Joan Jett may not care about her “bad” reputation, but as a small business owner, that kind of attitude will cost you money. The Internet reputation of a business can play a huge part in determining if it is successful or not. Internet reviews give the customer the power to recommend your business or totally trash it. It’s up to you as a business owner to protect your valuable reputation. Here are three tips to help you keep your reputation clean.
- When customers have a bad experience with your business, they speak up about it. They go to every review site and bash you and your company. When people have a good experience and leave satisfied, they don’t bother to go to these sites and sing your praises. That’s a problem with Internet reviews. Happy customers will speak up if you ask them to. Ask your customers what they liked best about their experience. Collect these reviews and ask for permission to post them on your website. Posting testimonials from satisfied customers is a great way to offer positive reviews that people can trust.
- Negative reviews are bound to happen. If unsatisfied customers don’t give negative reviews on review sites, your competition will! The way you handle these reviews will tell people a lot about who you are. Under no circumstance should you be rude or abrasive. Even if the review is uncalled for and insulting, let the reviewer’s immaturity speak for itself. Potential customers expect businesses to be professional, even on review sites. If you lash out in response, it will look worse on your business. The best response is courteous. You should be apologetic and act quickly. Make up for the bad experience in whatever way you can.
- If the temptation to respond in a negative way is too great, it may be best if you don’t even read your own reviews. There are companies that specialize in reputation management that can handle this for you. They monitor the Internet for mentions of your business. They go to review sites to mention the positive qualities of your business to balance out the bad reviews. Since Internet review sites are always changing, it is sometimes a good idea to let people who specialize in reputation management take over.
Your Internet reputation is important to keep clean. Take action before things go too far and your business starts losing money. Pay attention to what your customers think. You can’t afford a bad reputation.