6 Tips For Marketing Your Business To Get More Local Customers

6 Tips For Marketing Your Business To Get More Local Customers

 

For businesses that rely on local customers, marketing used to mean putting an advert in a shop window or local newspaper, or maybe handing out flyers. Now, local online marketing has really come into its own and provides businesses with a whole host of different tactics to get in front of new customers.

 

But, to really get the most out of local online marketing, businesses need to make sure they’re doing it right and not just wasting time and effort. Here are our Top Tips on How to Really Succeed in Local Online Marketing.

 

  1. Have a plan and stick to it

 

This should be obvious, but unfortunately it’s a crucial step that many businesses forget. If your marketing isn’t planned out it becomes almost impossible to track and measure any improvements, or lack of improvements that you make.

 

If you have no previous experience of putting a marketing plan together then take some time to do a bit of research, dull as it may seem it is a far better use of your time than going in blind! A basic local online marketing plan could start off by listing your business goals, then breaking down how you intend to achieve them.

 

For example, do you want to increase revenue by 10% across the quarter? How do you intend to get there? Will you employ an additional sales person, or will you sell higher value products? How will you get that message across to potential customers?

2. Invest in a Mobile Friendly website.

  • 40% Of Mobile Searches Have Local Intent (Source: Google: Creating Moments that Matter)
  • In October 2016, mobile internet web usage took over desktop (Source: Telegraph)
  • Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% will visit a competitor’s site instead. (Source: MicKinsey & Company)

Make sure your website is mobile ready

 

With Statistics like these it’s pretty obvious that you need your website to be mobile ready! People who are searching from their mobile are likely to be out and about, looking for what they need at that moment. If your website can’t be opened from their phone because it uses flash, or because there is too much to load then you could be missing out on valuable business leads every day.

 

3. Make Sure Your Campaigns Are Geo-Targeted.

 

geo targeting

 

If you want to attract customers within a specific local area, then it’s no good aiming your adverts far and wide where people from anywhere in the world can see them but can’t take action!

 

Sites such as Facebook and Google Adwords and other Display Ad networks, allow you to target ads using a geo-location feature, meaning your adverts will only be seen by people in the locations that you specify.

 

Think about how far people are likely to travel for your service and then target those areas to find your new customers.

Research conducted by Bright Local conducted a survey asking respondents how far they would drive to for 13 different local services. The results are below.

 

Driving Times to Local Businesses Infographic

 

Interestingly people are willing to travel for 5 minutes longer to visit a Dentist/Doctor than they would a Solicitor or an Accountant.

 

Alarmingly people are willing to travel an extra 2 minutes to go to a Pub then to a Gym. What does that say?

 

Make sure that your location is obvious to anyone who might be searching your kind of service within your area. Don’t leave this information confined to the contact us page. Include your location details on every page of your site so Search engines recognise it and more importantly potential customers know exactly where you are.

 

4. Engage with Customers Online.

 

social media engagement

 

When you’ve spent a lot of time building up your local online marketing you also need to be seen as a real human presence, not just a marketing machine. This means you need to take some time to engage with your customers, respond to comments they leave on your website, have conversations via Twitter, and thank people for their feedback.

 

Social Proof is now all important, and online comments and actions that remain searchable and in the public domain are often viewed as being just as important as recommendations from Friends and Family.

 

Don’t undermine your own marketing efforts by forgetting to be a real person!

 

5. Be Top of the Search Engines

Basic SEO strategies can help generate sales and customers so it’s vital to get it right. If the search engines recognise your site as being filled with valuable information on a subject then it also helps your credibility with customers.

Being at or near the top of search engine rankings will ensure you get the best of the search engine traffic coming to your site on a regular basis.

It’s not just SEO that gets you to the top of the Search Engines. Tools such as Google My Business also help, along with Videos, Images, reviews and a strong social media presence.

 

6. Get 5 Star Online Reviews

 

 

Local search user reviews help build new customer trust. If a person isn’t acquainted with your business, they’re going to want to get an idea that other people, past customers, are happy with the work or service you have provided before spending their money with you.

 

If they do not know anyone whom they can ask about your services they turn to online user reviews to get a feel for how you operate.

 

90% of consumers read 10 reviews or less before they feel that they can trust a business (Source: BrightLocal)

Therefore it is imperative that you have in place a system to get clients to leave their positive feedback online.

