There are almost as many scammers posing as real businesses as there are actual legitimate businesses in today’s marketplace. As a result, most consumers have become leery of doing business with companies they may be unfamiliar with. This is precisely why online business reputation management is so crucial these days, and is one of the things that we at the Chicago SEO Firm work on with many of our clients.
With so many different ways to check into a business and its reputation, it remains important to ensure that online reputations are protected. Before dealing with a business many online, we are always advising people to check with the Better Business Bureau or even Angie’s List first. And review sites enable consumers to leave opinions, good or otherwise about the companies they have dealt with firsthand.
When it comes to complaints, people will often turn to the BBB, and this is sure to lower the BBB’s rating of a company, so of course we tell all the businesses that we work with to always deal fairly with clients. In addition to the BBB, there are certain associations that businesses can join that can help them maintain a good reputation. These associations often require paid memberships as well as industry certificates to ensure that the businesses these associations stand behind are indeed who and what they claim to be.
While these two types of reputation checkers are preferred methods of investigating a business, the internet offers a host of other opportunities. Regardless of which search engine is used, there are a lot of review sites that allow anyone to post about their experiences with companies. Though the general idea is to be honest about these experiences, unfortunately not all people are or will be.
The fact that anyone including a competitor can leave negative feedback means that reviews on these sites can wreak havoc on a business’s reputation. Sadly, the ease of leaving negative feedback can even mean that malicious individuals can say whatever they please, as often as they please, and towards any business that they please. We’ve seen this first hand with more than one of our clients, so if this has happened to you, you’re certainly not alone! When considering how easy it is to read these reviews, and leave them, great care should go into responding to reviews, especially the negative ones.
Another resource that is commonly used to investigate a business is social media sites. Through posts and comments, consumers are able to express their feelings and experiences with both local and online businesses. One of the best ways to ensure that positive feedback is floating around social media sites is to create a business profile on every site available.
When someone mentions a company or product name, it will be easy to see and respond to it almost immediately. It is very important to dedicate the funds or labor to maintain an online reputation. All it takes is one or two people to say derogatory things and it can make a company seem too risky to deal with. Through careful monitoring of social sites, businesses can leave appropriate responses and make an effort to reconcile customer service situations.
Reputation management is such a vital part to success that every company should seek to protect their reputation. This includes businesses that do not have a website, an online storefront, or social media profiles. If unfamiliar, or unable to tightly monitor a reputation, a business would fare well to hire outside help like us!
By enlisting the help of a professional online reputation manager such as that you’ll find with us, businesses can rest easy and know their reputation is well protected. When competing against so many others, it makes sense to safeguard the one thing that makes or breaks a business. Remember, first impressions last a lifetime and reputations can be managed.