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As a business owner you’ve worked hard to develop a great reputation amongst customers and passers by alike.  Through exemplary customer service, superb deals on price and always anticipating your customer’s next need, your customers see you as the bee’s knees!  No matter how genuine you are: no matter how accomplished your staff; every business falls foul of a customer  at some point.

For hotels and cafes and pubs; it’s the nightmare Trip Advisor review that delivers that sinking feeling.  For the carpet shop, maybe it’s an “iffy” comment in iCumbria or the quietly corrosive comment in Qype… that has sat there for 2 months without being noticed.  It’s then that you realise: the last time anybody said anything about you online was two years ago!

Protecting your brand does need the occasional round of reputation management. It’s yet another plate to spin, for the busy owner.  So rather than  than frantic firefighting when the occasional lemon is lobbed your way; proactively encouraging a steady stream of feedback and rewarding the customers who take the time to do so; has surely got to be better!  Wouldn’t it be great if you had a system that easily encouraged your best customers to give out the good word a bit more regularly?

The Power of Reviews in Reputation Management

So, whether it’s a stinking review on Google’s Plus Local , or a snotty comment on your own blog; as a savvy brand owner, you are big enough to engage with the negativity and satisfy the customer’s dissatisfaction openly.  If you weather criticism and make a genuine effort to rectify an unfortunate incident of poor service, it generally does you more good than never having any kind of review.  We have also experienced, or heard the anecdotes about, completely unjustified complaints and the sometimes vicious trolling that goes on, to extract a freebie from a business.  Answering professionally and not letting your response get inflamed is crucial.  And steadily burying the nonsense in a regular flow of positives is the way forward.  Of course; if your business attracts nothing but negatives, then maybe you have some issues that need sorting out urgently in the real world before you worry about the online comments.

Reputation management online involves knowing what people are saying about you and your business.  Secondly it involves responding appropriately and generating a dialogue that shows that you’ve got a eye on your cyberspace as well… it shows you value what is fed back.

Thirdly and crucially it involves encouraging people to share the good times or the good outcomes that they have had from your business.   And that’s where we can come in.  There are a few very simple solutions that can help you to increase the frequency of positive reviews.  It’s all about generating social proof that your business is real, and it’s generating a community of positive customers.

After the ravages of the “Pandas” and “Penguins” in Google’s search results last year, your social activity online and what people are saying about you, are under scrutiny and directly affect the ranking of your website and with that, the number of eyeballs it appears in front of.  After all your hard work  don’t get caught out by the trolls!

Contact Consulting Cumbria Ltd to find ways that will help your business get the good word out about you.