 

Local Online Marketing is not complicated but with increased competition for people’s attention, time and money it is vitally important to have a plan and continuously act on it to build a stream of new customers.

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66% of Your Clients Are Willing to Spend More!

66% of Your Clients Are Willing to Spend More!

In Re-imagine! Business Excellence in a Disruptive age Tom Peters says,

 

“Excellent customer service is no longer good enough. That should be the de facto and in order to maintain a healthy client list any business should be looking to deliver OUTSTANDING customer service.”

 

Doesn’t that make so much sense! I mean it’s not exactly rocket science to realise that as a consumer if you pay for a service you expect a good result. Not a mediocre or ok or average result; as a minimum you want Good results. Or else why would you be spending your hard earned cash? So as a business owner as a bare minimum you need to be providing a good service, but if you really want to progress and build a successful business then you really need to be providing an excellent service, something that is truly outstanding.

 

66% of customers are willing to spend more with a company they believe provides excellent customer service.

Source: Global Customer Service Barometer That is 2 out of every 3 customers are willing to spend more with a company because of great service. 2 out of 3!

 

If 66% of clients spent more with your firm do you think that would help? You are damn right it would help, it would more than help, It would mean that each client is worth more to your business, turnover would increase, profits would increase and all from the same number of customers.

 

Every single customer’s journey through the business lifecycle with a firm is unique, the touch points and interactions they receive from the business before, during and after the sale are all taken into consideration when a person thinks back about the service they have experienced. Is your client’s last interaction with your firm positive or negative? Do they leave feeling valued and pleased or disappointed and neglected?

The fact of the matter is that if a person feels like they have had a good experience with your firm then they are likely to come back and revisit and reuse your services time and time again facilitating a long term business partnership.

 

How Can You Capitalise on These Positive Client Feelings?

 

What if a small percentage of those satisfied clients were happy to share their personal story with others about your business and the outstanding service they received. Would that help convince potential clients who were in need of your service to choose you over your competition?

 

We already know that 66% percent of customers are willing to spend more with a company that is perceived to have excellent customer service, so why not use the positive experiences of your past clients to help win more clients and not just more clients, but clients who are willing to spend more with you?

 

Your positive online reputation are one of the greatest assets your business has, combine those glowing reviews with the power of the internet and the ability to have these endorsements speak for your business when ideal clients are looking for you then you have the basis of a lead referral system that can grow your business.

 

Takeaways for great customer service

 

Given how customers are rewarding outstanding service more than ever, American Express offers the following tips to companies seeking to bolster the service experiences they provide and as a result increase the life time value of a customer:

 

  • Cherish your connections with customers. Service shouldn’t be a clean-up operation. Turning service interactions into relationship-deepening moments can strengthen your business.
  • In everything you do, put the customer first. Start with what the customer needs. Customers can’t be wowed by personalized service if their basic needs aren’t met or their questions go unanswered.
  • Service is a people business; give care professionals the freedom to shine. Customers want to be helped by empowered, efficient people.
  • Measure success through the voice of the customer. Let customers tell you how you’re doing, and truly seek to improve based on their feedback.

 

Your history of excellent customer service can be, and should be front and centre for everybody to see to allow you to win profitable new business today, tomorrow and for years to come. To find out more about how we can help you be seen as the market leader in your field with a positive client experience and be in a position to win more profitable clients call 0161 850 4413.

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It’s Time to Shout Out the Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment!

It’s Time to Shout Out the Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment!

 

For many people,

the world of chiropractic treatments is a vast unknown, and as its use by the NHS is limited it’s something that many people are missing out on. 

 

In a recent interview, Andrew Lloyd Webber talked about how visiting a chiropractor completely turned around his outlook on life as it solved problems he’d been having for such a long time that multiple surgeries had done nothing to ease.

 

After having 18 general anaesthetics in one year (2013) alone he said,

“Then I met a chiropractor and I’ve never looked back. I saw him every day for about eight weeks. And three months later I thought it was time we did Cats again.”

 

How do Chiropractors Get their Message Out

So how do chiropractors get their message out to a wider audience, who are probably in the dark about chiropractic and don’t know that it could help them?

