If you want to buy something, no matter product or service, travel somewhere or take a class in foreign languages, the first place you will search for information is Internet, of course. Your online reputation is a huge part of your business, so it is crucial to be positive all the time. But no one can guarantee you won’t, at some point, face the negative reviews made by some angry client. Then what? How to repair your reputation?
Positive online reputation implies a quality product
People always try to do their best for business in good faith. But is it enough? Of course, it is not. Hard work is not always a guarantee for the best results. Bad reviews are something you can hardly avoid. So, what you can do to repair your reputation, is to react appropriately.
Online reputation is directly related to online reviews. The first step in a building positive online reputation is a quality product or service. That is a base of your business and the future positive online reputation. If we don’t have a quality product, it will be very hard to build reputation we wish for. And if we somehow manage to do that it is very fragile, and there is a great chance some unsatisfied client or customer to ruin it. You are aware now; the quality is the one that counts at the end of the day. Keep that in mind.
Online reputation manager will save the day
You need online reputation manager to handle a possible bad situation and negative reviews, although that is not his only purpose. He is in charge in the process of preventing those situations to happen. His role is to take care of your reputation all the time. But, when you are facing bad online reputation, no matter for what reason, you need to react fast. It is important what attitude you will take at that moment. Let’s face it, you could try to repair your reputation by yourself, but the professional online reputation manager will now better how to react in specific situation. We highly recommend using services of professionals when it comes to your reputation. It is the biggest value of your business. If you own a small business, you could hire a company whose job is to take care of other people and companies reputation. On the other hand, if you have a big company, maybe it is time to create the whole department for online reputation with all experts needed in that case. But, be careful, that could cause very high costs, so think twice if you really need a whole department, or maybe it is better to outsource it.
10 steps that will get you back on track
It is a truth – the experts in online reputation management have a great role when it comes to your company’s reputation. But, what if you do not have that kind of experts? In that case, it is useful to know and follow these steps that can help you manage negative online reputation and turn it into a positive one.
1. Keep calm, but aware of the problem. Stay focused.
You are facing negative online reputation. An angry client left a bad review, and that was just beginning. He got a support of other people, who were also unsatisfied with your service. Now it’s got viral, and everyone knows about it, and your task is to cool the situation off and try to repair it. First of all, you have to be aware of the situation and the consequences it could bring. You need to keep calm in a situation like this, no matter how odd that may sound. Setting things right at the very beginning is crucial. Otherwise, a little flame could turn into a big fire.
2. Detailed research as the best start for handle negative online reputation
Now, when you are aware of the problem and when you took a deep breath and decided to continue focused on solving it, you need to found out what was the main cause. That is where research comes in as a starting point. Ones you found out what cause the problem, you will have the right parameters to solve it and to repair your reputation. Don’t look away from the facts here. Sometimes you won’t be happy with the result you get, but it is your base for further reactions. Be prepared for the fact that it is most probably your fault. So, face it. Also, do detailed research and make the list of keywords that are related to the negative comments. It will help you later in pushing down negative search results and ranking better good ones.
3. Make a good content marketing strategy
A good quality content is your strongest weapon in this battle. But it won’t come to you as a gift, just like that, by itself. You must create it. And that is, actually, your advantage. Who could now better than you, what weapon fits you best for this battle? Content is the king of positive online reputation. Keywords will help you to rank blog posts, and that will help rank your web better. That research you have already made in step two will be very useful here. Also, content should be interesting, informative; you have to give your readers information they are looking for.
4. Be sure you have a good posting strategy
So, now when you know the real power of good content, it is even more important to know where you will publish all that content. You have to choose your audience carefully. There are so many possibilities, depends on your current situation. When you know who is your target, you can smartly use all kind of blogging networks to promote the content you have made, your social network, and of course, you can put a press release using traditional media channels, which is the usual procedure.
5. Make the Social Media work for you
Social Media is a great channel to help you reach your audience. No matter what your niche is, you can use Social Media for boosting your Internet presence. If your reputation was ruined and you are in the process of coming back on track, Social Media is something you shouldn’t exclude from your major plan. That is a platform where you will get feedback immediately, and your message will reach people before any other channel of communication you use (blogs, different articles, videos, infographic). In fact, all of them will be promoted through social networks, with one distinction and that is access which is different for every platform in your Social Media portfolio.
6. How to turn this situation into your favor?
It is not an easy thing to do, but it is possible, and now, when your reputation is ruined, it probably will be even more exposed to negative critics for a long time. This task will be even more challenging if you are guilty and you really made some wrong moves. For a start, never deny your mistakes. Instead that, the only right solution, if you want to repair your reputation is to admit that you made a mistake and to apologize to a client or a user. That way you won’t give him a reason to continue attacking. So, you will have enough time to make another move. Make sure to offer, with an apology, something in compensation for a bad client experience. It could be some free service or product. The important is to show you regret a bad experience of a client and that you are willing to fix it. Sometimes, those who are the loudest when it comes to critics could become your loyal clients. It is up to you.
You have to keep in mind also, that sometimes, the scenario we offered here is impossible because the only thing client wants is to make you look bad. In that situation, there is no way to make him change his mind, but it is good to apologize and to show him a good will. If nothing, the other existing and future clients will recognize it.
7. Videos can be helpful too
A good plan is important here as well. Actually, in the whole this situation, a good plan of handling it is a must. Of course, that includes a good plan of all segments without exceptions. The video is one of that segments, and important one, we would say. The key is to make a good video to promote your brand and to optimize it well so that it can score a high rank, so many people could see it.
8. Work on getting good reviews
Maybe you think now: “what good reviews, my reputation is ruined?” But, even in this situation, you have to think in the long run. The business is not only about here and now. OK, if the present is not shiny, you still have a good past, and you surely have the future in front of you. Otherwise, it wouldn’t make much sense to “save the reputation.” You have to think of the way how to make your clients or users leave good reviews. Those who wants to leave a bad one, they will trust us on this one. But, your goal is to have more good than bad reviews. The quality of the product or service is the first step, but there is more than that.
Make sure that reviewing doesn’t take much time, inform your clients where they can leave reviews and tell them it means a lot to you, let them know that you want to know their opinion, so you could work and improve product or service.
9. Monitor situation in the future
You can’t stop people to say bad things about you, especially if you deserve it with some bad manners, reaction, services. But you can make sure you get a notification whenever someone mentions your name or name of your brand, no matter if it is a good or a bad mention. Important is to react on both. That way you have control under all possible situations. Being familiar with what people are talking about you is crucial. You can find some free tools to make it happen, but when it comes to your reputation, maybe it is the best way to let professionals handle that.
10. Learn from your mistakes
The experience of a bad reputation is something no one want’s to meet. But, the truth is that most of the people find themselves in that situation eventually. The crucial thing when you have to repair your reputation is to react correctly and professionally and try to understand the other part and offer the best solution. You can’t turn back time, but you can do the right thing and you can, or better to say, you should, learn from your mistakes. When everything is done, sit down, clear your mind, and make some conclusions. Don’t let the same mistake happens twice. Your reputation hardly can take it.