One of the digital marketing needs I’ve been helping clients with lately is “Reputation Management” — how to respond to reviews/ratings/comments (both positive and negative) on various online review vehicles and how to best encourage customers and employees to share positive reviews and ratings if they are happy with your services or products, or with working for your organization.
Obviously, the easiest and best way to avoid having negative reviews posted about your organization is to provide outstanding customer service and exceptional products, and to treat your employees well. Nonetheless, the former doesn’t always make you online-attack-proof. Sometimes, despite all efforts to provide a good work environment and company culture, an employee may post his or her unhappy experience with your organization on a site like Glassdoor, or a dissatisfied customer may post a scathing review on your Facebook page, Google My Business profile, or some other rating/review vehicle specific to the type of product or service you offer, or industry in which you participate.
Why You Need A Reputation Management Plan
As mentioned above, your best defense is a good offense. Providing exceptional customer and employee experiences will minimize the number of poor online reviews your organization will receive. But, developing and executing an ongoing reputation management plan that proactively solicits positive feedback on review/rating vehicles from clients and employees to off-set any future negative reviews is another great defensive play. It’s like “insurance” runs or goals in the world of sports. It’s a great cushion to have in the game of online reviews.
How To Develop A Reputation Management Plan
Your reputation management plan should include the following:
- audiences from whom you think you’d receive a positive review/rating
- online rating/review vehicles on which you’d like the above audiences to post
- timing of outreach to various audiences and means of outreach, i.e., e-mail, text, snail mail, social media, etc. to ask for online review completions
While some may think it’s not right or fair to solicit positive online feedback from others because it distorts what should be organic results, we disagree. As long as you don’t incentivize customers or employees to rate/review you, or lead them to believe you will penalize them in some way for not rating/reviewing you positively or for posting negative reviews/ratings, we think it makes perfect sense to outreach to satisfied customers and employees to share their thoughts.
The fast pace of our world means individuals often don’t make/take the time to sing the praises of an organization with whom they are happy — hence, why we titled our post “In Praise of Praise.” Individuals often only post reviews/ratings if they are dissatisfied with an organization. If this blog post encourages one person to take the time to write a positive Yelp, Google My Business, Facebook, or other review, then we’ve accomplished our mission.
In the spirit of the above, we always welcome the sharing of positive thoughts about the services we’ve provided: https://tinyurl.com/yy8ml4hw
Reputation Services From Our Boston Digital Marketing Agency
We’re always here to speak to you about your unique reputation management dynamics, and how we might help you address your organization’s particular online reputation challenges and opportunities. Learn more about some of the reputation management services that Results Communications and Research offers.
A 3/29/2023 update to this post: Organizations who take an active approach to managing their online reputation often use “QR Codes” on online and printed materials that happy customers can use to quickly and easily leave a positive review, such as a Google review. We can help you set that up, but keep in mind that such a set-up can also make it far easier for someone to leave a negative review.