How to Build Online Reputation Management

Online reputation management (ORM) describes the process of controlling and improving the way your brand is perceived by others- especially potential customers. It is probably one of the most difficult parts of an online business. Several business owners find online reputation management difficult because the internet gives every one extreme freedom of speech. It is a broad community that reaches everywhere your business is represented.

Thankfully, there are ways to build online reputation management for your business. Some of them involve incorporating new practices and using developed ORM tools. Read on to learn more.

  1. Know the keys
    The first thing you must understand as an online business owner is people (clients, prospects, competitors, and everyone else) are talking about you. This happens regardless of the size of your business, which is why online reputation management is so important.

    Knowing the keys to ORM is the initial step toward building it. The keys are monitoring and response.

    Monitoring: The online world is vast, to say the least. Everyone is sharing their opinions on something. Monitoring means listening to what anyone involved has to say about your brand. Where you listen depends on your business. For example, if you are an electrical contractor, you should look towards review sites like Yelp and Google Maps. Tools that can help you with this stage include Mention , The Review Generator , and Google Alerts .

    Response: The aim of monitoring is to be able to do something about it. The next key is to respond to what people say to improve your reputation.

  2. Handle negative comments properly
    What do you do when customers leave a one-star review or someone drops bad comments about you on the web? Sometimes, it may seem better to ignore and wait till these negative comments get lost beneath happy clients. However, this is harmful because those comments will remain online and within view. The best option is to respond with professionalism and politeness. Try to show understanding and openness to working things out.
  3. Transparency risk
    If you have been in online business long enough, you must have heard people talk about transparency as a business. Transparency is a risk most business owners are unwilling to take because of the tricky results. Asking for feedback and one-on-one communication can quickly turn around to harm your ORM. Be transparent, but with limitations that can protect your brand identity.
  4. Encourage positivity
    It is essential to respond to positive comments and feedback from happy clients. This helps them feel a connection and improve business relationships. Thank customers for their feedback and if possible, promise to do better.
  5. Build your online presence
    Prevention always works better than having to bear the negative results when they occur. Build your online presence with positivity, authenticity, transparency, and efficiency. Constantly analyze your progress and learn from past mistakes. Yes, you might not be able to completely avoid negative comments that impact your online reputation, but you can beat them to a minimum. Use the right tools and stay informed.

5 Reasons Why Online Reviews are Important

Online reviews are one of those factors that can make or break your online business. Research has shown that several customers check for positive and negative reviews before investing money in a product or hiring a service.

As an electrical contractor or business owner, having as many reviews (positive reviews) as possible is crucial. There are several reasons why you must take effective steps towards gaining online reviews. Here are 5 top reasons to give you some insight.

  1. Word of mouth drives purchase
    It is normal to advertise your business and show potential clients how promising your services are. Unfortunately, a large number of consumers will not take your word for it. They require better proof of your capabilities or the authenticity of your product. Hence, these customers will look to your online customer reviews. Positive online reviews mean that you have been tested and proven by people. It is also known as social proof or word of mouth. This word of mouth drives sales and encourages more clients to trust you.
  2. Online visibility
    Every niche is saturated with a high number of business owners. This makes it harder to reach customers before your competitors do. Online visibility is linked with customers’ reviews of your product and services. Search engines recognize their positive feedbacks as satisfaction which means you are relevant. This helps your business gain online visibility during web searches. It is a genuine and easy way to boost your online presence.
  3. Build brand identity
    Brand identity is recognized when you have online reviews to speak for you. Several communities within the internet will begin to recognize your relevance and brand authority. They help clients trust you and your message.
  4. Increased sales
    Online reviews do not just spur clients to trust you and buy your product, it also increases sales because customers would buy more. Statistics show that 90% of consumers read reviews before visiting a business but 31% of consumers spend more on business with excellent reviews. This means that online reviews from satisfied clients give benefits that include repeat orders, larger order sizes, and increased conversion rate.
  5. To maintain relevance
    Consumer reports and business reviews tell others that your business is relevant. It is constant proof that people make purchases every day and your service remains important. If your online reviews are sparse or old, it might seem as though your online presence is waning. Online reviews help you maintain relevance easily without much effort.

Final Thoughts
Having online reviews is wonderful for a contracting business or any business at all. However, getting these reviews from clients can be a challenge. Use effective tips such as open communication, feedback orientation, and much more.

Allow your clients feel that you care about their satisfaction. If they can open up to you about their thoughts, it becomes easier to politely and professionally ask for a review. At the same time, do not try to force or apply pressure on customers for a review.

Reviews for Law Firms

law firm reviewsThere used to be a time where reviews did not play such a vital role for law firms (at least online reviews didn’t). All you needed to get a consistent flow of clients were more of things like word of mouth, recommendations, and a solid reputation. But, what can we say; the world is ever-changing.

Now, in these times of mind-blowing advancements, reviews for a law firm matter more than before. Here are some stats to give you some perspective:

  • 24% of people say they will not hire a lawyer who has less than an average of five-star reviews.
  • 84% of people say they will not hire a lawyer who has less than an average of four-star reviews.
  • Only a small 8.54% of people say they won’t be concerned about reviews when hiring a lawyer.

We could go on and on with the stats but they will all prove the same point – reviews are vital to the success of law firms.

The downside to all of this is that the whole business of reviews can be both tricky and frustrating. In fact, you could be one of these right now:

  • You have zero reviews.
  • You have too many negative reviews, strong visibility, and spend a lot of money trying to decrease the effects of these negative reviews.
  • You have imbalanced reviews such as reviews on one review site but not on the other.
  • You have positive reviews but not enough.
  • You have negative reviews from a large number of needy, insatiable, wrong clients.

