So many businesses do everything they can to nurture and grow their business but overlook the importance of maintaining a positive online image. With the advent of social networking, a bad customer review can be death to a business.
Online directories such as Yelp, provide potential customers the ability to provide public feedback on local businesses on everything from perceived value of the service provided to customer service. Many customers who may be too shy to provide negative feedback directly to a manager has no problem getting online and providing feedback. In addition, potential customers can read other people’s reviews which will likely persuade the prospect on whether or not to visit the business.
In order to make sure negative reviews, especially unfair ones from disgruntled ex-employees or competitors does not take its toll on your business, follow these steps to protect your online brand reputation:
- Regularly review the feedback related to your business on all of the major online directories that impact your local market and industry
- Proactively respond promptly to negative reviews such as offering the customer a return visit for free and make sure that customer visit is of great quality. In addition, any valid feedback should be used to improve your service offering or customer service.
- Periodically review competitor feedback on the online directories for market intelligence
- Participate in industry specific online forums to spread positive awareness of your brand
- Design a website that is aligned with who you are as a company. If you are a high-end boutique but have a cheap ill-conceived website, then prospective online clients will not view the business as high-end.
As a business consultant, I see first hand how a positive business image can help grow your business. Make sure yours is positive.
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