It’s no secret that local businesses are built on reputation. A bad reputation will send patients and customers running to your competition which is why we’re here to give you 4 tips to immediately improve your reputation online.
How to Improve Your Reputation Online
Step 1: Ask for Feedback
You don’t know how you’re doing without feedback from your customers or patients. Every customer should have the opportunity to give feedback on the overall presentation and performance of your business. It’s difficult to take criticism but getting feedback from your customers will help identify the strengths and weaknesses of your business or medical practice so you can improve it and continue to dominate your local competition.
Step 2: Share Great Feedback
In order to improve your reputation, potential customers need to hear and see how great your business really is. The first way to do this is to get happy customer to share their great feedback on third party websites like Yelp, Google+, and Facebook.
The second way to share great feedback from your customers is to post it on your website and social media sites using text, images, and videos to share the message. Some people call them testimonials and great first-person feedback about your business is priceless when it comes to marketing your business and it’s reputation.
Step 3: Respond to Negative Feedback Before it Goes Public
Unhappy customers just want to be heard. They don’t care so much about being heard by hundreds, thousands, or millions of people, unless you give them a reason to. Our clients have found that almost 90% of their patients and customers are perfectly happy with sharing their negative feedback privately, rather than sharing their experience on public sites like Yelp, Facebook, and Google+.
If you’re giving unhappy patients and customers a place to vent and be listened to, then you’re ahead of the game and will be saving yourself from many potentially devastating public reviews. The most important part about getting negative reviews and feedback is that you have to be willing to own the mistake, apologize for the mistake, and be willing to move on from the mistake. This step helps business owners deal with all three of those consequences.
Step 4: Improve Your Business or Medical Practice
Unfiltered feedback can help everyone improve their products or services. The hard part is being willing to listen to and absorb that feedback in order to improve your business for the long term.
The important thing to remember is that none of us are perfect. However, if you have a bad receptionist or other employees and refuse to address it, essentially leaving patients and customers waiting for your attention, then you’re going to see an increase in negative feedback and reviews. In order to improve your online reputation, you have to be willing to improve your lifestyle.
Bonus Step: Repeat Steps 1-4
Building and managing your reputation is
When getting started, your name alone gave friends, family, and neighbors the trust they needed to refer their friends, family, and neighbors to your business, medical or legal practice.
In the beginning, you focus on building one-on-one relationships and getting to know each customer in order to successfully grow the business and get more referrals coming through the door. However, as the business grows, the focus becomes more on profitability and scaling, which usually requires hiring additional staff. The problem is, as more staff join your business, they often deal with a large portion of client communication – phone answering, follow up calls, requests for more information, appointment confirmation, billing, etc. – to your staff.
From a business point-of-view, this is the correct thing to do. As the owner, you should be focusing your time on the things that make the most money and can’t easily be done by someone else on staff. The problem is, most business owners don’t focus on training staff to treat patients and customers the same as they do.
Your staff should be thoroughly trained to treat your customers and patients like you always have.
- Employee Training
There’s no argument that the internet has changed the way local business is done, but one thing continues to stay the same – people prefer to buy from businesses they know, like, and trust. The internet has made it easier than ever to evaluate local businesses and find the one they can trust, which isn’t always great for business owners, especially those with employees that are lacking proper customer service skills and training.
That fact is, reputation still trumps all in the world of local business, especially when it comes to your business’s online reputation.
Are Your Employees Ruining Your Business’s Online Reputation
With the explosive growth of reviews online, it’s now much faster and easier for consumers to learn about the customer experience before ever stepping foot in your office.
The rise of social media sites and customer review sites like Yelp and Yellowpages, reputation is now more important than ever. One customer can change the success of a local business with just one review that will eventually reach and influence thousands of people, if not more.
It’s like letting customers do your marketing and speak with each and every one of your customers before they even enter your store. What would your customers say? Would you trust your reputation in their hands?
Even worse, unhappy customers always complain louder than happy customers. According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs,
News of bad customer service reaches more than twice as many ears as praise for a good service experience.”
The fact is people are talking about their customer and patient experiences online, in front of hundreds of people online. As social channels and review websites become more powerful, and online reviews and searches become more integrated, so too does the need for enhanced levels of customers service and employee training when it comes to online reputation management and overall customer care handling.
When it comes to professional online reputation and review management, companies can only be as good as the front line customer care systems they create and cultivate. Service employees often receive the most amount of face time with customers thus giving them the greater responsibility to company character. Despite holding a heightened duty towards client satisfaction inexperienced workers can wreak havoc on company persona’s and perceptions. Even one upset customer that leaves a negative review can be devastating for business so it is imperative that all colleagues are trained in the art of handling complaints. Professional practice businesses are built on references, referrals and repeat visits and one bad employee can easily begin to erode those channels of success if not trained properly. Is your organization fully prepared to handle the new tech based age of online profile management? Lets look at some of the top trends and traits in online reputation management to better understand how we can prepare for the future success of our brand and Internet image.
“Almost two thirds of customers with a poor experience actually reduce their spending with a brand.”
-What Happens After a Good or Bad Experience, 2014, Temkin Group
-Top Trends In Online Reputation Management:
Reputation Marketing. Reputation marketing allows you to give employees the power to solve problems before they start. It is a proactive approach to creating customer happiness before it ever gets to a level of dissatisfaction.
Employee Support Centers. Reputation management education is an on going and ever evolving process. This means companies must provide workers with the appropriate tools and technologies to handle customer concerns appropriately.
Google Ghosts. Google negative review ghost prevention is about learning what drives customers to a business and how that might translate to evaluation channels. Its about knowing how bad reviews can show up in Google and other search results and preventing the damage before it is done.
-Top Traits Of Successful Online Reputation Management Systems:
Five Star Culture Building. Great online reputation management and customer service is based around cultivating winning attitudes. Developing an employee spirit and platform designed to put the client first leads to greater success as it builds avenues to positive solutions and happy outcomes..
Feedback Fostering. When online reputation management systems allow upset customers to be heard before things get out of hand or out of the office the entire business is put in a position to diffuse potential dissruptions. Give clients a voice, listen intently and watch business improve exponentially.
Evolving Education and Tansitive Training. Your online reputation management education and training must not only be transferable but constantly evolving. As technologies and tastes change at an ever increased rate it is extremely important to constantly stay current.
“Over 95 percent of consumers say they are influenced by what other people say about companies on social media.”
-We Are Social / Global Report
Are you taking the appropriate steps towards managing your businesses reputation efficiently and effectively? Are you staying on top of all the latest topics and trends in online reputation management? We can give your company the power to excell at all of the above while company leaders focus oncore competencies and growing the business to new heights. What are you waiting for? Contact us now to learn more about how we can help your organization or office reach the next level in online reputation management and customer service.
If you’re like me, and 99% of all business owners we work with, your business is your “baby”. You’ve invested countless hours of hard work, sweat, anxiety, sleepless nights, and possibly even tears to get your business of the ground. Through that whole process there’s been one type of marketing that’s helped you grow your business the most… referrals.
Your reputation has driven your business because family members, friends, and customers have been willing to recommend you to their friends and family. Without these referrals, your business would’ve failed years ago. But, it didn’t. Family, friends, and referrals are the foundation of your business and additional marketing techniques have allowed you to grow above and beyond that foundation to the point where you finally grow your business by hiring assistants, front desk staff, and associates.
Most small business owners spend the time to train new hires on the important aspects of their role but they usually have to “hit the ground running”.