In the online world, many companies want to know how they can improve their reputation online for leads and sales effectively. Situations involving negative reviews and campaigns against a company can become nuanced and complex to handle from a company’s standpoint and they often consider working with a reputation management firm to sort out the issues. Additionally, often business owners don’t know this fact, but effective SEO strategies and tactics can be used by business reputation management services to help them improve their reputation online.
Let’s discuss how businesses can boost their reputation online and bounce back from negative reviews using reputation management services and other strategies.
#1. Tackle Negative Content Head On
Whether a company is a large or small business, it will eventually face some negative feedback. Think positively about this feedback, because it means you’ve reached the point in your business journey that you officially have some haters. Now, you’re dealing with the same problems that large businesses also have to handle.
While some negative comments and less-than-stellar reviews are to be expected, they are largely harmless because you’ll still have a significant amount of positive reviews and loyal customers. However, negative content regarding your brand can become a massive point of concern when it impacts your search results on Google.
A solitary negative review won’t show up on Google for one of your target search terms, so the chances that it will affect your sales and revenue are slim. But if a particularly negative review shows up in the results for one of your keywords, that content will negatively impact your prospects and reduce your conversions.
Fortunately, you can utilize SEO strategies and tactics with a reputation management firm to drown out that content and return your search results to positive reviews.
You may be wondering how this feat is possible. When you work with reputation management services to stop a negative review from appearing on Google, they’ll work to optimize positive content regarding your brand. When they effectively optimize that positive content, the content will climb in Google’s rankings and eventually out-rank the negative content. In this way, they’ll keep pushing more positive content and reviews to out-rank the negative one until it’s on the second or third page and likely won’t impact your sales as much.
#2. Apologize When You’re In The Wrong
Often, a company will make an unfortunate mistake when dealing with a customer. While the owner may not have made the mistake themselves, ultimately it falls on a business as a whole to take accountability for an error.
For example, if a customer was working with customer service and received poor interactions and extended wait periods, or a product isn’t what the customer ordered, that’s on the business. The customer doesn’t care who’s to blame specifically because they’ll blame the business as a whole for the mistake.
Therefore, when a business publically or privately apologizes to said customer, it makes little sense to “pass the blame” on a third party, like a supplier. Even if the supplier was the one that’s ultimately at fault, the customer doesn’t care about that, because they worked with your company rather than the supplier.
So, since your reputation is at stake, you must craft your apology messages in a way that takes full accountability for the customer’s negative experience when they’ve genuinely had an experience that doesn’t align with your company’s principles or standards. It’ll help you to also mention what steps you’ve taken to ensure such an incident doesn’t occur again.
Additionally, you can even offer your peeved customer an apology gift, such as a gift card, to compensate them for their poor experience. In this way, you would have turned a negative experience into one where you heard the customer’s complaint and were genuinely apologetic for the fault. You never know; that disgruntled customer may even give your business another shot and recommend it to others in the future!
The worst thing you can do in an apology is to try to shift blame, so avoid that as much as possible.
#3. Utilize Social Listening Tools
Your brand must invest time, energy, and other resources into social listening. What is social listening you may ask?
Social listening is the act of surveying the internet and social media for what people, including your target audience, are saying about your brand. You can have specialized teams or individuals who are part of reputation management services report to you with details about what people have to say about your business online. These can be blog posts, websites, Yelp reviews, casual Twitter conversations, Facebook posts, and more conversations and opinions shared online.
As a brand, you don’t always need to respond to many of these things said about your company online. Often, the content will be so subjective that it doesn’t warrant a response because there’s no tangible fault pointed out.
However, taking time to conduct social listening will help you as you think about future changes and modifications you want to make to your product, service, and brand image/messaging. In this way, you can get to know what people truly think about your company outside of a review setting and you can use that information to make helpful improvements.
You have the option of automating how your brand interacts with people through social media. But this approach will often result in not-so-great social media interactions because while artificial intelligence is advanced, it’s not a substitute for human customer service. Additionally, in social media contexts, people will use new phrases and nuances that will fly over an AI tool’s metaphorical head. So, the response that the tool spits out will not consistently be helpful for users and can be easily detected as an auto-responder rather than a person.
#4. Work with a High-quality Reputation Management Firm
The fact is that working with a reputation management firm can help you significantly in streamlining the endless process of managing your reputation online. They’ll track down the negative reviews to respond to and take care of your search results on Google to ensure your prospects convert efficiently.