Reputation management has different meanings depending on the context.  When we look at a “reputation” of a business in the context of its online presence, the first item to look at should be the Google My Business page, often shortened to GMB.  

Reviews on the GMB page for La Mesa Mexican Restaurant in Omaha, NE.

The GMB page needs to be set up according to Google’s guidelines, with special scenarios for home based and service area based businesses.  Once set up, customers can leave comments, or ratings on your business.  This type of feedback is generally keyword rich, and helps you rank well.  The GMB account also allows you to respond to reviews, which I will discuss in a moment.

Some business owners do not like the fact that reviews can be left for all to see.  My opinion?  It is going to happen whether the business owner likes it or not, so, as an owner, you should embrace the review and allow it to work for you.

What if I get bad reviews?

This is always the fear of the business owner.  Google (and your prospects) want authenticity.  Would you trust a company that had only glowing reviews and 5 star ratings?  Customers typically state that they want insight into how a company handles a situation where someone wasn’t 100% satisfied as well as the glowing reviews.  How you respond is important-or the fact that you actually respond!  Best practice recommendation is that you respond to negative recommendations and slightly negative recommendations – directing people to your refund policies, cancellation policies, etc.  This will help others who are in the decision phase of the process to find a provider of goods or services similar to yours.

How do I get more reviews?

This is a common question that I get as a consultant.  Often, people leave reviews unsolicited – especially if they have had a poor experience.  You can combat a low overall rating by asking customers to rate you – you’ll get them if you ask them nicely!  I recommend several ways to solicit these ratings.  A sign at the cash register works, as does a slip of paper or business card with a link to your GMB page.  Have you tried emailing your customer base with a request to review, or simply adding a link to your email signature?  I also have a subscription software service that allows you to email or text the customer a link to review you.  I prefer to get the Google reviews, but you can also solicit Facebook reviews or in the service industry, some focus should be on TripAdvisor reviews as that is a respected and high-traffic review site.

We offer a comprehensive review of your online presence as well as strategies to help you with reputation management on the internet.  We’d love a chance to help you grow your business!  Contact us today!