If, in 2020, you’re still not yet convinced that it is important to manage your online reputation, consider this: more than half of all consumers will only use a business if it has 4 or more stars. Yep, you read that correctly! The majority of consumers won’t patronize your business if it has under 4 stars.
But just because you have four stars, it doesn’t mean you’re business is automatically safe and assured? Sure, you’re better off than those businesses who don’t have a good average rating, but there are other things to consider.
- First, is that consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling that they are able to trust an online business, even a local business.
- Secondly, a full forty percent of consumers only take into account reviews written in the past two weeks.
From these stats, we can understand much more about consumer behavior and how online reviews can effect your business. This tells us that even one bad review is likely to be read and considered if it’s there. So it doesn’t really matter if four out of five reviews are positive. Since they are going to read quite a few reviews, having four out of five negative reviews means that the consumer will still take two negative reviews into account. So how you respond to them matters. Also, it’s clear that customers are more concerned with how you’ve been performing recently. It doesn’t matter if you have years of positive customer relations, having one bad month could be detrimental to your business.
If you don’t have recent glowing reviews, that greatly outnumber the negative ones, your online reputation most likely needs repair. So what should you do?
Here Are 5 Steps You Can Take To Repair Your Online Reputation
Whether you have some bad reviews or just not enough good ones, your reputation can be repaired! Here’s how.
Step 1: Have an Online Presence Everywhere
It might seem like it would be easier to control your online reviews if you limited your business listings to just a few places, but that’s not the case. To repair all of the negative aspects of your reputation, you need to make sure you can be found on all of your top review sites. Why? Because, if someone does leave you a less-than-ideal review and you have an account there, you’re more likely to see it and can deal with it quickly.
- First, you need to do some research to make sure you know what the top sites are for your industry. Home services, for example, could benefit from Angie’s List or Home Advisor. Of course, no matter what your business is, you need to control your Google and Facebook reviews.
- Most of the review sites will allow you to a profile, and you should. Adding contact information, location, and correct hours will help someone reach you, which could prevent a bad review from every appearing in the first place. Plus, it makes you look more professional, which affects your overall reputation.
Step 2: Respond to Reviews
The chances are that you have some reviews hanging out there that deserve a public response from your business. You benefit from replying to both positive and negative reviews! Why is that? Well, nearly ninety percent of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews. They want to know that their opinions are valued and their business is appreciated. And in the case of negative reviews, they want to know that you care enough to listen and attempt to resolve any issues. That’s what it’s all about. Just remember, when responding to negative reviews, you should use restraint, maintain professionalism, address the problem, and apologize when appropriate.
Step 3: Get More Positive Reviews
This is definitely the best way to improve your reputation. That number of stars won’t improve unless you’re getting more positive reviews! If you want leads, the number of positive reviews needs to greatly outweigh any negative ones. And, you need recent ones. So you need a plan to obtain new reviews from satisfied customers/clients. This could be with a follow up email, by asking them face-to-face, or even printing on your receipts information about how your customers can leave a review.
Step 4: Monitor Your Reputation
It can harm your reputation if you let negative reviews sit for too long without a response. This is why you’ll want to monitor the web for any new reviews. There are a number of services that can help with this. Google Alerts is a great place to start. It’ll monitor the web for any mentions of your business name or whatever phrases you want to look for.
Step 5: Promote Your Great Reviews
When you get a review that makes you look amazing, there’s nothing wrong with doing a little bit of bragging. When customer says how satisfied they are with your company, use it to your advantage by mentioning it on your social media or even putting it on your website. Sharing your good reviews can bring in more customers.
So Let’s Summarize
Repairing your online reputation takes time and it’s something you have to be proactive about. Staying engaged with your customers is essential. Because customers share their opinions on review sites, they are the key to managing your online reputation! Remember, the five steps to repairing your online reputation
- Have an online presence everywhere!
- Respond to reviews, whether good or bad.
- Try to get more positive reviews.
- Monitor the web for your brand’s reputation.
- Do a little bragging when you get amazing mentions.
And if you need help with any of this, contact a professional. There are online reputation repair companies, like mine, that can help.
About The Author
This post was written by Wesley Upchurch, founder of SearchResults.repair. SearchResults.repair is an online reputation repair company that focuses on suppressing negative online information while creating positive content for its clients.