 

A Great Web Presence

Being online isn’t just about having an old website from 1998. You need to have an easy to find, user friendly website that allows patients to find you quickly and easily. You also need to make sure that you can be found by new patients who may not know about your treatment, but who may be Googling their symptoms. Many people spend the majority of their time online using social media, so if you want to be seen make sure you are on social media too.

 

Reviews and Testimonials

Show the world the great things your practice does! Reviews from satisfied patients are great because they speak directly to all those other potential patients who are looking for affirmation that coming to your practice will be a good experience.

 

Videos

A short video will go a long way to showing the true character of your practice. Consider making a video of a happy patient or a behind the scenes at the practice video. Video helps to make things seem more real, and patients know that video testimonials are hard to fake. It will also give patients a glimpse of your practice so they can see for themselves what it looks like. (click on the image below to see a video from one of our private dental partners)

 

 

We’ve worked with businesses in the healthcare practices across the country to improve their Online Reputation and to help them reach out to new patients. If you would like to know more about how you can improve your practice’s reputation, grow your reach and win more profitable patients then call us today on 0161 850 4413 and we can help you make some immediate improvements.

Are Your Patients So Scared Of You They’ll Use Superglue On Their Teeth?

Are Your Patients So Scared Of You They’ll Use Superglue On Their Teeth?

 

This week there was a story that made the national news

About a lady who was so terrified of the dentist that she spent 10 years trying to fix her own teeth with superglue.

 

Fear of the dentist is one of the most common phobias in the UK, with more people afraid of their regular check up than they are of spiders (Dental Health) and about 1 in 4 people overall admitting they dread visiting the dentist (NHS).

 

While many dentists are acutely aware of these statistics and are doing as much as they can to prove that dentistry doesn’t deserve its scary reputation, the message still isn’t getting through to a vast number of people. So how can individual dental practices reach out to those people who are really scared and make sure cases like the one this week just don’t happen?

 

On answer is to make sure that you are making the most of your online reputation. This might seem like it has nothing to do with dentistry, which it wouldn’t, if it weren’t for the fact that is has everything to do with your patients.

 

Think about the last time you wanted information about something. You probably searched for it online. That’s exactly what countless potential patients are doing.

 

When someone Googles your practice, one of the first things they will see in the search results will be the reviews and star ratings left for you by other patients. If those reviews are bad, the chances are that potential patient will not want to call your practice.2015-06-03_1429

It may be that your business has no reviews whatsoever and you think you aren’t affected by negativity, but think again. Having no reviews is also bad. It means that someone who is looking for information about your practice has nothing to see. These patients who don’t find what they want to see will most likely continue to suffer in silence. Alternatively they will continue their search for another dentist who has more positive reviews to put their mind at ease.

 

Show nervous patients what they need to see:  examples of other people you have treated who were nervous but are now happy and pain free.

 

Make the most of social media. For every person that likes an update that you post, that update will be seen by their friends and family, many of whom will also live in your catchment area. When the time comes for those friends and family members to make a long awaited and much needed trip to the dentist they will remember seeing that their friend has liked or commented on your dental practice.

 

Dental Phobia isn’t going to go away any time soon, but it’s never been easier for dentists to reach out to those people who would never usually set foot within half a mile of a Dental practice. If your online reputation isn’t up to standard then you’re doing your practice, and those fearful patients a huge disservice.

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5 Ways To Add Social Proof To Your Website

5 Ways To Add Social Proof To Your Website

5 Ways To Add Social Proof To Your Website

Social ProofThe term Social Proof seems to be popping up more and more in relation to brands and marketing, although the concept itself is far from new. For those of you who haven’t come across it, Social Proof is the positive influence created when someone finds out that others are doing something.

According to Wikipedia, “Social proof is a type of conformity. When a person is in a situation where they are unsure of the correct way to behave, they will often look to others for cues concerning the correct behaviour. When “we conform because we believe that other’s interpretation of an ambiguous situation is more accurate than ours and will help us choose an appropriate course of action,” it is informational social influence.”

So how does this relate to your business? Put simply, people want to see that others have worked with you, or bought from you, or would recommend you. They want to know that they are not a guinea pig for your services, and if they can see that other people have been there and done that, it makes it an easier decision for them to go ahead and do it too.

Leveraging Social Proof on your website is a great way to help you influence buyers, improve your conversion rates and enhance your reputation at the same time. There are plenty of ways you can achieve this, here are my top 5.

