By Nardo Kuitert, U-C WEBS
[Published in The Wellington Advertiser, January 2015 for the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce]
The Internet can be a very powerful ally – or enemy. These days, the majority of people will check out a company’s online reputation before making a purchase. So how does your company stand the test? Are (positive) reviews helping you a lot, or are (negative) reviews sending your prospects straight to your competition?
In order to properly manage your online reputation you need a few things:
- Find out what’s being said about your company all over the web
- Try to get negative reviews removed (may be tricky)
- Get lots and lots of positive (real) reviews
Now you can do all of this by hand, or, like I do, use specialized software to help you achieve results faster. The main reason why you want to get many positive reviews, is that people will favour the company with the most (positive) reviews. See for yourself: do a search for a local company in Google and you will get the local Google Maps listings. These local listings also show the reviews information: how many there are and their average rating. You will likely check out the one with the most reviews/highest ratings – even if that company is at the bottom of the 3-7 companies listed! You may also look at the “freshness” of the reviews; you would rather like to see 5 recent reviews than 5 old ones from 2009. And that’s exactly what your customers want to see for your company as well: many recent reviews, in order to reassure themselves that you are worth their business.
Asking your clients for feedback (online) can be a scary thing – what if they say something bad? And that is exactly the reason why you should be using special software! Technology can help you set up a review funnel, to keep the negative feedback in-house and give you the opportunity to solve an issue with an unhappy costumer before the negative feedback turns into a negative review. Most people with a grievance just want to complain, and then for you to fix their problem!
I wish you and your loved ones a happy and prosperous 2015.
For more information: contact your web developer, or website optimizer Nardo Kuitert at www.asknardo.com or 519-787-7612. Nardo has written the On The Web column on behalf of the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce since 2006.
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