It has become critically important to monitor your business reputation online. Make sure you company is keeping an eye on these popular review sites.
Just as one rotten apple spoils the barrel. The same can go for reviews that get published about your brand or products. This is why regardless of whether you are a little mom-and-pop shop in a small town or a multi-million dollar ecommerce business that ships directly to customers around the world – protecting your online reputation is critical.
The sad truth is, even if you take extra precautions to provide top notch products and customer service, studies show that people are still more likely to share when they have bad experiences with a company than if they have a good experiences. This may cause some business owners to question whether it’s even worth making that extra effort and sinking extra capital into further improving the customer experience considering their business is fighting against statistical odds from the start. However, it is safe to assume that your competition will likely be making these efforts despite the odds (or possibly because of them) even if you don’t. Plus, consumers trust peer and online reviews when making purchase decisions. This ultimately means if you want to stay in business, you can’t afford to let your online reputation fall behind.
Below we have gathered a few of the most popular and well known places people go online to review and post about businesses and products. Making sure your business owns and manages its account on each of these platforms can enable you to carefully curate a strong positive profile that will help you build a reputation that helps generate future business for years to come.
Better Business Bureau
You should always make sure to respect the classics, and when it comes to protecting your business reputation, few organizations have as long a standing as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Businesses are able to have a listing on the organization’s website that includes a company bio along with an easy to understand letter grade rating from A – F. Making sure your business is monitoring both positive and negative feedback on this review site can be a solid step in the right direction to protecting your business’ online reputation, not to mention establishing credibility.
Facebook Ratings and Reviews
Since Facebook still reigns supreme as America’s most popular social media platform, you can bet many (if not all) of your customers are visiting and participating on that network. Now that Facebook has adopted business pages and become a more friendly tool for marketing, it has also evolved how customers can provide feedback to those businesses through testimonials and 1-5 star ratings on the business’s page.
Google My Business
Since Google is often the first place people go to find your business online, it should also be among the first places you go to protect your brand reputation. Making sure your business is properly listed with Google My Business allows people looking for you to easily find your physical location and your website. It also enables users to give 1-5 star ratings and leave reviews that you can respond to on Local Google+ pages that Google verifies.
Yelp is a powerful tool that has been providing users a place to go to both vent their complaints and sing the praises of their favorite businesses since 2004. However, businesses also benefit from Yelp by gaining valuable understanding of how their customers experience their business as well as giving them the ability to respond to the customers who post.
With a huge network of more than 600K businesses and counting, Glassdoor provides a unique twist on how users can rate and review companies. Similar to other networks mentioned in the article, Glassdoor allows users to review and rate companies based on their personal experience. More uniquely, the platform allows past and current employees to rate the company based on their experience working for the business. This creates an even deeper look at the company that is powerful in a couple ways. First, it can help potential customers determine if they want to do business with you, because who wants to deal with a company that doesn’t treat their employees well? And second, you can attract lots of talented potential employees if everyone has great things to say about working at your company. Make sure you don’t forget Glassdoor when it comes to your business’s online reputation.
Bonus Tip: Proactively Protect Your Reputation
Reacting to online reviews and adjusting your methods while publishing carefully measured responses is unquestionably the right thing to do when faced with a negative review. However, arguably more important than that would be to proactively invest in enhancing your overall customer experience. Although there are many ways to do this, it is always a good idea to first take a look at your initial point of contact. When customers call your business, they expect to connect with a friendly, professional and helpful representative. If your customers call after hours or while you are experiencing high call volumes, they can immediately get turned off to your business because of being sent to voicemail or waiting on hold for a long time. To prevent putting your business at an even greater risk of disappointing your customers, you can partner with a live, professional, US-based phone answering service that answers your calls for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Building a business is hard enough before you start losing customers because one bad review starts spoiling your prospects. Taking measures to prevent this by investing in your customer service while also closely monitoring and building your online reputation is one of the most important steps to nurturing your brand to maturity. Before you go off to read another small business tips article, do a quick search on the platforms in this article to see how you stack up to the competition. What you learn could result in an immediate reshuffle of your priorities.