keyboardRegardless of size or industry, reputation is everything to a business. Now that most Australian customers are savvy enough to do research on the company before buying anything from them, it’s more important than ever to have a good online reputation management plan. Failing to do so can cause your business an incredible amount of lost sales every year.

To keep your business out of the mud, you need to do two things: provide excellent service to your customers, and exercise proactive reputation management. Here are some tips that can help with the latter.

  1. Encourage positive reviews – Satisfied customers are your best allies, so make sure that you ask them to leave a positive testimonial on your website, or better yet, on a trusted third party review website of your choice. Make sure that you are not bribing them, however, as this is an excellent way to get yourself blacklisted by review websites.
  2. Respond to complaints – Almost inevitably, there will be times when the service you give is not up to par. Perhaps it was simple human error, or the actions of a disgruntled employee. Regardless, the affected customer will likely post online about their negative experiences. Once you see these complaints, it’s important to respond quickly, but tactfully.

Never be confrontational, no matter what the customer’s tone or how much they exaggerate. Respond politely, apologise, present your side of the case, and offer to make it up to them. This demonstrates that your business owns up to its mistakes, and allows you to take advantage of a bad situation.

  1. Consider reputation management services – When you need immediate and reliable results, it’s often worth it to get professional help. Many SEO companies in Perth like have started offering reputation management as well, after their clients complained of negative reviews popping up in search results.

These experts will often use multiple strategies to legally influence the reviews that a potential customer will see, boosting positive ones in the rankings and getting fake negative reviews buried or removed by the website owners.

  1. Keep monitoring – Lastly, remember that reputation is a very fluid thing. Bad reviews can pop up any day, and failing to notice them for weeks can be disastrous. Don’t become complacent, and keep monitoring the public’s perception of your company.

Developing a thick skin and ignoring slanderous insults might work on a personal level, but it certainly doesn’t in the business world. Be prepared to fight for reputation on a regular basis.

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