  1. Reviews

Product reviews are something we’re all really familiar with. They’ve become part and parcel of the way we buy. Think about some of the biggest sites on the internet: Amazon, Trip Advisor, eBay; they are all well known for promoting products via other peoples’ reviews. Whether you’re buying a holiday, a car or a blender the chances are you will look that product up online and see what has been said about it.

If your business sells products, then you need to make sure there are some reviews of those products for your other customers to read

  1. Testimonials

A testimonial from someone can have incredible power over other potential buyers. They show that you can be trusted and that you are approachable because other people who are independent of your business are telling them to choose you. Video testimonials can be particularly persuasive as the person watching the video can get a real sense of how genuine your business is. Well placed, well worded testimonials on your website can leave a lasting impression over and above any other words you’ve written.

  1. Case Studies

Case studies take testimonials to a whole other level, offering a more in depth look at a particular relationship. Buyers, especially those considering a more expensive purchase, or those thinking about embarking on a longer term working relationship with you want to be able to envision the entire process from start to finish. Case studies that take people on a journey of what to expect, perhaps even including a few bumps in the road, can prove to potential partners that you are in it for the long haul. By showing that you have established good long term relationships with existing customers from a similar background to your prospect’s  you are enabling those prospects to picture themselves working with you too.

  1. Endorsements

In certain situations finding someone to endorse your brand can work wonders for attracting new customers by positively impacting your brand. A local Celebrity, business leader or other well known figure who is happy to lend their name and a few comments to your website or marketing collateral can mean that they also bring their fans and followers to your brand too. By having a big name associated with your business you will be seen as a leader, which is the kind of powerful social proof that many brands aspire to. If an endorsement sounds like something you’d like to do, think carefully about who your ideal customer is and choose a figurehead that represents both you and them. An endorsement from an inappropriate name will only confuse your customers and may even turn some people off.

  1. User Generated Content

User generated content is any content that is posted by your customers. It might be your Dental patients posting pictures of their new smile to Facebook, or someone mentioning your Estate agency in a picture of them getting their new house keys. User generated content, particularly image and video is fantastic as it shows real interaction with your brand. One way to encourage this is to ask people make a short video and post it to YouTube, or to ask people who visit to check in on Facebook. If you run any kind of event then make sure to let people know that you have a hashtag for it.

It’s not always easy to get people to interact with your business, but if you persevere you’ll find that the more people who join in, then the easier it will get. Few people want to be seen as the only one liking something, or to be the only one with their name on your website. Flip that around, and if you have photographs of 20 happy customers who have all left great reviews of you online, then more people will want to join in with that.

Social Proof is all about people and relationships, and if you invest in your customers with a great service then they will be happy to share your business with their friends and family. Every single person you interact with has the potential to tell others. What will they say about you?

Why Online Business Reputation Management Should be On Your Radar

Why Online Business Reputation Management Should be On Your Radar

Why Online Business Reputation Management Should be On Your Radar

A lot of business leaders are so busy running their businesses that they don’t have time to focus on building marketing systems that get them new clients, let alone worry about their business reputation management online.

Your Business Reputation is Whatever Google Says It Is!

Face it, when someone is looking for your business, or your services they go to Google and type in your business name. The chances are the results they will include your website, amongst several other citations of your business.

Now you might think, “Well that’s ok we have a website and it has positive testimonials on there so we are fine, no need to worry!”

Well I am sorry to tell you that that isn’t good enough and here is why:

Very rarely do people enter your website url directly into the browser, even if they know you. The normal web user goes to Google and types the company name into Google and then hits search.

What the user is presented with is a list of pages that Google believes to be the most relevant for your business name. Now of course your website is one of those pages, or at least it should be, if it is not then you really do have trouble! The other listings will be other relevant and useful information concerning your business. This could be:

  • Press releases
  • Articles
  • Videos
  • Forum sites
  • Blog Posts
  • Local directory listings
  • Review sites
  • Social media sites.
  • Images
  • PDf articles

Do you see my point? If the answer is no, then let me explain some more.

business reputation management - ease of reviews

There are many forms of content that people can place online, all of which can be relevant to your business, your name, your products or services. If you don’t know what is online when someone searches for you then shame on you.

