Reputation Management in Two Words

You’ve probably used Yelp to check in on whether the restaurant down the street is any good or the spa on the corner is clean. It’s a popular destination where consumers can share reviews and rate their experience at any number of retailers, and it’s a great place to get an overview of what the collective ‘we’ think about any one establishment.

But what’s good for consumers isn’t necessarily so hot for retailers or businesses. If you’re a business owner, those 100 positive reviews are most likely outweighed by the one flaming negative post written by the customer who didn’t seem all together balanced anyway, but now has the ear of an entire Internet community. These are the things that keep you up at night.

The ticket? Yeah, you could go out and hire so-called ‘reputation management’ firms like Marchex that do a solid analysis of your web reputation and tell you how to fix it. That might be a great alternative if you find that your online presence generally negative. But there’s a much simpler, easier and cheaper way to make sure your web presence is maximized:

Do good. From the get go.

You might say there’s a lot more to it than that, but I’d disagree. Doing Good day in and day out is the simply the best way of driving business and reputation. This means treating your customers and employees like gold (and everyone else for that matter). For many people and businesses, that’s the hard part.

And I’m not saying you become a push-over and give everyone what they want. Nope. You have to define the boundaries of your service and product and stand by them. But for a company like Zappos, for example, these boundaries are wide and the customer really does, most often, come first.

And when you do get a negative review, go with it. Learn from it. Reach out to that customer and make amends with coupons or something else that provides them with value. More often than not, that will turn the ship around and turn that person into your strongest company advocate.

The key to reputation management is easy: do good. Make that your calling card.

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