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Online reputation management (ORM) works to improve the way consumers view businesses as well as the presence of individuals on the internet. In this article, we will help you understand what the biggest online mistakes are and how you can avoid them from happening to you in 2019.
Over 90% of business fail, don’t let your business suffer because of a few negative online reviews or bad press articles on the first page of Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
Online mistakes are common and happen to everyone, but do you know how to resolve a brand crisis efficiently?
Being aware of how people find you online and what they find will make the difference between obtaining a new client or losing them to your competition.
Although there is no quick fix, there are many reputation management strategies you can start to implement today to alter search engine rankings or poor customer feedback from the front pages of Google.
Let’s get into the fun stuff, what are the top 5 online reputation mistakes?
- Stop ignoring negative feedback
- Not acting on negative search results in a timely manner
- Having little to no positive online reviews
- Poor online reputation management
- Misleading customers
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Top 5 Online Mistakes in 2019
1. Ignoring or Not Responding to Negative Reviews
First and foremost on our list is not responding to the negative reviews on the internet. In this day and age, individuals scour the internet before making their purchase so it is important to address all reviews, not just the positive ones.
Start responding to every review that is left for your business online. Why? Because if an individual posts a negative review about your business online and you can justify or somehow take responsibility and resolve the situation which may lessen the blow.
Make an attempt to contact the disgruntled customer to make amends. Popular practices for this would include incentivizing the person with gift cards, discounts or even a refund.
The most important part about responding to negative reviews online is that you have a chance to voice your side of the story. Do not blame or be impolite, simply apologize admit fault.
This shows other prospective customers that you do value your customers and will work to provide to absolute best service. When you cannot remove a negative review, replying in a professional manner always looks better than not responding at all.
2. Not Suppressing or Removing Negative Search Results
91% of online adults use search engines to find information on the web. Think about it, when you open your browser do you head to Google out of habit? Most individuals do because it is a quick and easy way to find an answer to their question without wasting time.
In addition, 65 percent of consumers see online searches as the most trusted source of information about companies as well as individuals. That’s a higher level of trust when compared to a personal referral or recommendation from a family member or friend.
As a business owner, one of your top priorities must be your online reputation. The online presence of your business will be the decision-maker between a company that lasts 1-5 years and a company you can hand down to your grandchildren.
Search engines like Google undergo roughly 63,000 searches every single second.
Furthermore, 93% of searchers never go past the first page. Clearing the first page of Google of any trace of negative press or bad reviews is the first step in ensuring a positive online reputation for many years to come.
3. Lack of Positive Customer Reviews
In this digital era having more positive reviews referencing your business is a powerful asset.
Consumers turn to the internet to find answers to all of their problems. Sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor or Google My Business are typical outlets they use to uncover the truth about a prospective business.
One negative review online could be detrimental to the overall success of a business. For this reason, it is imperative that business owners and their employees work to generate as many positive reviews as they can.
This is done through surveys, online posts (i.e. Yelp) or word-of-mouth. Anytime your company is spoken about in a positive light it needs to be showcased online for new potential customers to easily see.
83% of Yelp users claim they visit Yelp because they intend to buy a product or service. Don’t let a negative review rob you of a new customer! By consistently generating more positive online reviews you will “flood out” any negative feedback along the way. It’s a win-win.
4. Not Managing Online Reputation Properly
One easy way to manage your online reputation is through business listings and content you control internally. These listings offer potential customers reliable information concerning your company.
Also, making business profiles on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook keeps your business socially connected with existing and prospective customers.
5. Over Promising & Under-Delivering
One of the biggest concerns when making a deal is promising more than what you are capable of delivering. This is the biggest downfall of the modern salesperson and can lead to devastating results and scrutiny if routinely practiced.
When working with a potential client or customer make sure you remain as transparent as possible. These means do not mislead the prospect or make them feel like they are receiving more than expected.
This will result in countless phone calls from your client asking why nothing is being done or asking why the service is taking longer than expected.
For this reason, implementing an “on-boarding process” is highly popular amongst nearly all businesses. After a purchase is made the individual will either sit down with or have a phone call with a designated account manager who will go over, line-by-line, exactly what the contract and terms of service are.
This way both the business and new clients/customers are on the same page.