Remember, the internet is not static, so just because you checked what came up in a search 6 months ago it doesn’t mean it’s the same today, or tomorrow or the day after and the day after that.

One negative comment left online, or a negative article, can quickly be syndicated to many sites across the internet. Once this happens then that piece of content becomes more credible in the eyes of the search engines because people are taking the time to comment on it and share it.

That means the piece of negative content moves higher up the search engine listings damaging your business reputation, potentially losing market value and impacting your lead generation.

3 Steps to Better Your Business Reputation Management

Take accountability

Don’t ignore your online business reputation. Make a point of taking responsibility by assigning someone in your business to take ownership. Then go out and proactively work to provide the search engines with useful, relevant and quality content that adds value to your business and to people searching for your company.

The sooner you create value added content, the sooner it can be indexed and shared by the public, therefore increasing relevancy.

Don’t enter a Slanging Match

“He said, she did, I said,” is not going to help you out in this situation. If the comment or content is someone having a good old rant then sometimes it is best not to add fuel to the fire by leaving a response.

Analyse the comment or content that has been posted and think about how best to respond. If the comment is reasonable, for example if the user is talking about an experience they have had with your business and how it was disappointing, then step up to the plate and offer an apology and an avenue to interact with that consumer in order to investigate the issue and make things right. By doing this you get the opportunity to rectify the client’s sentiment about your business and also show the outside world, who are watching, that you really do care about your customers and clients.

Positively ask for feedback

reputation managementGetting positive reviews is another way to counteract the negative press that is online. There are many 3rd party review sites that allow consumers to leave their honest feedback about businesses that then get published online.

Ask your customers to go to these sites and leave honest reviews about your business, this will help build up a series of reviews, hopefully positive, that can be used to push down the negative reviews, provide feedback to your business and increase the perception of your business online.

Ultimately business reputation management is vital. If someone is saying something negative about your business or services they might have a reason to make a valid complaint. Consider all negative comments or complaints seriously and take corrective action where warranted.

If you want to know more how we could help you develop an online business reputation management system, marketing the GREAT work that you do for clients, protecting your business from the bad comments and winning new and repeat business online then call us today. 0161 850 4413

Take Ownership For Your Online Reputation

Take Ownership For Your Online Reputation

Take Responsibility For Your Online Reputation

When it comes to the positioning of your brand online, it might be easy to assume that the brand reputation you have spent years cultivating in the business world will come with it. After all, you’ve worked hard to build up your business, build a positive online reputation and position your brand as an expert over the years – surely that level of expertise and trust will be reflected in the online world?

Unfortunately that is not always the case because if the search engines don’t know about all this great work then how can they present it to potential clients when they search for your business?

Think of it this way, in the traditional business world, the world before websites, search engines and social media, company reputations were built, marketed and maintained through word of mouth and strategic advertising tactics. The result of such business methodologies meant that it could take months if not years for a business to be positioned as a market leader in their field.

online reputation

However the internet has radically altered the way in which businesses position themselves online. Thanks to social media, local business directories, blogs and mobile internet access, your online reputation can be investigated and changed in a matter of seconds with your competition, who do market their reputation online, becoming the main benefactor.

Now that you know that it is as important to market your reputation online as it is offline, here are a few tips that will help you become a market leader online.

Be Proactive in Commanding Your Online Reputation

In order to build a great reputation you need to do great things that add real value to people and then tell other people about them. If you are the best employment solicitor in the North West then keeping this fact quiet is not going to help your cause. Instead be proactive and strategically submit articles, press releases and blog entries that share this fact with targeted clients that are looking for it.

The more positive internet real estate that you own, the better. If people continually see the same message then they will be more likely to remember you when they are in need of your services.

Be Proactive in Providing a Great Service.

online reputationThis may sound a little stupid, as nobody goes out of their way to provide bad service, do they? But providing a great service offline can affect how people perceive your business online.

Any consumers search for a business online in their local area before committing to working with them offline. Therefore when delivering on the service make sure that your customer service is excellent, that you can be contacted easily, that emails and telephone calls get responded to, and complaints get investigated.

There are many cases were clients who have been ignored or received poor service from a company go straight online and share their views with everyone to see. This could severely tarnish the hard earned and positive reputation of your business as once a negative comment is placed online it is very, very difficult to remove.

