The world of business is faster paced and more diverse than ever before. Even if your brick and mortar storefront is the pride and joy of your business, you can’t ignore the vast potential for interaction that the Internet creates; your customers certainly won’t. In the digital age, the old adage of “any press is good press” just doesn’t hold up, and it’s key to generate a positive buzz around your business.
With so many places online for your past, present, and potential customers to share their opinions and experiences, it’s important to take the time to inspect what makes its way to the top. Search for your business online regularly and take note of what crops up. If you can find it, so can your customers.
Most importantly, don’t sweep bad press under the rug. Nothing on the Internet goes away forever, so it’s crucial that you address any negative results rather
than try to conceal them. Just like with managing your reputation in person, the name of the game in Internet reputation management is accountability.
Hold Your Business Accountable
If your company or one of your employees makes a mistake, own up! Ideally, it’s best to handle problems as soon as you catch them – admitting your mistake to a client and making up for it before word gets around can reduce the impact of an issue before it goes public.
Of course, if one of your customers takes to the Internet to voice a complaint publicly, the key is still to handle things professionally. Most user-submitted review sites and even the Better Business Bureau offer businesses the opportunity to reply directly to an unsatisfied customer, which gives you the chance to showcase your professionalism and dedication to customer satisfaction.
It’s just as important to maintain active social profiles for your business. Social media sites are the perfect platform for interaction between businesses and customers and can show potential customers what your company is all about. If complaints arise on these forums, do your best to shift the interaction to a private conversation via email, but first make it clear that you’re hearing your customers and want to make the situation right.
Of course, the best way to ensure your online reputation is positive is to promote positive experiences in your daily interactions. Whether you’re engaging a customer face-to-face, over the phone, or online, encourage all of your employees to remember that they’re dealing with people rather than potential sales figures. When your company is delivering on stellar customer service, a positive buzz is sure to follow.
Like what we’ve had to say on Internet Reputation Management this month? Share it with your friends on Facebook – you know they’re looking there for what you have to say – and read more articles here!