The amount of business being done online today has changed the way businesses are seen by their customers. With hundreds of forums, review sites and social networks where users can leave feedback, the process of assessing and managing one’s online reputation can seem like a daunting task.
Enter the reputation management specialist. Individuals and companies offering online reputation management services generally market their services to businesses with multiple instances of bad feedback or low ratings in the search engine results.
I know what you’re thinking; these guys are little more than virtual ambulance chasers who help unscrupulous businesses sweep their dirt under the rug. While I can’t say this kind of thing doesn’t happen, I can tell you that reputation management services focus primarily on encouraging happy customers to share their experiences in a way that will make them visible on the search engines.
One of the most common questions we receive regarding reputation repair is, “Can you help bury negative information about me on the internet?” The answer is yes.
If you’ve been in business for more than 15 minutes you know that unhappy customers are 10 times more likely to leave a review than those who are pleased with your services. Customers expect their needs to be met, and will generally not bother leave a positive review when they are. Unhappy customers, on the other hand, feel as if they’ve been cheated in some way, and they want the whole world to know it. Such is the nature of doing business.
What reputation management really is is a system designed to encourage positive feedback and publish it where it will be seen. While some providers may recommend peppering the internet with fake reviews and finding ways to bury negative feedback, there are legitimate methods which don’t involve anything underhanded. Brandamos refuses to participate in illegitimate review creation.
Many business can use reputation management from restaurants to plumbers. Anyone who operates a service industry business is accustomed to review sites and the tide of business that online customer feedback can bring that business from sites like Yelp, Trip Advisor, and Google. Our restaurant marketing services are excellent for any restaurant looking to increase their online to offline walk in traffic.
Have you ever made a purchase at a department store during which the cashier mentioned that completing a short online survey about your experience will earn you a future discount of some kind? This is the same principle that reputation management specialists can use to encourage positive reviews from customers. You could call this the “what’s in it for me” approach.
People are busy, and generally speaking, will not take the time to leave a kind word unless there’s some benefit to doing so. Offering some form of incentive for them to share their positive experience is a highly effective way to get honest positive reviews published online.
Of course there’s a fine line between encouraging honest feedback and manipulating customers to embellish for their own (and your) benefit. The most above board methods of reputation involve encouraging all feedback. If the business is keeping their promises to their customers and providing quality products and services, the positive reviews should considerably outnumber the negatives.
If this isn’t the case, the business has much bigger problems to worry about. Reputation management specialists can’t turn water into wine. If customers are leaving your business underwhelmed with their experience, reputation management will be a futile attempt at plugging a hole in the Titanic with a piece of chewing gum. However, utilizing the information from the discovery process can make your business 100% better.
Used honestly and intelligently, reputation management services can help paint a more accurate picture of your business online. When happy customers share their experiences, it encourages new customers to give the place a try, and makes any negative comments look like the exception rather than the rule.
If you don’t have an effective system in place to encourage and syndicate positive reviews for your business, you could be leaving money on the table. Don’t let a couple of negative comments hurt your online reputation/offline business. Talk to a reputation management specialist and find out what you can do to improve your bottom line.