A few years back while working at an auto repair shop I was finishing up the repairs for a first time customer. She had dropped in needing work done in a hurry, so we got her in and out in under an hour (Quite a difficult feat when dealing with repair). She left the shop an extremely happy customer promising to tell all of her friends about us and the service we had provided. I went on with my day returning to work on the Mazda needing an alternator, and feeling like a customer service superhero.
Just a few short hours later she returned to the shop looking for a now missing hubcap. I scoured the bays praying that it was sitting in a corner somewhere happily waiting to be reinstalled. I had no such luck. The hubcap was gone forever. What had initially seemed to be a smashing customer service success was quickly turning into a reputation management nightmare. We received no scathing reviews from the occurrence, but we certainly didn’t get her return business.
Simple mistakes like the one I made happen every day, but sometimes they don’t play out as well for the business. Scathing reviews and heated words from customer to employee and vice versa leave a trail of unprofessionalism that seems to spread itself all over the internet. If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation you’ve probably been tempted to turn to online reputation management services. But just how do these reputation management systems work?
Not All Reputation Management Services Are Created Equal
Unfortunately for many who sign on for reputation management services, not all reputation management services are created equal. There are 3 main methods of reputation management, all of which have their own specific purpose, and respective effectiveness.
Reputation Management Software
In one of my wife’s nutrition classes in college, she had a student stand up and tell a story of her and her husband’s dietary practices. Her husband was under the impression that they couldn’t afford vegetables, so instead decided he would buy junk food, but supplement his diet with vitamins to keep himself healthy. Clearly, this did not please the professor in the least. Vitamins are good for you and can be a significant help to your health, but they are not a standalone. Using reputation management software is a lot like taking vitamins. Used in combination with quality business practices and SEO, it can produce incredible results. But on it’s own won’t do much to improve the appearance of your business.
Reputation management software uses a simple algorithm to request each and every customer to rate their experience. If they rate the experience highly, it will ask them to post their review to a digital platform of your choice. However, if they rate the experience poorly then they will be put in contact with your business in order to try and make things right for them. In theory, this is an excellent way to improve ratings and the number of reviews. But without support, the software cannot perform to its highest capacity.
SEO Reputation Management
A few weeks ago, An SEO client of mine ran into a spot of trouble with negative reviews. A previous partner of theirs had begun a negative review attack on the business. I got a concerned call over the weekend wondering what they needed to do to fix the damage that had been done. Thanks to their already stellar reputation, many of the reviews were taken down just a few days later.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and reputation management work together hand in hand extremely well. Search engine optimization has come a long way in the last few years. Indeed, the SEO that used to deal with keywords and stayed in the realm of Google and bing has truly died. In its place is a new SEO that is an all encompassing digital image for your business. It is the meat and potatoes used to build a beefy brand. Your entire digital presence is shaped through SEO. When it is paired with reputation management software, it generates numerous positive reviews, and makes it far easier to find your business.
Quality Business Practices
Much like dinner, We’ve got to get around to the vegetables eventually. In preparing to write this article I did some extensive research on interest in reputation management and the big questions people wanted answered. An interesting fact I came across in my studies was where the interest in reputation management is currently focused. The area with the highest interest in reputation management right now in August 2020 is, Drum roll!… Washington D.C. Not much of a surprise when you think about the upcoming elections and the drama playing out on both sides of the fence. It seems all involved are turning to reputation management in place of simple quality human behavior.
Businesses all too often fall into the same trap. Believing that reputation management can save them from their own malpractice. Quality business practices are the nutrients that no reputation management system, or business can survive without. When we perform reputation management for quality businesses keeping their digital fingerprints clean is easy! It’s not to say they don’t ever get dirty, but the work that we do is much more effective due to their care for their customers. Unfortunately for those subpar businesses, no amount of reputation management can prevent their true identity from reaching the public eye.
In conclusion, All forms of reputation management can work wonderfully well, But None of the 3 is much good at all without maintaining an unwavering effort to uphold quality business practices.