Be Proactive in Marketing Your Great Reputation

Prospective clients are looking for reassurance before they commit to a major buying decision. So rather than giving those prospects the opportunity to dwell on the decision provide them with proof that your business delivers on what it says it will deliver.

Provide those prospects with glowing testimonials from previous clients who share exactly how your business helped them achieve the results they were looking for. It’s one thing for you to list your credentials, affiliations and expertise, it is another thing altogether for someone who has no relation to your business sharing them for you.

Put in place a process of requesting reviews from clients, good or bad, the positive reviews can help market your business and the negative reviews can be used to identify areas within your business that need improvement. Ultimately resulting in a better service for future clients.

People do business with people they know, like and trust. The more you can do to present your business online as transparent, trustworthy and efficient, the more clients you will successfully satisfy and the more positive sentiment you will create about your brand online, which will result in an increased online real estate, more people finding you and eventually more people selecting you as the partner of choice moving forward.

Online Reputation Repair in 4 Easy Steps

Online Reputation Repair in 4 Easy Steps

Online Reputation Repair in 4 Easy Steps

online reputation repairA business’s Online Reputation is one of its most important assets. In many cases, the results that show in a search engine are the first thing that a prospective customer sees about that business. Online reviews, even if left by a complete stranger are seen as a valid endorsement, or otherwise, in the eyes of the searching public.

Businesses should be doing everything they can to protect their online reputation by encouraging positive endorsements wherever possible. However, if you see that your business already has some negative reviews that show up in searches don’t worry, there are steps you can to take to repair your online reputation. Of course, if the negative reviews are not isolated cases you might need to consider a more in depth overhaul of your working practices!

Understand the situation.

Search for your business name and keywords across all the main search channels to get an idea of what exactly searchers can see about you. If anything shows up on the first page you need to try and address that first.

Don’t make it personal.

If someone has written a bad review and you feel it is an unjust or untrue representation of what has happened remember not to take it personally, even if it seems like a personal attack. On a personal level, the review might make you angry so that your blood boils, or frustrated to the point of screaming at the reviewer. If that’s how you feel the best thing to do is to take a step back from the situation. Under no circumstances should you respond with an angry and frustrated reply of your own!

Approach the reviewer

If the reviewer has left their name with their review then it might be best to contact them directly. Try and resolve the problem, and once it is sorted ask them if they will remove or edit their review to acknowledge that you’ve solved the problem. If your reviewer has left a pseudonym or no name at all then it might be a bit more difficult. It might be that you have a good idea of who they are and may be able to approach them discretely, otherwise reply to them publicly sympathising with their experience and ask them to get in touch so you can help them personally. Remember, the more interventions you make the more fuel you’ll be throwing to the fire which in turn will gain you more prominence in the search engine results. Try not to get drawn in to a public war of words!

Promote positive search results

It’s unlikely that you will be able to remove every negative review. Instead, make them less relevant by giving the search engines more results to find! Make it a priority to ask customers to post reviews if you know they have had a good experience. Just make sure they are genuine comments and don’t be tempted to write your own positive reviews, the search engines will soon realise the reviews are coming from the same source. As well as focusing on asking customers for reviews you can also optimise your social media pages like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn so that they show up in the search engines. Writing regular blogs and articles is also a good way to ensure that your content is easily found across multiple sites, therefore filling up search engine results as well!

Following these steps will not only repair a damaged reputation, they’ll also help promote a healthy reputation. If you would like to know more about how we can help your business manage its online reputation then please get in touch!

Brand Reputation Management in the Age of Digital

Brand Reputation Management in the Age of Digital

Brand Reputation Management in the Age of Digital

Online brand reputation management is something that many businesses don’t think about until they stumble across or become alerted to negative comments about their business online.

It often comes to light when searching for your business online that you notice some strange results, anything that could include blog comments, forum posts to whole articles dedicated to your business with bad reviews, negative sentiments or complaints.

brand reputation management

The alarm bells start ringing, you start to panic and worry about what impact these negative results are having on your business and how it could impact your brand in the future.

That’s where online brand reputation management steps in.

Online brand reputation management involves thorough research into what content, positive and negative, is currently accessible to the searching public. Once this is determined, a strategy needs to be devised that includes removal, where possible, of negative or off brand content, either through negotiation, mediation or providing more relevant content for the search engines to list.

