Things happen. Young entrepreneurs are prone to mistakes as they climb the ladder of financial wealth and influence. And if you’re a young entrepreneur with vision and a bright future, you will have a bounty on your head.
Patrick Ambron, CEO of BrandYourself.com and a leading expert in online reputation management & online privacy, has shared with us some of the ways he and his company help out young entrepreneurs. With more than 10 years of experience behind him, and satisfying more than 1 million customers, Patrick Ambron says that the biggest threat to his clients is fraudulent Google results.
According to Mr. Ambron, the delete button doesn’t exist on the internet, and what’s posted on it can never be erased. That’s why everyone, not just entrepreneurs, needs to be extra careful at what they say.
Research done on online reputation management has found that 58% of executives think that online reputation management should be addressed, but only 15% of them do anything about it.
The same research found out that nearly 40% of employed internet users perform Google searches on their co-workers or competitors.
Another study found out that 40% of businesses that experience some negative events that ultimately harm their reputation get a decrease in revenue.
So because of all this, here are Mr. Ambron’s top tips for improving your online reputation.
1. Ask Customers to Write Reviews
Negative reviews damage your businesses’ reputation. If your businesses’ reputation is damaged, fewer people will want to do business. With fewer people and fewer customers, your number plummet and your business slowly fails. So, one way to escape the sinkhole is to ask your customers to write reviews about your products or services. But asking for a review is rather tricky, to say to least. You have to give your customers an incentive to write a review. The best way to do this is by giving them a discount. While some of you might think this is unethical, don’t because you’re not forcing them to do anything. You are simply giving them the option to write a review, and get a 15% discount on their next purchase, says Ambron.
2. Expand Your Presence
One way for people to know more about you and your business is by visiting your social profiles. For a businessman, you cannot rely just on a single platform for reviews and ratings. As people have different preferences for researching brands, the best course of action would be to expand to multiple platforms. A research found out that the best review sites that consumers trust the most are Yelp, Facebook, Google, Trip Advisor, Better Business Bureau, and the Yellow Pages.
3. Make Public Responds to Complaints
The best way for consumers to see that you care about their complaints is to use those social platforms to make a public response. Remember always that “the customer is always right” and you need to treat them properly, even if they aren’t right, says Patrick. Instead of being defensive and trying to look better, acknowledge their concerns, address them, and empathize with them. As a big brand, you will get a ton of negative complaints as not everyone will like you. But it’s all up to you to make the most out of the situation, says Patrick.