One of the most significant influencing factors for customers when choosing businesses is their online reputation. When browsing local businesses, review ratings, responsiveness and relevance are some of the essential factors. In fact, studies have shown that 3.3 stars is the lowest average review that customers will tolerate. Your brand’s reputation online is influenced by reviews, review response, online presence, information accuracy, among other items. If your business is looking to improve its reputation online, we’ve put together five ways to do so.

Ask for Positive Reviews

It may sound simple, but it does work. One of the best methods to improve your business’s star rating is to ask customers at every touch point to leave a review. When generating reviews, there are several methods to utilize. The easiest and most effective way to elicit positive reviews is through word of mouth. When a customer has a positive experience at your business, encourage them to leave a review.

Tell Customers Where to Leave Reviews

Ambiguity kills customers’ motivation to leave reviews. The harder it is for them to know where to leave a review, the less likely they’ll do it. Counter this problem by telling customers directly or by utilizing in-branch signage. Google offers a package to businesses that utilize Google My Business. The Google My Business Marketing Kit provides your business with posters, table tents, stickers and more that give customers a way to leave reviews easily. To learn more about the Google My Business Marketing Kit, click here.

Use Google My Business

Google is the king of online searches. Maintaining over 92% market share, it’s the perfect place for financial brands to begin to manage their online reputation. Google My Business is the platform for banks and credit unions to begin to manage their digital listings and solicit positive reviews from customers.

For example, on each home page for your lcoations, there is a section titled “Get more reviews.” This section has a button to share your review form. This review form is a link created by Google that navigates directly to your Google page to leave a review. You can share this link through Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and email. You also have the ability to copy the link to embed in relevant materials.

Pro Tip

Review sites have stringent restrictions on the language that brands can use when soliciting reviews online. Violating these restrictions can result in review removal, poorer search rankings and suspension from review sites.

Turn Negatives into Positives

So, you received a negative review. Rather than viewing it as detrimental to your goals, use it as an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive. The most common reviews are from great experiences or poor experiences, so negative reviews are unavoidable. When a negative review comes in, the best course of action is damage control.

Your first priority for addressing poor feedback is to respond to all aspects of the negative review. Next, show empathy to the customer and demonstrate how you will endeavor to fix the problem in the future. For more tips on how you can better manage your online reputation, be sure to check out our recent webinar on this topic.

Manage Your Reputation with Listings and Reviews. Learn more.

When drafting review responses for negative feedback, always remember to be polite and to the point. A great way to start is by thanking the customer for their feedback and sympathize with their experience. After addressing their concern, point them in the right direction to speak with someone at your business to resolve the issue. This not only shows the customer that you care about their experience, but it also shows prospects that your business cares about its customers.

Provide Accurate Information

One of the more important aspects of reputation management is providing accurate information. There is a multitude of sites that host location information for businesses and ensuring consistency across them can be time-consuming for many brands. At the very least, you should ensure accuracy across Google My Business, Facebook, Yahoo, Bing and Yelp. These five sites are some of the most used when customers are looking for information on a business. While these sites offer the ability to add as much information as you’d like, there are some areas to focus on. Here are a few of the key items:

  • Address – Ensure your address is displayed correctly. Try to keep consistency between the address listed on your website and the sites hosting your listings.
  • Hours – Verify all hours are consistent across the web. This includes lobby hours, drive-thru hours and holiday hours.
  • Contact Information – Include any ways customers and potential customers can contact your business. This includes any phone numbers (main, toll-free, etc.) and customer service emails you utilize.
  • Website Link – Your digital listings should always include a link to your website. Adding this resource gives customers and prospects a way to learn more about your business.
  • Photos/Videos – The addition of pictures and videos gives viewers a better idea of what your business looks like. This is especially important when people who haven’t visited the location are doing research.

Ensuring consistency for the above information is a great way to improve your online reputation and Google rank. If you need help with managing your online digital listings, learn how Social Assurance can help.

Maintaining a credible online reputation is a critical part of growing your brand. While the task may seem daunting at first, your business will be on the right track with a bit of attention. This extra attention won’t go unnoticed. Customers and prospects alike will know they’re doing business with a credible company.

Do you have questions about content or are interested to learn more about how Social Assurance can help improve your financial brand’s reputation? Email us at info@socialassurance.com or click the button below to reach out.

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Author: Zach Way

Raised around banking, Zach Way found his calling creating social content for financial institutions. Zach is an avid chino wearer who plays golf and religiously follows the NBA.

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