Small business owners must not take it for granted that only big brands need to monitor their reputation online. On the contrary, it is easier to risk your reputation when you are a small to medium business. Since most people are online, it is relatively easier to make or break a business with just one bad review.
Customers expect an online presence for all business they interact with. It is the first thing people check when deciding to do business for the first time. For example, if I wanted to try out a new restaurant, I would check their social media accounts and look for reviews about them online. What I read and what I find out online about the business will form my first impression. Most of us will reserve judgment given one or two bad reviews, and would still try out the place. However, I can tell you that not all of us are as forgiving and will give a business a chance once we encounter a bad review.
To be able to manage your business’ online reputation, you must be aware of what people are saying about your business. This is where it pays to have eyes and ears everywhere. So, if you haven’t started yet, start setting up a keyword monitoring tool. Some tools to try are Google Alerts (free!), Tagboard, ZohoSocial, and SocialMention among others.
These tools will alert you whenever you are mentioned online. It can also monitor how the hashtags related to your business are being used. This is a crucial step so set it up if you are serious about your business’ online reputation. This will start the series of events that can make or break your business. Once you are aware of what is being said about you online, you have to respond in an appropriate and timely manner. Sometimes, knowing is enough. Sometimes, you need to take action.
A quick thank you would do most of the time. People love validation and giving them a quick shout out would do wonders for your online engagement. Your thank you note doesn’t have to be long winded. You can just say “Hi! Thank you for dropping by!” or “Thank you, glad you liked the coffee!” And when you get a less than satisfied customer giving you flack online, you don’t have to don your full battle gear. Pick your battles wisely. You can just send out a quick acknowledgment with a promise to do better. Say “Hey! We appreciate your comment. We hope you give us another chance by making it up to you.”
Written by Jaie O.- The Help