Before The Internet20 years ago the main types of reviews a business would get would be word of mouth. These reviews would be the basis of your business reputation. The more good reviews you got the better your reputation. Poor reviews could see your reputation plummet.
Before the widespread use of the internet people who wanted to be recommended to a business would ask friends, family and colleagues. If someone moved into a new neighbourhood they might ask their new neighbours if their dentist was good or which was the best priced taxi company in the area. They would gather all the information and make a judgement as to which service to use.
The bad thing about this type of referral or recommendation is that it is limited. The word of mouth conversations would be amongst a few people only. It is limited to who people knew in their local area. There would be a limit as to how many good referrals your business could receive. This is because the person might only ask 3 or 4 people for information about a service or business before buying.
The good thing about this limited word of mouth system was that even if someone did bad mouth your company, chances are it wouldn’t get too far. The damage to your business could be curtailed.
Reviews On The InternetThese days things are very different when it comes to past customers reviewing businesses. Remember every review of your product or service is a recommendation or criticism. And every one of these recommendations or criticisms will increase your good reputation or add to your business having a poor reputation.
When someone wants to buy a product or service these days, they often go online to check out what past customers say about your product or service. The comments are seen by a handful of people in a localised location They can now be seen by millions all over the world.
3 Tips On How To Improve Your Business Reputation
- Ask happy customers to leave a review online. Happy customers are more likely to leave a good online review for the service they have received from your company. The more great 4 or 5 star reviews you get on Google, Facebook and Yelp, the less significant the poor reviews will be.
- Respond to every online review. To build your reputation and credibility you need to respond to every review left online, good and bad. Replying to good reviews is a good opportunity thanks your customer and re-emphasise the good points about your business. Replying to bad reviews shows the customer you have taken their comments seriously. However it is important to remember potential customers read replies as well as reading the original review.
- Use a Reputation Management System. A reputation management system will do most of the work automatically. Set up texts or e mails to go out to customers. The system can encourage poor reviews to remain private. Keep the conversation between them and you offline without having it publicly displayed on one of the review platforms. And you can check reviews that are posted in over 60 online review sites in one place. This means you will have more time running your business
Looking after your online reputation will pay dividends in the short and long term. Getting happy customers to market for you for free by telling the world about how good you are is a bit of a no-brainer.