Managing Your Online Reputation

At some stage it is likely you will come across a bad review of your website somewhere online. I say likely as the proliferation of review websites has become big business.

So what do you do if a bad review happens to you? Firstly, don’t panic. For all the positive ways the internet allows you to promote your business it also allows people to tell others about their experiences with your business – both good and bad. This doesn’t have to be bad. Remember you can’t please 100% of the people 100% of the time and a business that just has glowing reviews might make a prospective customer wary. However the way you handle those bad reviews will say a lot about you and your business.

So what to do?

To start most sites have a feature that allows management to respond to a review. Take advantage of this by responding to all the relevant reviews. Address the issues raised and make sure your replies are courteous and well thought out. Believe it or not I’ve seen responses where the management bags the customer which only makes them look worse.

You may also want to encourage happy customers to leave positive reviews for you. Make it easy for them by having a computer set-up where they can review you quickly and easily. It might also be worth offering them something in return – obviously letting them know that what they write is up to them.

A bad review won’t be the end of you as long as you take the initiative to attract positive reviews as well. I don’t believe this type of services is going away so it’s better you address it head on rather than just hope they disappear over time.

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