Did you know that 48% of buyers won’t consider contacting a business if it has fewer than four stars?
Feedback from customers is important for your business to improve. Your online reputation is public feedback available for the world to see.
There’s a good chance you’re making online reputation management mistakes and you don’t even know it. Those mistakes end up being costly.
The good news is that you can control your online reputation. A reputation management strategy helps you respond to positive and negative reviews in a way that still attracts customers.
If you’re ready to learn how to manage your online reputation, you’re in the right place. Keep reading to learn the most common reputation management mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Ignore Reputation Management
Business owners assume that they do a great job and their reputation speaks for itself. It just takes one jilted customer to turn your great track record into a public display of negativity.
If you ignore online reputation management, you’re letting those negative reviews influence the direction of your business.
Everyone else looks at those reviews and they judge accordingly. You can avoid this powerful mistake by creating an online reputation management strategy.
Start by creating a system to ask for reviews. Then have another system to monitor reviews on a regular basis.
2. Use Canned Responses
Have you ever looked at a business, read reviews, and seen a chain of canned responses? It seems disingenuous and cold.
People pick up on canned responses. It also gives the impression that the business cares about its customers, rather than treating people like a number.
Have a set of key messages for certain situations but respond to each review individually. It makes your brand more authentic.
3. Take Negative Reviews Personally
It’s easy to look at negative reviews and immediately get defensive. No one knows how hard you work every day to serve your customers.
Don’t take negative reviews personally. You and your business aren’t under attack. If someone has a bad experience, it’s an opportunity to learn from it.
Of course, there are people you can’t please no matter what you do. In these situations, business owners respond to negative reviews by blaming the customers for the issues they experience.
Don’t do this. It makes you look petty. It gives the impression that you’re not willing to take responsibility for your business either.
Respond by thanking the customer for their feedback and apologizing for their experience. Give them a way to contact you so you can resolve the situation offline.
That makes it look like you care and you’re willing to work with customers to do the right thing for them.
4. Rely on Fake Reviews
Do you want to take a shortcut and get a bunch of positive reviews? There are plenty of service providers that offer dozens of reviews for $20.
There are businesses that are willing to pay for negative reviews about their competition. These tactics won’t get you anywhere. In fact, you’re likely to get penalized for violating websites’ terms and conditions for paid reviews.
Some business owners are willing to pay online influencers a lot of money for a positive endorsement. If you have a number of these reviews with discounts and affiliate links, the positive endorsement will backfire.
Consumers are savvy. They can spot these campaigns and your brand’s reputation will take a hit.
5. Handle Reputation Management Manually
Think of all of the websites that you have to check to manage your online reputation. There’s Google, Yelp, Facebook, Better Business Bureau, and other local directories.
Checking all of these manually is time-consuming. It makes sense to invest in software that puts the most important information in one place.
Tools such as Netreputation, Brand24, and Swell are considered the top tools. Check out Netreputation reviews and reviews for Brand24 and Swell before you decide.
6. Talk Smack About Competition
You know that you’re better than the competition. It’s not a good look to talk trash about your competition.
You’ll be perceived as insecure about your ability to deliver quality products and services. It’s also not very professional.
If someone mentions the competition in an online review, don’t disparage them. Focus on your strengths and why people should shop at your business.
7. Inconsistent Handling of Reputation
Managing reputations online is tough to keep up with. With everything else you do for your business, you can forget about online reputation management for a while.
Online reputation management requires consistency. People see if you haven’t responded to reviews in months.
Consistency matters in messaging and voice, too. You don’t want to have one response that’s friendly, and another that’s defensive. Consumers won’t know what to expect from your brand.
Create a brand voice that’s consistent with your brand. Have systems in place to handle reputation management regularly.
8. Don’t Appreciate Positive Reviews
Someone took the time to write a positive review about your business. That positive review has a lot of power to generate new business.
Ignoring the review makes you look like you take those reviews for granted. It also discourages others from writing reviews because they assume that you won’t see them.
A quick thank you goes a long way. For every positive review, thank them and tell the reviewer how much you appreciate them.
Tips to Avoid Online Reputation Management Mistakes
Your online reputation could cost your business a lot of money. It’s too important to ignore. This list of online reputation management mistakes shows you how you can slowly improve your reputation.
Be consistent with reputation management, use tools to do more in less time, and don’t take negative reviews personally.
You’ll see a difference in your reputation and in the number of new customers. If you enjoyed this article, you’ll like the other articles that will help you grow your business. Click on the Business tab at the top and check them out today!