The Crown of a Good Name Surpasses Them All
By Heshy Friedman
Your reputation may be under siege, and you don’t even know it:
Take a moment right now and do a Google search for your business. Look for the company profile that Google itself has created for you. (We’ll wait. It’s on the right side of the page.) It shows your business name, location on a map, address, and other information that Google pulled from public records, even if you didn’t set up the profile yourself. But there’s more.
Underneath the map are photos, a 1-to-5-star rating, and reviews. Had you noticed these before? How many stars do you have? Have you ever read these reviews? Are they all positive? If not, what should you do?
Now do the same for Yelp (and TripAdvisor, if you have a travel, hospitality, or location-based business.) Have you ever seen these pages before? Is your Yelp profile unclaimed? Have you joined Trip Advisor?
These are critical first impressions that customers see when investigating a company for its reputation and quality, and all too often they are unmanaged by the business owners. Any customer, happy or not—or even competitors—can add content to these sections. If you’re not actively monitoring your business profiles on these sites, they can do serious harm to your reputation and bottom line.
So, what should a responsible business do?
- Rule your kingdom. On your Google profile, look for the link, “Own this business?” Follow the easy steps and make sure all the information your customers need is present and correct. Yelp’s “Claim This Business” and TripAdvisor’s “Join” button perform the same function. Get the right information out there. Add flattering photos of the exterior and interior of your business.
- Guard your treasures. Check back periodically and watch for any changes. Some sites will send you alerts when a question is asked, or if a new comment is added. If not, set a reminder to review your profiles at least bimonthly.
- Court your audience.
- Thank reviewers for positive comments. Reply with any news or updates that may turn a former customer into a repeat customer.
- Watch for questions and respond promptly. Don’t leave them hanging—unanswered questions make it seem as if you don’t care.
- Negative comments or reviews need to be addressed, and quickly.
I am beloved by my people … I’m not? Uh, oh.
It happens to the best of us. You can’t please ‘em all, and someone has decided to complain. Now the top comment on your profile is a negative one. What should you do?
- Immediately post a response.
- Politely refute any mistakes the reviewer has made, if the problem is a simple misunderstanding. But don’t turn it into an argument (see below.)
- If there is fault on your part, apologize, and offer to make it better. This shows visitors that you care about your customer and their satisfaction and are prepared to fix any issues that may have arisen.
- Take the discussion offline. Don’t engage in a comment duel with an angry reviewer. Leave contact information and invite them to work with you directly to resolve the issue. Other customers will see you providing personal attention and take note.
- Solicit positive reviews to counterbalance negatives and “bury” them.
- Invite satisfied customers to leave positive reviews. Simply saying “it would mean a lot to me” can do the trick, but make it easy for them to take action by providing the direct link. A pile of compliments will make an isolated complaint look like an exception—or even unreasonable.
A great ruler needs trusted advisors. If you need help getting your profiles set up and managed, ask Radial Marketing Group. We’re experts at reputation management. We’ll help make sure your crown—that is, your reputation—is untarnished!
Contact us today for more information.