5 Tips for Managing Your Brand’s Online Reputation

Managing your brand’s online reputation is more important than ever. Users have a handful of popular platforms (such as Yelp, Google Reviews, and Facebook) to submit questions, reviews, and suggestions. How you handle these interactions can often be the difference between customers choosing you over your competition. Below are some tips on how to manage negative reviews effectively and professionally.

A phone with review bubbles popping up, showing 5 stars, 1 star, and 4 stars

Tip #1 — Don’t take it personal.

Many times, business owners play an active part in reviewing and deciding how to reply to online interactions. It is crucial to not take it too personal. Your product or service won’t be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s okay! If you are feeling emotional after reading a review, take a break and wait until your emotions have lowered to compose your response.

Tip #2 — You’re never just replying to the individual that commented.

Since your reply will be publicly visible, your response will be read by other potential customers. If they see that your business replied to an unhappy customer, they’ll understand that issues customers experience will be addressed.

Tip #3 — Decide on basic rules or guidelines to follow that establish consistency.

Who is responsible for monitoring your company’s digital reputation? What types of reviews will be flagged and sent up to upper leadership for review? What tone do you want your responses to convey? Answering these questions will make managing online feedback easier and provide a good foundation for consistency with your brand’s voice.

Tip #4 — Don’t be afraid to defend your business.

The days of “the customer is always right” are over. Some customers cross the line and accuse your business of things that aren’t true. Some reviews may be posted by competitors to make your business look bad. If you are confident in their side of the story being completely false, it is common for brands to respond with their side of the story to rebut the nasty comments or reviews. Be careful responding to these because being wrong could be very costly, but ignoring inaccurate reviews can lead other customers to believe they’re true and may invite more false reviews down the road.

Tip #5 — Turn negatives into positives.

Many reviews or comments report honest complaints about your staff or product. Take this information as a positive! Now you can address these issues to prevent them from happening in the future. Thank the individual for providing insight to an issue and let them know it will be addressed, which will increase the odds that they return. Managing responses like this can be very helpful to succeed in tip #1.