For those comments that are from genuinely dissatisfied customers, simply responding and asking for the opportunity to make things right can be the greatest form of online reputation management as it portrays honesty, accountability and a willingness to rectify the situation.

Of course, not all situations can be resolved amicably, especially if the problem has had time to escalate into something bigger and this can result in a more concerted effort to find a solution that the client is happy with.

Everything discussed so far concerning reputation management has been reactive. By that, it is reacting to something that has already happened. The key to long term success with online brand reputation is to work fastidiously to promote good working practices and excellent customer service attitudes throughout your entire organisation.

By putting your customer front and centre of everything you do, you are being proactive about your brand reputation and this will be reflected in the positive feedback that your business receives online.

When you get into the position of exciting your customers through your excellent service and you get the feedback to prove it, make sure that you share those positive stories with as many people as possible by letting everyone online know how great other people think your business is.

Share your positive feedback through social media, write blog posts, produce a press release and syndicate across local and national news sites. The more internet real estate your business claims that paints your business in a positive light, the better it will be when those who know nothing about your business and are looking for reassurance before becoming a partner of yours.

3 Golden Rules of Online Brand Reputation Management

Work on Building a Positive Brand from Day One

brand reputation management

One of the most valuable assets for any business is their brand. Be synonymous with customer excellence, great value and great service and you will see the benefits online and offline. A business that has ten great, positive stories online versus a business that has two negative reviews will get more new clients through the door. Be proactive and see every new client as a long term business partner who will be happy over time to introduce their friends and family.

Make the Most of the Internet to Share Your Clients Positive Stories

There are many ways that your client’s comments, stories and feedback can be distributed on the internet. Embrace them and make sure that the positive sentiment about your business is being heard all across the internet.

Be Alert to What is Being Said About You.

You can do everything in your power to promote customer excellence but there will always be someone that you can’t satisfy. When it happens and the negative comment does appear, don’t panic, don’t sensor the comment, simply make it clear to prying eyes that you will do everything you can to rectify the situation.

Online brand reputation management is important to all businesses, not just celebrities, politicians and high profile individuals. It’s so easy for your clients and competitors to publish content online these days that it is in your best interests to be proactive, promote excellence and deal with negative issues in a timely and courteous manner.

Make Your Customer Experience Great!

Make Your Customer Experience Great!

Make Your Customer Experience Great!

No matter what business you are in, what business model you have or what size your business is there is one rule that every single business MUST follow in order to grow – Customer Retention. The only way to retain customers is to have a customer experience strategy in place that makes the service you offer them utterly brilliant at fulfilling their needs.

Ultimately in order to be rewarded for your efforts, your goal in business is three-fold:

  • Attract prospects
  • Develop Customers
  • Retain Customers (Gaining loyal evangelists of your product or service)

In to this mix, I like to consider a final piece of the jigsaw which is to mobilise the evangelists of your business to share the glowing experience they have received courtesy of your business to their friends and family.

This is particularly important when it comes to the online space because of the rapid rate of change. Customers can quickly, in the blink of an eye, click away from your website and find an eager competitor who is only too willing to embrace and satisfy their needs.

Businesses advance, technologies emerge at break neck speed and customers need change which is why a customer experience strategy is pivotal to your ongoing success.

Take Argos one of the leading direct catalogue companies in the UK. They have realised that clients’ needs have changed. People want flexibility, they want to be able to order online and then pick up their order when it suits them rather than waiting in on a designated 8 hr delivery window. As such they are closing 75 stores and focussing on revamping and enhancing their online presence to meet the consumer demand.

In business being stationary and non agile is a one way ticket to administration. You have to move with the times and make sure that you continue to attract, retain and gain referrals from customers in order to sustain a competitive advantage amongst the rapidly changing market place.

It is no longer good enough to be run of the mill or to be just ok at what you do. You have to be great! Each and every touch point the client has with your business has to be superb, from initial contact via search engines, via the telephone or email, right the way through to the after care and educating the client in how to get the maximum benefit of your product or service.

Closing the deal, making the sale is only a small step of the customer life cycle journey. Up your game, deliver everything that you said you would and more and then more again. By doing this you have the opportunity to create a loyal customer who will stick with you for years to come, providing pre-qualified clients for your business through referrals.

Technology might have changed but business remains the same. Be great at what you do from start to finish and your business will not only survive but will flourish.