One of the hottest topics in the world of businesses, and particularly those with an online presence, is an online reputation management company. In fact, improving an online reputation is quickly becoming a multimillion dollar industry. It is very important to think about this, and you will be happy to know that it isn’t too complicated – so long as you are PROactive rather than Reactive. There are three key elements towards building and maintaining a positive online reputation.
STEP 1 – Managing
They say that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. It is important that you are highly creative, because it is likely that there are many other businesses just like yours around the world. Hence, you have to make sure that people get a positive first impression when they first come into contact with you. This includes:
- Having a catchy name that makes sense.
- Writing and maintaining an interesting blog to build relationships with your clients and set yourself apart as an authority.
- Signing up with the various social media websites, which essentially promote who you are for free.
STEP 2 – Monitoring
Once you have been in business, it is important that you monitor what people’s opinion of you is. Find out what kind of feedback you are receiving on your products and services. Google Alerts is by far the most important one, as it ensures you receive an email notification whenever your business’ name is mentioned anywhere, good or bad. Remember to be openminded when you get these alerts and to continue to be proactive. People may have commented on your blog or social media sites, and you need to be ready to respond to them. Most importantly, don’t get defensive even if you are faced with negative reviews.
STEP 3 – Responding
Once you start to receive comments, you have to be reactive as well, and respond to what is being said. Timeliness is of the essence here, which is why step 2 is so important. You also have to have the right skills to deal with comments, whether they are positive or negative. Thank people for their positive comments in a sincere, professional, and honest manner. Doing so will build their support of and trust in you.
While you may prefer to ignore the criticisms and negative comments, you should not do this. You have to be rational and not emotive. See each criticism as an opportunity to make changes for improvement. Again, your customers will appreciate that you took the time to listen and that you have aimed to make changes.
A key to surviving in today’s competitive world, is being able to take criticism. This can be difficult, but it is vital that you learn how to respond in an honest and creative manner, different from getting angry at whomever left the negative review. With the three steps above – managing, motoring, and responding – you should be able to not just create a positive reputation, but retain it at those positive levels as well.