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It’s never enough to sell great products. You also need to take care of your business’s reputation. When you have a reputation for experience, friendliness and trustworthiness, people are more likely to buy from you. It becomes easier to land lucrative contracts, and you enjoy valuable word-of-mouth advertising from happy customers. With the increasing reach of online sales, reputation management is more important than ever. What’s involved?

The Best Reputation

Modern consumers care primarily about a few different things. First, they want to know that your business offers excellent service. They also want to know that your products or work are of the highest quality — that you’re dependable. More than ever before, people also care what your business stands for. You need to think about the impression you make. This includes things such as your core values and the comments you make in an online setting.

The Impact of Online Reviews

Virtually all modern customers look at reviews before deciding which company to buy from. In part, they look at the products and prices available, but that’s not the only deciding factor. They focus on the star ratings of your business or your products. They also read reviews written by past customers or clients.

What happens if you have a solid 4-star or 5-star rating? Even before people walk into your business or call you, they’ve already decided they can trust you. They may even recommend your business to friends based on these reviews. In a way, online reviews are the modern equivalent of a dressing room in department stores. People can’t “try on” a pair of pants online, but they can look at pictures and read what other people who have bought the pants experienced.

A single negative review isn’t the end of the world, but having consistently negative reviews can impact your sales negatively. Reputation management can help you in both scenarios.

The Best Way To Encourage Positive Reviews

Never pay writers or companies to give you positive reviews. This is against the terms of service of many search platforms, and Google can penalize your business severely for it. The same thing goes for offering customers free products in exchange for a positive review — don’t do it.

Positive reviews that are valuable spring from great service. As your business does great work, people naturally speak good about it. You can build up excellent reviews in no time.

What about negative reviews? Don’t overact to them. Don’t verbally attack the person posting them. Instead, reputation management means writing a courteous reply, apologizing for the bad experience and promising to do better next time. This can have a great effect on the person and on other readers.