Online Reputation: What to do When Your Company’s Reputation Doesn’t Shine Online

Your company has built a strong reputation in its industry. It’s a regional powerhouse with national ambitions. The company is growing, and with COVID tapering, it’s now ready to double down and expand. But there’s a problem, and it starts with “www.” Your online reputation doesn’t reflect the great things your customers say about your company, the way employees tout the forward-thinking culture in one-on-one meetings or the conditions that have made those competitors across the trade show floor feel so vulnerable! You have a weak spot. It’s your online reputation.

Online reputation scores are easy for many companies to ignore—even neglect. After all, there are a lot of ways to justify a low score. You know the problem: 99% of your company’s stakeholders are happy to be part of your brand. It’s why they continue to stick with you. It’s the all-too-loud 1% making the noise. There may be 100 reasons why your low review score on Google or Glassdoor is unfair and maybe you haven’t yet asked for help even though your company has dipped to 2.8/5 stars on Yelp.

Don’t worry, it’s not too late!

At JDPR, we are experts at ensuring that the excellent word-of-mouth reputation our clients enjoy shines through online, too, and without negative skew. A higher score means more sales conversions and an easier time recruiting top talent. It also insulates you from further negative reviews as people tend to be less inclined to provide a low-score review to a company that has a high overall rating.

Here are 3 things you should start doing today to improve your online reputation management score:

  1. Pick the low-hanging fruit: The 99% of people who are happy with your brand and who haven’t left a review have often never been asked to do so. Asking these people to express the same sentiments they share in conversations at trade shows or at the water cooler on Google, Glassdoor or Yelp removes negative skew from your online score and improves your overall online narrative. So how do you get them to participate? Many times, all it takes is you asking them. Your monthly newsletter or the point-of-sale are perfect opportunities to do so! Let your customers know you want to hear about their experience. Let star employees know that you would appreciate their feedback on Glassdoor (which they can do anonymously). Have you considered asking vendors to share their experience working with you? All you have to do is ask!

  1. Dispute incorrect reviews: Yes, this is possible and one of the first steps we take for our clients at JDPR. Maybe you’re the marketing director at Delta Air Lines and you see a 1-star review complaining about a leaky bathroom fixture. Or perhaps you work for Dove Chocolate and a poor review is posted by someone who’s upset about your product’s ability to clean and sanitize. You get the idea. These are reviews left for a similarly-named but obviously different company. Challenge them through the review platform (this often involves reporting the review) and have them removed. This is a tedious yet effective way to raise your score quickly.

  1. Respond to all your reviews: Each and every one. You need to reply to the good and the bad reviews, especially if a bad review seems especially unfair. Thank your advocates, and reassure your detractors that the brand cares and is listening to their concerns. Give them a way to reach out to your company. Remember, your audience isn’t just the reviewer; your audience is all those people who see your online review score each day (think job candidates, potential investors and customers). Replying enables you to take your seat at the table and have your voice heard. Remember, tone is important when replying and a “nothing but the facts” approach is wise. Show your online audience that your company is receptive to feedback—the good and the bad.

Resolve that 2022 is the year your company gets its online reputation under control. These steps should give you the tools you need to start working toward your score goals. And if you feel your business needs just a little more help in online reputation management, we are always just an email or phone call away!