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reputation management plan

By Becket Thompson – Account Executive/Social Media Specialist

Reputation management. The two words that can potentially make or break your business. Maintaining a positive public image is a crucial factor that can affect the longevity of your business. Developing a strong reputation management plan that is in line with your company’s values can aid in building creditability and developing trust.

Step 1: Claiming your Business

When entering the world of reputation management, you want to make sure that all of your social media pages are claimed. This means Yelp, Google My Business, BBB, LinkedIn, Angie’s List, Home Advisor, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more. Anywhere that a customer can leave a review you want to make sure that you have control of it to carry out the following steps.

Step 2: Red Flags for Customers

When shopping for products or services almost everyone will go online and read reviews about what they are looking for. If a potential customer sees that you have an overwhelming amount of negative reviews that have been ignored or reviews that are outdated (1 year or older) that raises a red flag for many customers. A lot of consumers can tell the difference between someone who will never be satisfied no matter what vs a customer who had a genuinely bad experience with a product or company. By responding to all reviews, especially negative ones, consumers are able to sift through the dirt to see that your company is genuinely dedicated to solving problems and serving customers.

Step 3: Review Solicitation

Most of the time, customers are not going to go out of their way to leave your business a review unless it is about a negative experience. This is where solicitation comes in. Many companies will have specific cards printed up with all of their social media on it including their Google and Yelp page so that customers can easily leave a review. This is definitely an effective and simple strategy to obtain more reviews. Another way is to solicit reviews through an online service. If your company has an email database, you are able to share that with companies like Listen360 to solicit reviews on your behalf. Since everything is digital it is even easier for people to click on the link to one of your social media pages and leave a review.

Step 4: Responding to Positive and Negative Reviews

You just received a positive review, great! Now, it is time to respond. You should aim to respond to ALL reviews within 24 hours if possible. When responding to a positive review, keep it simple. Thank the customer for their positive feedback, highlight something that they mentioned (great service, friendly office staff, awesome products, etc.), and let them know that if they need anything you are always there to help. Boom. Simple.

Negative reviews are obviously a little more complex to deal with. When you receive a negative review, it is important to tackle the problem right away. I recommend that someone in your office (Office Manager, General Manager, Sales Manager, etc.) looks for the customer in your system and then gives that customer a call or sends them an email addressing their review. More often than not, after a customer posts a negative review and the company addresses it in a timely and professional manner, that customer will either delete their review or update it with a better rating. If the customer is still insistent on being negative, then respond based on the feedback that you received when you made contact with that customer.

First apologize for any inconvenience that may have been caused. Be sure to let the customer know that you do not take their comments lightly and that you are working to address the problem with your team. Finally let them know that they can contact you should they have another problem (be sure to leave your office number in the response). Taking these steps will show current and future customers that you worked to resolve the issue.

Having an effective reputation management plan boils down to making the customer feel as though their voice was heard whether it be positive or negative. When your particular product or service is great and customers publicly declare that, it only drives more business your way. When something didn’t go quite as planned and a customer is upset you now have the necessary tools to turn the situation around and make it a positive one in the end. BAM Advertising has a strong team of creative individuals to develop and implement the best reputational management plan for your business! Call us at (412)-854-1004 for a FREE consultation or email us at info@bamadv.com to learn more.

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