What do you think of when you hear the words online reputation?
Customer service? Reviews? Maybe star ratings?
Your online reputation is all of the above and then some. In short, your online reputation is what people say about your agency on the internet. Today, the internet is the first stop for consumers. And, people tend to believe what they see online.
When people research businesses to frequent as a customer, they usually do a local search. Once your agency shows up in search results, they will visit your insurance website to see if you offer what they need.
Join the Conversation
The next step in researching a business is to read your reviews! Did you shudder at those three words? It may be time to start to have a voice in the conversation people have about you via the world wide web. Everyone has an online reputation. The good news is you have a say in yours.
Reviews give current and past customers the freedom to leave feedback. And, you have the freedom to track and manage it.
In a perfect world, everyone would be honest and fair with their feedback. Unfortunately, part of owning a business is customers that had a bad experience with you. Then, dealing with a less than favorable review online. If you have a couple (or more than a couple) negative reviews, fear not! Here are the best practices for managing your online reputation.
Before you manage your online reputation, you need to cultivate one. Nothing feels better than knowing a customer is satisfied after doing business together. Take it a step further and ask them to give you feedback.
The Negative and the Positive
With positive feedback always comes the negative. It’s a part of business. Let’s focus on the positive first.
When you get a positive review, that customer took time out of their day to boost your online reputation. This is something that can’t be done without them. So, respond in a timely manner. And offer a simple thank you message in response to their positive feedback.
This way, new and returning customers will see you are active when it comes to your online reputation. People like to know your agency has a human side.
Now to the not-so-easy side of reviews: The negative. If you see a less than favorable review pop up about your agency, don’t panic. They left a bad review because your products or service fell short of expectations.
First, never fire back matching their tone or claiming you did no wrong. This will make the situation worse. Everyone that comes across your reviews will see this unprofessional interaction.
Instead, look at this as an opportunity to prove your amazing customer service skills. Check your settings for your agency's business listings and social media accounts. You'll want to receive an email or text notification as soon as you have a new review.
Address the review in a timely manner to apologize for their unpleasant experience. Assure them you want to make it right. Offer an email or a phone number for them to reach you so you can come up with a solution.
Check all Platforms and Continue to Reach Out
Now you know how to respond to reviews. You may think your job is over right? Nope. Your online reputation doesn’t stop at responding to your current reviews.
In fact, your online reputation is an ongoing project requiring consistent monitoring. To have a stellar online rep, ask for reviews every time you have a positive interaction.
Why, you ask? Because Google is getting smarter when it comes to providing the most credible search results online.
In other words, they want to give search authority to businesses with recent reviews. Google has an algorithm that deems reviews to be irrelevant after six months. So you will need to make it a point to continuously gather feedback.
And remember, it is a good practice to check your review platforms often. You won’t miss any opportunity to let the internet know that you’re a champion at customer service.
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