Online reputation is the perceived value of your brand or business through the use of search engine optimization and customers posting reviews and comments about your business.
Most of the Huntsville small business owners I have met have been focus on reducing the possibility of negativity, so much so as to be afraid of creating a YouTube account. However, by not creating social media accounts they forgo the opportunity to build the value of their brand and to communicate with customers on a larger scale.
Interestingly, customer review sites, feedback forms, surveys, and comment boxes are quickly replacing word-of-mouth. It is vital that small businesses understand what customers are saying about their brand, what customers love and what they dislike.
These invaluable feedback should give business owners a crystal clear understanding of how to improve on services and what services should be a staple of the company. From an SEO standpoint, business owners obtain valuable information to create relevant content that appeals to customers.
Within reviews, and customer interaction one can learn what's hot and what are the new trend in the marketplace, allowing savvy business owners to quickly implement products and services in their market mix and preempt the competition.
How to Handle Positive Reviews
Every positive review or comment is a vote of confidence towards your brand and your business. It is basically a wonderful testimony that adds mileage to your efforts in building your brand presence online. Respond immediately to the customer who posted the review. Thank them for their kind words and take the opportunity to relay information such as discounts and coupons or a special event that your business is undertaking.
Take note of the particular things the customer loved about your services and reinforce your websites content and copy material with those observations. You may even extend this effort into incorporating some of the customers expression into other marketing materials.
How to handle negative reviews
Many people spend about two and half hours every day posting reviews, sending comments, liking, pinning and reading what others have to say about services offered across a wide spectrum of companies. It is then inevitable that someone post a negative review or a not so good, just satisfactory review about your brand. Even the best books on Amazon get negative reviews. How you respond is crucial to the your brand presence and perceived value.
First, if this is someone trying to be malicious try to remove the person comment. Some social media sites like Youtube will allow you to remove the comment and the block the individual. However, most will not. Therefore, the way you respond is critical.
It goes without saying, that the customer is always right. Analyze what the customer has to say, and implement a correction or adjustment to your service immediately.
Thank the customer for bringing the issue to your attention and tell them that you will try to correct this issue immediately.
Send them a coupon or discount and ask them to try your company new policy or improved customer service based on their feedback.
Ask other customers that are pleased with your service to post reviews on Yelp, Google Plus, Merchant Circle and other review sites. If the positive outweighs the negative then prospective client will view this as a vote of confidence.
Join Professional Social Sites
Join networking groups on LinkedIn where others associated with your industry can network with you and further your brand presence. Attend meetings hosted by Huntsville Chamber of Commerce, Women's Business Center, African American Chamber of Commerce, North Alabama Web Developers to name a few. Join the Huntsville Better Business Bureau and monitor activities on your Bureau page listing. Place the Bureau logo with a link to your page on your website to add credibility and trust to your brand.
At the end of the day, it is you and your business, your target market, your location in Huntsville, Alabama and the marketing strategy you choose to implement. You should, however, also strive to share valuable knowledge about your brand and always on the lookout for customers feedback that can help you improve your services through adjustments in your SEO tactics and service quality.