With all of the new changes that Google has made recently in their Google My Business Knowledge Graph listing, Reputation Management is more important than ever. Last week we noticed that Google was aggregating reviews from around the web into a business’s listing. My phone began to ring from clients and other potential customers asking what did this mean. My response was that your online reputation is now front and center. If you had been gaining reviews from your customers, then this is a great thing but if you have been putting this off, not so good.
I went back and reviewed a survey I had did a little while ago, quizzing a group of attendees at a workshop on their current process for getting reviews from their customers. I had asked about 60 attendees to respond regarding their business’s online reputation. Although I had suspected that many of them had a lot to improve, these responses were lower than I expected.
I asked them to rate their business on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best) on the following questions.
- Your business’s internal process regarding your online reputation
- The execution of this process.
- Upper Management’s understanding of the need for reviews
- The customer service training that goes on in the business.
I averaged out the scores and here are the results.
- Business’s process: 2.3
- Execution of Process: 1.6
- Knowledge of Reviews: 3.6
- Customer Service Training: 2.6
It is not surprising that the highest score is for understanding the NEED for reviews and a good online reputation. On the other side, it is not surprising that the lowest score was for execution.
These results demonstrate that getting started is the hardest thing for businesses to embrace.
So what can they do to begin creating their online reputation?
Before you focus online, focus on-site. Choose the level of customer service you want to deliver to your customers. One word of warning is that you cannot be everything to everyone. That is a losing strategy. Pick one or two things you want your customers to say or write about your business.
“They are prompt and very pleasant to deal with.”
Now you have to create the behavior in your team to deliver these results.
How can you deliver promptness?
- All phones must be answered within 3 rings.
- All emails must be responded to within 10 minutes.
- Customers must be greeted as soon as they come in.
The list goes on but the point is you are educating your team on what SPECIFIC behavior is now expected. It makes it easier for management to follow up and there are no miss-understandings on what is expected.
Each week review your online reputation. Have someone on your team document all of the review sites you care to follow to see if the number of reviews increase as well as the quality. When you start to see the customers mentioning what you are focusing on (promptness and pleasant) then you can add on another focus point of customer service you want to deliver.
This is the first step to building an environment that encourages the whole staff to be involved with delivering excellent customer service, hence building your online reputation.
Let me know your thoughts. If you liked it, please share this. I appreciate it