If businesses want to be taken seriously, it cannot ignore the importance of online reputation. Before the internet, businesses built their reputation slowly and through word of mouth. Today, a business reputation can be built quickly. However, just as easily a business reputation can be built, it can be tarnished in a matter of seconds.

Thanks to the digital age, customers can share their thoughts and their version of their experiences with your brand with a few clicks. The internet can be a godsend for companies that want to grow quickly, but can be a headache if customers leave negative reviews. That is why businesses should track what is being said about their company and take charge of their online reputation. Here are a few ethical ways for businesses to build and foster a positive online reputation.

5 Ways to Improve Your Online Reputation

1. Provide Excellent Customer Experiences
First and foremost, the best way to maintain a positive online reputation is to take charge of your customer service and the experiences that your customers have when they interact with your company. In addition to a proactive customer service, respond to online reviews and feedback. Customers enjoy businesses that interact with them online and quickly solve challenges they are currently experiencing. The internet is a fast paced environment and information travels quickly. Your business should take advantage of this, responding to customers’ needs and their reviews can build and maintain a positive brand image.

2. Fix an issue before it becomes a major problem
Even the most reputable and established company may receive a bad review online. How your company addresses the bad review can mean the difference between happier customers or an issue snowballing into a problem. Establishing an active online presence that engages with its customers can help pacify angry customers and avoid your company’s downfall. It is impossible to keep everyone happy but reaching out to angry customers and offering different solutions may change how your customers feel about you.

Besides that, potential customers will read the review and the feedback that your company provides. When online users see the interaction between you and an angry customer, they may get an impression that your company keeps its customers first at all times. It also keeps small issues from snowballing into a negative viral story.

3. Display the best that your company has to offer
Most people go online to research before deciding to do business with a company. Many customers rely on reviews to learn more about companies they are unfamiliar with. These potential customers use the information they find online and the information from reviews to determine if your company is the right fit for them.

The reality is that whatever industry your company is in, what your customers say about your business online, stays online forever. That is why your company needs to show its best side to its customers, all the time. If a customer provides a good review, thank them. If a customer provides a poor review, immediately try to fix it and leave feedback that proves that your company has tried to fix it. Potential customers take all of the information they have gathered into consideration and use it to determine if you are the best company for them. A customer may be put off by a negative review but react positively by the response your company leaves negative feedback. Take every opportunity to show your company good side and impress potential customers.

4. Be active online
Customers today research different brands, product lines, and services online before making a purchase. That is why it is important to have social media accounts ready. Inform existing customers of your social accounts and ask them to follow you. Post regularly and engage with your customers, add valuable content that grabs a customer’s attention, and foster loyalty to your brand.

When potential customers see a loyal following and consistent positive feedback, they are more likely to associate your brand in a positive light. They are more likely to believe that your business is an authority in whatever industry your company belongs to. Not only does a strong social presence improve your online reputation, but it also helps increase sales for your business. Personal interactions with your customers are the best way to boost sales. Customers are impressed and happy when an organization reaches out to them. Never let comments go unanswered, respond to each of them in a timely matter. It shows that you care about your customers and value their business.

5. Build Trust and Credibility
No one can put a price on trust and credibility. These two factors could make or break your company’s online reputation. If you offer excellent services and over deliver on your promises, customers are likely to spread the word about their experiences. A happy customer likes to share their experiences online and through word of mouth with their family and friends. That means good news for your business. It builds trust between you and your customers. Over time, your company will earn a positive brand image that attracts new customers.

It may seem overwhelming for young companies to engage with customers and monitor an online presence. Perhaps your company is currently going through a sticky online reputation crisis. SEO Brand has helped many businesses manage their online reputations. If your company needs help getting its online reputation back on track, then it is time to call us and see what SEO Brand can do for your business.