Manage Brand Reputation by Monitoring Online Reviews

Monitor Review Sites

Monitoring review sites relevant to your industry and business should be the first step in any online reputation management strategy. Here are some of the biggest and most important:

  • Yelp
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • TripAdvisor
  • Foursquare
  • Yellow Pages

There could always be review sites specific to your industry; therefore it is strongly advisable to research these as well. In niche industries people might also create niche communities on specialized forums.

After you have compiled a relevant list (even the major sites, such as Yelp, Facebook and Google is a good starting point for now), you can begin analyzing the reviews, their volume by looking on these platforms once a week.

Turn Negative to Positive

The best way to deal with customer reviews is by responding to negative reviews. It is an opportunity for you to demonstrate the ability to accept criticism and work towards a solution.

According to a survey, “45 percent of consumers say that they’re more likely to visit a business if it responds to negative reviews.”

It is essential to find a resolution to the issue at hand; however sometimes there is no possibility. Even in this case, it is better to have an appropriate response to the complaint by saying you are sorry for their experience. This will win you points with other visitors that might see the negative review at a later time.

Sometimes negative reviews can be fixed through communication with the disgruntled customer; however at the very least, your audience will take into consideration your effort to solve the issue. This will greatly alleviate the negative effect of a bad review.

Actively Obtain Positive Reviews

Leaving a negative review is easier for upset customers than for satisfied customers to share positive reviews at every interaction with your business. Therefore acquisition of positive reviews should become an active process.

While positive reviews do not have the ability to completely erase a negative feedback, they will certainly impact your potential customers’ purchasing decision positively. One negative review among 100 positive has a lesser effect than among 10.

The best time to ask for a positive review is after a customer has had a great experience and is emotionally inclined to leave a positive review. Various signs like “We’re on Yelp!” or “Rate us on Tripadvisor” that’s visible as they exit can make a big difference.

 

Reputation Management Strategies: How to Respond to Negative Comments

A strong presence online will allow your brand to be known and easily reached by potential customers.  Being present in the most important online channels will provide a space for people to interact with your brand, receive information about your products and services and have their questions responded.  However, this also implies challenges because directly and before all of your followers, any client or consumer can express openly what they think about your service, including giving negative feedback.  Negative feedback about your brand about your brand can be posted in the form of a message on your website or in your wall of Facebook. They can also appear in review sites and appear in the results of search engines.  These are some of the ways your company can being criticized in public. Whether you are new in the art of managing your business reputation or you have been present in social media for quite some time, what would be the best way to react to a negative comment or criticism?

The way you tackle negative comments can make a huge difference for your business online image. Here at Reputation Defender, we will help you identify the kinds of negative comments and give you some suggestions that will help you handle this kind of situations the best way possible and avoid the consequences of a bad reputation.

Image courtesy of Government of Alberta at Flickr.com
Image courtesy of Government of Alberta at Flickr.com

Where are These Comments Coming From?

1 . A customer who has had a negative experience with your brand and lets you know:

This kind of people shows their dissatisfaction sometimes in a proper and polite way, other times in a less friendly way.  They are trying to convey their complaint so a solution can be offered or if someone else has gone through the same experience.  Their main goal is not to destroy anyone’s reputation but find an effective solution to their problem.

2. An aggressive customer

These users can act out of the anger felt at the moment and because of this, they describe a negative experience using exaggerated details in a very impolite language. The nature of these users’ complaints is unclear since they will not be satisfied with an answer. They will be hostile anyways.  This type of users not only need an effective answer, but need follow up to make sure they are carefully managed.  

3. Trolls

This type of user will post comments that are provoking, irrelevant or outside of the communities interest.  They attack your business and are not looking for solutions, and wants to simply destroy your reputation.  They are easy to detect because the language they use is not appropriate.  Their criticism is destructive and even recommend other brands.

If you want to understand more the term “troll”, visit the website https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll

What can you do?

Your Timely Answer Matters

Responding promptly and wisely is always advisable.  The most appropriate thing to do is not to take too long to provide an answer. A timely answer is important when you do not want the problem to escalate to bigger proportions. The best way to let your followers know you care about them and that their opinion matters is by responding.

Do not Overreact

Additionally, it is easy to get emotional and end up using offensive language when someone is attacking your brand, especially if you are taking it personal. That’s why, before answering, consider taking a break, getting away from the situation for a few minutes and asking for the opinion of someone unbiased about how to respond in a sensible and professional manner.  

Politeness is Essential

Even if a customer is rude, never reply in the same manner. Always be cordial and use polite language.  Basic things such as a greeting, an answer and a farewell might help users to calm down.  Also, try to sympathize with the user’s’ situation.  Looking at the situation from their perspective will help you understand the intention behind the comment.  

Your clients, your lawyers

If you have loyal customers, partners, or allies that are willing to support you, they will likely post comments in your defense. Let them do it by all means. The essence of reputation is what people say in public, especially if they are witnesses of the great customer service you have provided for them.

Accurate information

You are allowed you to give your version of story to try to counteract the effects of a negative comment. When the data or the details are incorrect you have the right to correct them.  

If necessary, apologize

Did your business make mistake? Then, offer a sincere apology. Accept the responsibility and take the necessary actions to fix the problem as soon as possible.

Ask yourself, is this an opportunity to improve?

Sometimes, public criticism is a gift that comes in disguise. It can be an opportunity to correct a problem or improve a product or service.

If you want more tips to manage your reputation online, read our blog post.