As a business, your reputation is one of the most important things that you have. Unfortunately, it is also something that can take a direct hit when a customer has a bad experience. Today, it is easy to go online and give a business a bad review. Not only can this bad review damage the reputation of the company in question, but it can also cause them to lose money at the same time.
So, what can you do to fight back against these bad reviews and protect your reputation? While the first response may be to avoid being on review sites altogether, this is not the answer. In fact, search engines actually look for businesses that have a strong presence on these sites.
Instead, fight back against bad reviews with inbound marketing. The basic principle behind inbound marketing, when it comes to reputation management, is that you want as much positive content out there about your business as possible. With this in place, there will be a decreased impact when you do have a bad review.
Bad Reviews are Good
This absolutely sounds counter-intuitive. You want bad reviews to appear? But, it’s true, in part. A company that only has bad reviews is looked upon by consumers and search engines alike as being less than trustworthy.
It’s nearly impossible for every single customer you do business with to have a pleasant experience. Bad reviews are guaranteed to come. Consumers know this. They know you aren’t perfect. They expect to see a bad review or two now and then. But, what they don’t expect to see is bad review after bad review after bad review. If this is happening, it may be time to rethink your entire strategy.
Inbound Marketing and Bad Reviews
So, how do you get started improving your reputation through inbound marketing? The first thing you need to do is to design your website and social media pages so that your customers are able to leave you reviews. Doesn’t this open the door for more bad reviews to appear? Of course it does! But, what is also does do is give those happy customers the chance to leave a good review.
You may need to get a little creative when it comes to getting people to leave you reviews. For example, give them a coupon for leaving a review or a discount on their next purchase. This is something you can discuss with them when they make their purchase.
Next, keep an eye out for bad reviews. Depending on the exact industry you are in, there are likely to be some specific sites to keep an eye on. For example, most businesses should keep an eye on Yelp. However, there are some other sites that are designed for doctors and lawyers and such. The important thing is to know where your consumers tend to leave reviews and focus on those sites.
The way the inbound marketing enters the picture is that it can help you to gain more followers. If you have fans and those who love your business and your products, they will likely see a bad review quickly. In many instances, they will then defend your business with positive reviews of their own.
The important thing to remember is that you should never create your own reviews. This is highly frowned upon and you will probably be caught eventually. In the end, this can cause your reputation to completely tank, which could be devastating to your business. Instead, you should focus on monitor the review sites, responding to them when necessary and creating fabulous inbound marketing campaigns to attract current and potential consumers.
As a business leader, it is your duty to follow your inbound marketing strategy to improve your overall online presence. This means you should consistently produce content that your readers enjoy seeing, make social media posts that are shareable and create images and videos that best showcase your business. Doing these things will help improve your reputation because your positive content will greatly outweigh the negative.
A Bad Review is Here, Now What?
The moment you see that bad review you are going to want to fire something back at the reviewer. Don’t do it! Calmly walk away from your computer and take a breather. After you’ve calmed down a bit, take a second look at what the person had to say. Really focus on what they are saying. Do they have a legitimate concern? Are there things that need to be addressed in your company?
Then, you can develop a level-headed reply to the review. Make sure you never respond with anger. This will only make the situation worse. You should also not avoid the bad review. This will make it look like you don’t care about your customers. Instead, calmly apologize for the person’s situation and offer to contact them directly. Then you can take the conversation away from an online setting, save face with the rest of your consumers and handle the situation properly.
Nothing quite improves your reputation online like having a good, solid presence. Whether this means on social media sites or through your website, inbound marketing can make this a reality. When you are looking to improve your reputation online, be sure to include this type of strategy into the mix.