Trying to build a proper foundation for a business can be challenging without the right direction. For example, if business owners do not know how to lay a foundation of trust through online reputation management (ORM), even their best efforts could end up backfiring. It is not something to be taken lightly, especially when it comes to healthcare reputation management.
That said, how does a company best move forward when it comes to protecting their reputations online? It can be an overwhelming prospect for many, but learning to take things one step at a time can help make things easier. Here are ten things every business owner needs to know about online reputation management.
- All it takes is one mistake for a downward spiral
One of the most significant parts of ORM and making the most out of one’s online reputation is that all it takes is a single PR mistake for things to go on a downward spiral. A single fight with a customer, a single terrible tweet — and the Internet will likely pounce on the company and cause all sorts of trouble.
Without the necessary trust, even companies that focus on the best products and services will fall to obscurity.
- The right tools can make a difference
An understanding of which tools to use (and when) can make a significant difference for anyone trying to maneuver through a competitive industry landscape. The best part is that there are plenty of free tools out there that can help companies make the most out of their opportunities without breaking the bank.
- Customer service is a top priority
Online reputation management is all about keeping potential customers as satisfied as possible with the company. A focus on customer service can ensure that customers are happy and improve the company’s chances of getting positive reviews and feedback.
- An opportunity for accessibility
Without a doubt, accessibility matters when it comes to ORM and its many nuances. A restaurant might go for healthier alternatives for customers with food allergies, or a company might release brochures in braille for those with vision impairment. Going for accessibility can help the company gain plenty of support, as it can be hard not to love a business that tries its best to be accessible.
- Competitor analysis is important
While trying to fix one’s online reputation involves a thorough look into the company’s inner workings, it does not change the fact that competitor analysis is still crucial. After all, it lets company owners know what their biggest competitors are doing, and can potentially provide a roadmap for the future. While a company might not be able to take advantage of what they learn from competitors right off the bat, that is not always going to be the case.
- Website loading times matter
No matter the industry, slow loading times will likely turn off many online visitors — even when it comes to healthcare reputation management. A business website has to be as professional and to the point as possible, which means overly inspired designs are more trouble than they are worth. Keeping the loading times as low as possible is crucial for any business that wants to keep its customers happy.
- Staying on top of health matters
It can be challenging to deal with online reputation management if the company owner’s physical and mental health is compromised. It would be wise to alleviate symptoms of burnout by getting as much rest as possible, and trying to strike a balance between work and play.
- A negative review is not the end of the world
As a matter of fact, negative reviews are opportunities for a company to show that they are serious about listening to feedback and making changes. If the company manages to respond to negative reviewers in such a way that it is willing to make amends, it can put the company in a more positive light.
- Don’t forget the mobile scene
Without a doubt, many people make use of smartphones for everyday things — which includes online shopping. For those that want to keep their online reputation intact, it would be a good idea to focus on the mobile platform when building a business website.
- Your employees matter
Trying to deal with one’s online reputation is practically impossible if the company neglects its employees. A single disgruntled employee is all that is needed to blow things out of proportion, as they could very well voice their displeasure online. They can also spread the word to other employees and sow discontent. Treat the company staff well, and they’ll take care of the business.
While online and healthcare reputation management can be an overwhelming prospect for new company owners, it does not have to be such a challenging affair. The details and tips above are there to help company owners increase their chances of success online.