In the online world, a contractor’s reputation depends on several different factors. These factors are constantly changing and should be managed via consistent and dedicated techniques. The primary considerations for online reputation are:
- Accessibility: Do you interact with current and potential customers online? What are the online channels for communication?
- Accountability: Does your company have recent reviews on Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp or any other sources? Are these mostly positive or negative?
- Transparency: Does your brand hide or ignore negative reviews? Or do you acknowledge and respond to negative mentions in a professional manner?
- Visibility: Does your brand already have an established image on the internet? Is your business listed on online directories, do you have active social media profiles?
The speed at which information circulates around the web is very high, leading to a constantly evolving nature of the online reputation of a business or an individual. Consistently monitoring the reputation of your business will minimize the impact of negative mentions, while maximizing opportunities for improving the brand’s public image in positive situations.
Review Management for Contractors
One of the most tangible, impactful aspects of online reputation is review management. Business ratings on Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, and other sites, have become a trustworthy reputation resource for potential customers.
Most of people already trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Hence, contractor companies should pay attention to the following details when managing reviews:
- Consistency: Keep updated and consistent NAP (Name, Address, and Phone) listings on review websites to make it easy for customers to leave a review, and create a visible resource for future customers.
- Diversity: Reviews will appear on multiple platforms, and must be managed as such, including Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp or any other industry-specific site.
- Generation: You can insert links to review profiles in the footer of a website, as well as on email signatures, encouraging customers to leave reviews.
- Response: Negative reviews can’t be entirely avoided, and should be viewed as a PR opportunity to respond in a professional manner that builds up the company’s reputation.
One mistake companies make is responding to negative reviews in the heat of the moment. Even if the customer talks negatively about your service, confronting them in a non-professional manner will only hurt your company’s reputation. Review responses are not about being right — they are about being open, persuasive, and inviting to future customers.