Beginner’s Guide to Online Business Reputation Management

Beginner’s Guide to Online Business Reputation Management

Online Business Reputation

Reviews, Follows, Likes, Recommendations, Testimonials, Rank, Posts, Responses, Frequency, Content, Grammar, these and more all shape your Online Business Reputation. 

84% of People Trust Online Reviews as Much as Friends –

What is online business reputation? It’s how the world sees and ranks your business digitally; which plays a massive role in you getting the business, or not getting the business consumers are seeking.  And in the same regard, lack or absence of these online reputation factors also shape your online business reputation.  Basically, there’s no escape, just like interacting with someone in person, we all are noting aspects and forming a position, regardless if it’s consciously or sub-consciously and the same goes for how your business is represented online.

Take this list for example, which would you look to first for your plumbing needs?

If you picked #1, you’re not alone. However, the importance of a positive online reputation is often overlooked, or not even thought about at all; and it’s easy to see how important it actually is.  Unfortunately, who do you think takes the time to actually post reviews and leave public feedback?  “No news is good news” still holds true, and unfortunately who is driven, in most cases, to leave public feedback, ratings and reviews are unhappy or disappointed.  This, sometimes without notice to the business owner, can start to tarnish your online reputation.

Business Reputation Management

Reputation management is the fostering and facilitating of your online reputation in a positive manner.  The start of online reputation management starts offline.  Seems contrary but ensuring a positive experience will minimize the risk of negative reviews and ratings.  Putting measures in place for initial customer service is a great start, but also having comment cards, a follow-up survey or consultation will often turn an unhappy customer into a happy, or at least let them know that you’ve heard their complaints, minimizing their desire to seek out public smearing.  And then, of course, a remedy attempt or second follow up if needed.

Assuming everything above is in place, and you do all you can do to make your clients and customers happy and satisfied- you are not in the clear.  We all know, not everyone is going to be happy 100% of the time, regardless if it’s an actual issue or not.  Unfortunately, some seem out to get people regardless of the efforts, service or situation.  Or, even worse, you have competing businesses purposely sabotaging your online reputation. There are several ways to rebuttal this, but here are a few easy steps if you find yourself in this situation.  First, if it’s false and the review site allows, contest the rating and or review and explain in detail why the review is invalid.  Another option is to comment on your reviews, explain the other perspective or clarify the issue where you can.  In some situations, when fitting, reach out directly to the reviewer and see if there is a way to repair the situation and have the review changed or removed.

Another option, and probably the best for repairing your online reputation is to ask those who are happy, satisfied customers for their five-star reviews.  The best way to do this is to make it as easy as possible for the happy to leave the positive reviews.  A very easy way to do this is to send them the links directly to the review site’s page where they leave the review.  Be sure to send them to the neutral review sites but also compile the review sites that are most relevant to your industry and send those as well.  So if you are a car dealer, there are review sites just for you, and the same for doctors, attorneys, and many other industries; so be sure to ask them for more than just the one review site if possible.  Again, making this as easy as possible, will result in more positive reviews and ratings.  Another option is to offer an incentive for positive reviews, for example, “Get XX% OFF with a Positive Review”, or “FREE Item with Positive Review”.

Online reputation is in its infancy and will be growing by leaps and bounds as well as dictating how your consumers decide who and how to do business.  Be sure you are on the front end of preserving your brand’s reputation.  It’s a lot easier to nurture it while healthy than it is to bring it back once it’s been tarnished.  If you have any questions or need any help with your online business reputation feel free to reach out to Walibu at or 916-358-3950

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