Opinion: Online Reputation Management – How to Improve Your Business Profile on Google – Auckland reputation management online & PR consultant Fleur Revell explains how you can upgrade your online appearance.
Picture this – your business is ticking along nicely and you think your customers are perfectly happy. But then you stumble across some negative reviews on a website and your reputation is in tatters. What do you do?
According to Auckland online reputation management & PR consultant Fleur Revell, the answer is simple – turn the negative into a positive.
Fleur was recently approached by New Zealand Herald to give her advice on how businesses can address negative articles appearing on search engines through online reputation management. Read the NZ Herald articles here
The Director of Impact PR who consults with clients on their online reputation management says there are a number of strategies for dealing with negative reviews. The important thing all businesses should consider is that far from being the end of the transaction, negative customer experiences should be an opportunity for businesses to showcase top level customer service.
“Where possible contact the customer directly and attempt to rectify the issue with them offline. Sometimes this may involve going above and beyond and spending more than the cost of the purchased product or service, but it is critical to stem the negative publicity as quickly as possible,” she says.
“Once resolved, the business can ask the consumer to update their review showing the resolution. It’s important that in this situation it is clear to readers of reviews that they believe the business attempts to address all service issues, regardless of whether they are posted publicly. “
Revell says the rapid growth of both online retailing and blogging means that people can anonymously detail their experiences to the world, and that can pose problems for businesses.
She says thanks to some high ranking blog sites, consumers have the potential for their comments to rank higher than the business’s own website on any given search engine.
And that’s where online reputation management can help.
“Where it is not possible to alter a negative consumer review online then the services of a specialist PR consultant may be employed to reduce the search engine rankings of the mention,” says Revell.
“Reducing the ranking of negative article involves the online optimisation of several positive articles which feature the brand name as a strategically placed keyword. It’s a time intensive process which often needs ongoing maintenance to keep positive stories ranking high.”
Finally, Revell recommends businesses showcase positive reviews, particularly those from professional reviewers, on their own websites.
She says businesses wanting to directly influence consumer reviewers can do so if they keep the following key points in mind:
- Treat all customers as a potential online reviewer
- Provide great service and ask satisfied customers to post reviews on suggested sites
- Capture unsolicited positive feedback and ask permission to post it on your website as such
- Where your product or service is complex, make sure that consumers know how to use it. Frustration with lack of instructions may lead to negative feedback