In today’s busy digital world, you can never be too careful when it comes to your online presence. And whether you work for a large company or run your own small business, a few bad reviews from a few bad customers is sometimes all it takes to bring your operations to a screeching halt.
Fortunately, there’s plenty of things you can do to protect and check your online website reputation and ensure that people get a good impression of your business when they first find you online.
With that said, in the following article, we’ll be taking a look at 7 of the absolute best expert tips to help you build and maintain your online reputation.
Ask Customers For Reviews
One of the simplest, and best ways to ensure a sterling online reputation is to simply ask your customers for reviews.
This can be done on your website, blog, social media pages, or even by sending out a mass email to your subscribers.
Of course, it’s not a good idea to hound your customers, begging them to leave you a review. Doing that will only make it more likely for them to leave a bad review.
But whenever a customer interacts with or makes a purchase from your company, feel free to ask what they thought about their experience, and direct them to your review pages if necessary.
Offer Incentives For Reviews
Although most of your loyal customers are going to be happy to give you a review, newer customers, or those who don’t know your brand very well, might be a bit trickier to persuade.
With that said, you can easily offer some form of incentive in exchange for reviews. Just keep in mind that this is frowned about by some review platforms like Yelp. So if you’re going to do this, make sure to ask them verbally, and not in writing.
An incentive could be anything in the form of a discount on products or services, or you could even consider offering some form of free downloadable content, such as an ebook or a guide, in exchange for a review.
Just make sure that you’re asking for an honest review.
In the end, offering an incentive in itself is something that could potentially make your brand stand out from the competition, which will help you maintain a positive reputation.
Do Everything You Can To Satisfy Unhappy Customers
When it comes to business, the reality is that it’s impossible to keep all of your customers happy all of the time. But although dealing with an unsatisfied customer might seem like a waste of your time, it’s better to look at it as an opportunity to improve your business and its reputation.
Whether there was a problem with the order, or the customer simply wasn’t happy with the product or service you provided, make sure you take the time to find out what you could do to improve their experience in the future.
Maybe their issue was as simple as a billing mistake made while fulfilling the order. In that case, fixing the error and offering a simple apology might be all it takes to turn their frown upside down.
On the other hand, if they’re really unhappy with your brand, you might need to try offering them a discount or some other type of incentive to help them change their mind.
Either way, the more that you do to solve your customers’ problems, the more likely they’ll be to trust your brand, even if their initial experience wasn’t the best.
Even if they were ready to write you a bad review, by doing your best to accommodate and fix the problem, you might still be able to turn things around.
They might still leave a sub-par review. But they’ll be more likely to mention that you actually took the initiative to try and fix the problem, which can go a long way in today’s digital world.
Follow Up With ALL Your Customers
Whether a customer has had a good or bad experience with your company, it’s important to follow up with them no matter what.
By doing this, you’ll be able to learn about what you are (and aren’t) doing properly. And at the same time, it will show your customers that you actually care about the service you’re providing.
Think about it!
If a customer buys something from you, and you never contact them again, there’s no way to know how they felt about the experience, and there’s a good chance that they might never buy from you again.
On the other hand, by following up with them, it will show them that you care. And at the same time, it provides you with an additional opportunity to try and make your next sale.
Actively Engage With Your Audience
As you can see by now, there’s plenty that can be done to help you protect your online reputation. But being actively engaged with your audience on your website and on social media is one of the best things you can do for your brand.
Being actively engaged with your prospects and customers lets them know that your business is actually run by humans, and not by robots. And by actively publishing valuable content, you’ll be able to work toward establishing your brand as a leader in your industry.
With that said, make sure to find out which social platforms your target audience uses most often, and then be as active as possible on them.
Just make sure that you’re not spammy. Be real. Publish interesting content. Ask and answer questions. And by doing this, you’ll work towards building an awesome reputation for yourself.
Make Sure You’re Using A Waterproof Business Model
Many businesses end up soiled reputations, not because they’re doing anything wrong, but simply because of the small things their customers find wrong with their business model.
For example, many online businesses today use a drop-shipping business model to sell super affordable products from China or other overseas nations. And while there’s nothing wrong with doing this, drop-shipping from outside of North America typically involves higher shipping fees and longer wait times.
This might be fine for some of your customers, but for others, it might be enough to turn them away from your business, especially if they’re unaware of the higher fees or longer shipping times before buying from you.
The best thing you can do for this is to be completely honest with your customers and make sure they’re aware of everything they need to know about the buying process.
If it costs an arm and leg for shipping, tell them that. If it takes 3 months for your products to arrive, tell them!
They say that honesty is the best policy, and this couldn’t be any truer than when it comes to operating an online business.
Sure, you might lose out on a customer or two by doing this. But it’s better to have those customers walk away, rather than have them buy from you only to become an unhappy customer in the future.
Provide World-Class Customer Service
In the end, no matter how big or small your business is, if you’re not keeping your customers happy, you’re not going to be able to maintain a good reputation.
Therefore, it’s best to always try and go above and beyond what your customers expect from you. By doing this, you’re almost guaranteed that they’ll be impressed with your service, and they’ll be more likely to leave a positive review.
There are literally millions of websites online, all competing for your customers’ attention. And in today’s online world, if you don’t have a good reputation online, there’s no way that people are going to want to buy from you.
With that said, make sure that you’re following these 7 tips, and you’re guaranteed to be able to work toward building an awesome online reputation, and keeping it that way!