It doesn’t take much to damage the reputation of a company. Sometimes, a review from a dissatisfied customer is the catalyst that does all the harm! At other times, a deliberate attack or mistaken identity could be the culprit. Businesses with a relatively untarnished reputation or those who want to remove blemishes need an online reputation management company to do the magic.
If you still don’t see the effect of the damage your company’s reputation can have on business, then consider this. BrightLocal reports that about 85% of consumers place equal trust in online reviews and personal recommendations. Not scared enough yet? Then try this one, close to 50% of consumers won’t even use a business if it doesn’t have a four-star rating.
Since most consumers shop online these days – or you are the owner of an online retail store – it is crucial that you pay attention to your search engine rankings and maintain a positive social media presence. The services of an ORM company can ensure that you get the right kind of exposure. This is done via a mixture of SEO, social media, and complaint management.
So, how can you choose the right reputation management company for your business? Try these tips:
Assess the need
Do you need an ORM firm? Determine your actual reputation by first asking around about it. Talk to friends, clients, family, stakeholders, and business partners. Then survey your company’s digital presence and match it with your reputation offline. If the latter could be used as a boost, then move on to the next step.
They show up in an online search
So, you are looking for Reputation Management Companies that can help your business with its ORM. It would be funny if they don’t have a good online presence, wouldn’t it? Start by looking for them online and then proceed from there. However, a strong online presence can be earned in one of the two ways. Firstly, the firm can climb the pedestal by taking in positive advice. Alternatively, they may simply throw a lot of money on advertising to get there. The former will be useful to you but the latter, not so much!
Advertising for a popular keyword, such as online reputation management, can be expensive. When you come across firms, who are paying to get where they are, think before hiring them. Are they prioritizing advertising to acquire new customers over servicing the existing ones? Choose an ORM firm that use organic results to get to the top spot. Then look up the company and its founder. Do they have an impressive and positive online presence? Remove all firms from your list that don’t, and focus on the ones that do. It is now time to:
Check for a wand
ORM organizations that promise to run a campaign that looks highly efficient, but sounds a bit unrealistic shouldn’t be trusted! When a company claims lightning fast results, ask them if they have a magic wand for making this happen.
Don’t fall for the immediate fix trick; instead, go for a company that promises long-lasting results even if they won’t happen overnight. Remind yourself that this can take time.
Their customer service
You are a business owner yourself, and it is probably likely that you have also been a consumer yourself. What do you look for in a service that you contract with? Or on the flip side, what do your customers look for when they sign up with you? Great customer service can be an influencing factor when it comes to the decision a consumer will make to stick with any business.
When you are choosing an online reputation management company, their customer service can serve as a guide to the quality of their other services. As soon as you contact them for the first time, you should get a good vibe from them. They won’t keep you waiting or mistreat you in any way if they are truly interested in working with you. They will also answer all and any questions you may have for them. Does the firm of your choice do all that?
Beware of black-hat SEO
These aren’t the old lawless days of SEO. So, obsolete black-hat SEO techniques, such as link farming and keyword stuffing, won’t even work. An ORM firm that has shady techniques up their sleeve is one that you should be staying away from. They may even outsmart you — for a bit, but it won’t last long!
The extreme sophistication of search engines like Google has made black-hat SEO techniques almost worthless. A good practice it to work within its guidelines! Any firm that understands the value of great content is more likely to get you ranked in search results. Work with them.
They follow through
So, they showed you an impressive ten-step plan that they intend to unleash for the protection of your reputation. That’s good, but it doesn’t complete the job! Their final step should be actually to make those changes that they have marked out.
If it is something that you will have to do from your side, such as offer customers any discounts to apologize for bad service, get it done. Once you are done…
Measure your progress
When you are in the talks with an ORM company, find out if they have a way of measuring the progress they have made. After all, you are paying them to protect your reputation and even improve it. If they won’t keep track of whether what they did, worked out or not, how will they report the results to you? They can do this by monitoring the average rating of your customer reviews online. Or they may have another way. As long as its credible and showing improvement, they are a good choice for you!
A business that realizes reputation management isn’t easy but is crucial stands to enjoy great payoffs. Find the right ORM company for you and reap the online rewards!