Consumers have unlimited options when it comes to sharing feedback on their experience with a company. From online review sites to social media, if a customer has an opinion, rest assured somebody will see it. On this week’s  Marketing Minute, Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio co-hosts Carol Morgan and Todd Schnick discuss how a business can successfully manage its reputation online.

Reputation management, according to Morgan, is liking what you see when you Google your name. Bad reviews come with the territory, and a proliferation of review sites make them even easier to write, and for potential customers to find. While bad reviews will always be part of business, Morgan suggests being proactive, though she points out that many firms do not consider this at first. In most cases, people are more likely to leave a negative review, but must be prompted to write a positive one.

In other words, companies need to get in the habit of asking customers to share positive reviews. Hotels are a great example, leaving survey cards in conspicuous places, but there are plenty of ways to create a follow-up system to capture good reviews, like short customer testimonials, small gift cards or online surveys. Collecting and posting positive reviews acts as a balance to the negative or neutral responses.

“Be wary of posting only positive reviews,” said Schnick. “If a record is perfect, it doesn’t seem right to me.” Do not be afraid of bad reviews, but have a plan in place for responding to them. Responding to every negative post on social media will only bog down social media managers. Choose to respond to posts where a constructive action can be taken. Potential customers come to social sites for reviews, but also to see how a company handles customer service. Use bad reviews as a way to highlight a positive, customer-focused philosophy.

Please download and subscribe to all of the Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio podcasts on iTunes and if you like this week’s show, be sure to rate it.


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