Managing Your Online Reputation

Website builders are used to create not only personal pages, blogs and forums, but also to build official web pages of businesses and organizations, online stores etc. This post will be especially useful for commercial online projects as they rely heavily on reputation and positive reviews to stay successful.

Both positive and negative reviews are extremely important for any company that values its reputation. It is surely good if customers are satisfied with your products or services. It means you are doing your business right, and it contributes to your image and reputation across the Internet. But what if you also see negative comments about your company? What should and shouldn’t you do? Do you reply to them or do you ignore them? Let’s find out what’s the best course of action.

Negative Feedback: The Don’ts

There is no disaster in some of the customers being not satisfied with your services. In fact, a bit of negativity is an integral part of any business. But you should in no way overlook such reviews as they signal that some of your business’s aspects may need improvement and you might not even be aware of it due to a number of reasons. If you do receive unfavorable feedback about your company, there are things you mustn’t do:

  • Reply to the comments aggressively.
  • Ignore negative reviews.
  • Talk about issues unrelated to your company’s area of expertise.
  • Deny that certain problems exist.
  • Express personal attitude towards the customer.

In any situation you should be respectful, attentive and polite when answering the customer’s complaints and questions. Use the facts in your reply as this will always prove more effective than some lengthy and unreasoned excuses. Your customers will value your attempts to settle an issue amicably, leaving aside all unnecessary emotions and disputes. Offer a partial refund or other form of compensation if the situation allows it. Show that you are really concerned about the issue and are willing not only to resolve it in the best client’s interest, but also to make the necessary improvements to prevent similar issues in future. Be diplomatic and calm even if the customer is very emotional and tries to offend you. However, keep in mind that being too formal is not very desirable when talking to your clients over social media – a more informal approach and a bit of humor may help you settle many of unpleasant situations.

What Are The Do’s?

Have you ever noticed that being positive about a problem often helps resolve it? The same applies to the negative comments by your customers. Try to be positive in your reaction and be willing to compromise and acknowledge your mistakes. The consumers will appreciate your desire to resolve the conflict, so let them know that the issue will be fixed asap.

While personal resolution of a problem will prove to be effective in most cases, what are your steps if a negative review is posted on an external website? Your best option is maintaining good relations with the websites related to your business area and the reputable bloggers. If you hadn’t managed to establish a connection with the website that published an unfavorable post about your company, it’s never late to try and settle the issue after the publication, by contacting the website owners.

What Can Go Wrong?

If, despite all your efforts, you are unable to maintain a positive reputation of your company and the number of negative opinions is increasing, look closely at your strategy and make sure you don’t make the following frequent mistakes:

  • Be sure to check that you monitor reviews by your customers well enough. Remember that there is a great number of online pages and blogs related to your products and services outside your company’s website and social media accounts. Keep track of as many thematic articles, press releases, reviews as possible.
  • Try not to replace negative comments on your website with false positive ones. It may only cause the unsatisfied customer to get more angry and add a more unpleasant comment, which will do you no good.
  • Never miss the chance to let the clients know about new achievements of your business: awards, contests, charity auctions. This will add up to your reputation and may cause some of the customers to change their opinion about you.
  • Use favorable comments and reviews to your advantage. Never ignore questions of loyal customers and spend some time saying ‘thank you’ for their feedback. 

These are the recommendations you should keep in mind if you treasure your reputation on the Internet. They aren’t difficult to follow, but are effective when it comes to establishing good relations with the clients.

Kenson Lai

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