A: Any number of things, mostly starting with a decrease in new acquisitions. You might also see your existing customer base drop off as bad online reputation has a tendency to go viral when left unchecked. Other sites and publications might pick up the poor reputation comments and run with them, especially if your competition has anything to say about it. In short, don’t neglect your online reputation.


Q: How serious can online reputation really be?

A: Consider the fact that online defamation has put companies out of business, resulting in lawsuits that when proven (not a high percentage here), millions of dollars in payouts have been awarded. Online reputation can make or break you and if left unchecked, can do so without you ever having a fighting chance.