These are all issues that can be solved with the same thing – a large number of positive reviews in the right places.

What you should look out for

It’s not easy to be a lawyer and expect to reel in five-star reviews by the thousands. Lawyers face a unique challenge of hardly being able to please everyone even when they think they have done a great service. The client won’t tell you they think otherwise. You should look out for these two barriers as they influence your review game.

  • Ethics– As a lawyer, your reviews (responses included) should be free from misleading or non-verifiable statements. They should remain clear and honest. This can be controlled from the review request you send.
  • Privacy concerns– Not all clients should or would be willing to leave a review. Most times, it has to do with the case you handled for them and in such situations, you should exercise caution and respect the client’s privacy.

Tips to get reviews for your law firm

  • Make sure you have a profile on all or most of the review sites.
  • Ask happy clients to leave a nice review for your firm.
  • Follow-up with emails or messages that are clear, persuasive, and friendly.
  • You can point your clients to the platform you would prefer they leave a review.
  • Assign someone to respond to these reviews.
  • Share your positive reviews to wherever your potential clients are.
  • Earn more reviews for larger platforms than smaller ones.

How to Remove a Negative Review

how to remove negative reviewsNegative reviews are a business owner’s worst nightmare. They pop out of nowhere or perhaps that’s what it looks like because you have been doing so well. You quickly discover that this single negative review can impact your business badly despite the numbers of great and positive reviews you have gotten. It gets worse when the number of negative reviews increases.

Panic is the first thing most business owners do. Panic gives way to anger and for those who lack experience or the necessary control needed they go out there to lash out at the client. You might have seen this a few times online and you can agree it is not pretty.

It is a big mistake on your reputation to let a grumpy customer kick professionalism off of you. You must remember that at that moment you might be getting back at the client but your prospective clients can get cold feet after viewing, such an exchange.

To remove or even handle a negative review it is important to always apply professionalism and think of only how you can salvage the situation to save your company’s credibility. Did you know that research has shown that bad reviews can sometimes increase sales? Well, this depends on how you respond to them. Read on to learn how to remove or handle negative reviews.

  • Evaluate the situation
  • We have covered the preparatory step of not panicking or lashing out. The next thing to do is not to respond immediately, it is to evaluate the situation. This means checking out what the ‘customer’ is unsatisfied about. Then evaluate your business to know if you really have a problem.

    In some cases, if such reviews are more than one, it is important to find out where you might be lacking in your business and fix that. Then, you also need to confirm if the customer is really a ‘customer’. This is one drawback of online businesses, especially on Google. Sneaky competitors, disgruntled employees, and spammers can try to ruin your online reputation with negative fake reviews. Figure out if this is one of such situations.

  • Respond ASAP
  • Response is vital when you receive a negative review. First, it shows all your customers how you handle dissatisfaction. And it helps you take control of the situation. So the rules for responding are simple. You need to respond quickly within at least 24 hours; be polite and professional; address the issue and apologize; be brief; offer to fix the problem; reassure of better service or some upgrade in your service if necessary. At this point, you have controlled the situation.

  • Remove the fakes
  • Fake negative reviews are real. After you have established that this review is indeed fake, flag it and reach out to Google or the platform in question to have it removed. Don’t hold back on responding though. You can even point out in your response that the review is fake.

  • Build on the positives
  • You need positive reviews to really turn the situation in your favor. Put in the effort to get lots of positive reviews. Loyal clients become important at this time and providing your best service too.

How to Get Free Google Reviews

free google reviewsGoogle rules the world! Well, not literally the world, but the online world, we all know it’s true. Research has proven that Google currently outpaces all other review platforms like Yelp and Facebook in terms of online reviews. The stats read that 64% of customers say they have to check Google reviews for a business before using it. Another 21% say Google is vital to their search for local businesses.

Google reviews do a lot of things for your business. They impact visibility, conversion, leads, reputation, relevance, and more. Customers trust what other customers say. They also want to know if your business moves slowly or fast. Fast means that people love your service so naturally, you attract a crowd, they would want to get in there. Slow means you are barely getting by and they can be hesitant to do business with such perceptions.

To get free, consistent, and many positive reviews on Google, you must take action.

The first thing to know is that clients who want to leave a negative review need no encouragement to do so. In fact, they can search for your review page themselves. But those with great experiences are usually too relaxed and reluctant. They should always be your focus.

  • ASK!
  • Clients won’t read your mind you have to ask them to leave great reviews. Create messages that are short and clear and can persuade your customers to spare a few seconds for a review. Use a few emails so you can track the one with more success and build this campaign around that one.

  • Make it easy for your customers by creating your Google review link. Rather than expecting clients to go through an arduous process of finding your review page, create a link that takes them straight there. Make the link an easy to remember one. This comes in handy when you need to tell your customer to leave a review in person or on the phone.

  • Everyone that works for you or with you should be educated on asking for Google reviews once they complete a job. Empower them with the right pitch.

  • If you won’t even acknowledge the few that leave a review, why should anyone else bother? Responding to existing reviews increase the likelihood of getting more reviews by 12%.

  • This one is simple and expected of you. Happier clients don’t make it awkward when you ask for Google reviews. Create a ‘wow’ moment for clients during the work process to make them excited about telling people how great you are. The best part is, asking these excited customers for reviews is easy. Sometimes you don’t even need a template.

If a customer seems unsatisfied, try to work it out. If they don’t tell you but leave a negative review, respond accordingly with professionalism and politeness. Be sure to mention that you love to satisfy your clients as long as they can inform you of their issues. Offer to do so now if you like.