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Three Steps To Maintaining A Good Reputation

April 22, 2011

One of the pillars of establishing a successful local business is maintaining a good reputation. Local businesses take this very seriously. A good reputation can be more potent than advertising when it comes to luring new customers and gaining customer loyalty. In the past, consumer perception of a certain business is passed around the entire community via word of mouth. This idea is still present nowadays but the internet has made things a little bit more complicated.

Disgruntled customers can easily log in the internet and write a negative review about a local business for the entire community to discover and read. Within a span of five minutes, everything that has been accomplished with the help of local business marketing may be ruined. Certainly, it is not fair for a business to lose customers over a single negative review. There are three tricks to overcoming this setback.


1. Be Responsive
Hiding under the bed should someone post a bad review will not help. Businesses need to be responsive. But before being able to post your reply to any review, you need to find these negative reviews first. A simple internet search can help with that task. After finding any negative review, businesses need to respond to the post in the most professional manner. Apologize to the customer and give your side of the story. Assure the customer that the error will be rectified by offering to replace the product or rendering the service again.

2. Be Vigilant of Suspicious Reviews
Because of how easy it is to post negative reviews online, it can be very possible that a bad review is the product of a campaign to smear the reputation of your business. Although there are some review sites which have a policy against removing posts, but most have rules that protect businesses against bogus reviews. If you think that a bad review is illegitimate and questionable, then report it right away. More often than not, doing so will help solve this problem.

3. Trust in Good Reviews
Having a bad review every once in a while is expected especially since it is impossible for any business to please all its customers. You should not worry too much about bad reviews. What you need to make sure is that your business is getting as many authentic good reviews as possible. The newer these reviews are the better since the negative reviews will be pushed down to make way for the more recent posts.

Chris Marentis writes from experience about lead generation, closing the sale and leveraging social media. He is the founder and CEO of Surefire Social who specializes in local search engine marketing.

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