(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – In today’s increasingly online world, consumers are more connected than ever to immediate information about your business. Whether they research your brand at home on their computers before purchasing, or look up products on their smartphones while they are standing in your store, they have quick access to anything they want to learn about your company. Have you researched what people are saying about your brand online? If you aren’t keeping tabs on what kind of things are being said about your business, you could be losing potential customers. It is crucial to manage your online reputation as best as possible, because a good or bad reputation can be a major deciding factor in a consumer’s purchase decision.
Monitor what your current online reputation is by performing a search for things related to your business – brand names, product names, etc. You might find reviews (either positive or negative), blog entries, or maybe even social media posts mentioning your company that you were not aware of. A useful tool for monitoring this in the future is Google Alerts. You can set this up to receive e-mails from Google anytime your business or product names are mentioned on the internet.
Rectify any negative comments online to improve your reputation. If there are online forums, for example, that are discussing major issues with your company, try to respond in an official and apologetic manner. This is easiest to do on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Sometimes responding with a simple “I’m sorry you are having trouble, give us a call and we will try to fix this for you” is enough to change someone’s negative review to a positive one.
Prevent gaining a negative reputation to begin with by making sure you are meeting your customers’ needs. Provide a great service not only with your actual business but with online customer service as well. Responding to negative criticism is one thing, but by offering informative content and allowing conversations between your audience and your brand can establish a positive reputation from the start.
It is important to note that no business is perfect. There is a good chance that if you search for any brand name long enough that you will find some negative comments about it. The most successful brands are the ones that understand how to manage that reputation, and foster a more positive response from their audience.
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