How to Monitor Your Company's Reputation
If you aren’t paying attention to what people are saying about your company on the internet, you should be. Negative comments and postings can spread quickly and be detrimental to your reputation and ultimately to your bottom line. Customers (and employees) already have many avenues to vent their frustrations and the list of outlets is growing.
Most small business owners are aware of the idea that Internet smack-talking is on the rise but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of clarity on how to find what people are saying about you on the Internet or what to do about it. If you’re curious to see what people are saying about your company on the Internet, start with a simple Google search.
Aside from the top social media sites, there are several major review sites on the Internet where individuals can express their praise and complaints about your company. Here are a few:
AngiesList.com – Reviews for service companies like auto and home repair
TripAdvisor.com –Reviews for hotels and vacation destinations
OpenTable.com – Patrons can review a restaurant before dining and avoid places that others have experienced poor service and food
There are also major customer complaint sites dedicated to consumers posting a complaint about a company that ruffled their feathers:
RipoffReport.com – This is the main website to complain and find out about scams. The site even helps with lawsuits filed against individuals and companies participating in scams.
ComplaintsBoard.com – This site is for customer complaints and stories about recalls and companies in the news. This is bad news for companies like Bank of America who is clearly one of the most frustrating banks to work with and Direct TV, who gets the most complaints for satellite TV providers.
PlanetFeedback.com – .his site allows consumers to complain, but also allows companies to post responses to those complaints and a way for the company to make things right.
EMPLOYERS – Take note, here are two websites that should be of particular interest to you in determining your company’s reputation amongst current and past employees.
On these two sites, current and previous employees can leave reviews about your company - for better or for worse. These employee reviews can include information about compensation, senior management and the overall company culture. These reviews can be very personal and detrimental to your organization if you leave them unmonitored.
So why should you pay attention to what people are saying about you on social media and the Internet? A Harvard research project conducted in 2011 indicates that a one star or poor review for a local or independent company can result in a five to nine percent drop in sales annually and a drag on your bottom line for months. Enough negative comments by customers will definitely cause other ones to avoid your company.
So what should you do? Dedicate at least one person to monitoring your company’s reputation on the internet. But don’t just monitor it – do something about it! Respond to a negative comment or complaint with a helpful attitude, ask the complainer what you can do to make things right and correct the situation. People often use their real name when posting, so try doing a Google search if you have trouble getting in touch with them. Many people will be impressed by your effort to make a mends and may even remove the negative comment or complaint. These people can even become one of your biggest advocates.
If you think you may need help managing your company’s reputation because of problems with poor productivity or unhappy employees, give us a call or contact us by clicking here.
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