How to manage your eReputation? Here are the 3 keys to improving your eReputation, identifying the 3 profiles of people who leave comments (and how to respond), and if your eReputation is marred the actions to clean it up.
But why write an article on eReputation management?
Quite simply because the management of your eReputation is becoming more and more important
Whether you are an individual or a business, you need to check out what Google and its friends are saying about you.
- ensure that your prospects who inquire on the internet before buying do not come across a killer opinion
- avoid that a recruiter who types your name in Google does not come across poor photos or information
Managing your eReputation is therefore essential, and this is confirmed by a study published by Visionary Marketing according to which 69% of companies monitor their eReputation.
In terms of sales, reading online reviews has a strong influence on the purchase. Once you are successful in gaining eReputaion you can earn by creating monopoly.
According to a YouGov study, 72% of French people have given up on a purchase after reading reviews, and on the contrary, 60% wanted to buy a product by reading a customer review.
Taking care of your eReputation (and therefore what your customers and prospects say about you) is therefore essential because it conditions your future sales. This explains the development of online reputation management tools, techniques, and services, with the use of various techniques.
They all combine to give a true picture of reality, even to make a good impression on the target, and to present themselves in their best light (without disguising the truth, because disappointing perhaps much worse).
In fact, the customer experience stems from (the perception of the service – initial expectations) x Emotions linked to the purchase:
As for influencers, famous personalities (politicians, stars…)… they necessarily have a community, and they must control their image and listen to what is said (to improve) while avoiding wasting time with “trolls” ”Which are only there to let off steam on the web.
Why is it essential to manage your eReputation?
Monitoring your eReputation is all the more important as a person’s power to cause a nuisance on the web can be very important
With rage, a feeling of injustice … it is possible to seriously harm a company or a person at a lower cost.
Here are some of the actions that are often noticed in “electronic revenge”:
- Submit opinions on general public opinion sites (Google My Business, Trustpilot, etc.).
- Submit opinions on specialized public sites and forums (eg opinionassurances in the field of insurance & mutual funds, Booking.com, etc.) …
- Put a negative opinion on eCommerce sites and marketplaces Amazon.fr, RueDucommerce …
- Post a bad review on the brand’s Facebook page.
- Systematically comment on publications and advertisements on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… (with their profile or false profiles).
- Write comments on blog posts, forums, news sites… that stand out first on Google on the brand.
- Buy a domain name related to the brand to talk about your experience negatively (without grossly defaming the brand).
- Open a specific Twitter, Instagram, Facebook … account to talk about your negative experience with the brand.
- Post negative testimonials on buyers’ forums (eg 60 million consumers…).
- Rotting the company on employee review sites (eg: Glassdoor…).
- Send a message directly to the manager of the company or to the Customer Service manager via Linkedin or by email.
The results of these actions can easily dissuade certain prospects from going further with a brand and permanently tarnish the brand image of a company (everything that is indexed by Google remains visible for years).
However, not everyone has the “hatred” or the resentment to engage in such actions …
We must distinguish 3 profiles of people who can harm an eReputation.
1 – The customer who wants to give his opinion
This review is in fact a “constructive” review from someone who wants to give their opinion, share their experience… but who doesn’t really have a major problem with your business.
- She just wants to make her opinion known and share it with others, even if it is not good.
- These are often the “super guides” who systematically leave reviews on Google My Business, Thefork, Booking…
- With these people, you have to respond and exchange, and take these comments as a means of progress (and not as a personal criticism), in order to perhaps transform this client into a promoter of the brand.
2 – The dissatisfied customer who wants to publicize his bad experience
This advice comes from a person who is dissatisfied, most often because they will not have had the answer to their request quickly enough, or because they find that the answer given to them is unfair.
- Therefore its goal will be to make it known, both to warn consumers, but also to take revenge.
- What to do with these people is to respond to them and listen to them, quickly going into private conversations so as not to expose the problem to the light of day.
- If possible, call the person on the phone in order to have a direct and frank exchange, and especially not just exchange in writing.
- It is essential to keep its promises, otherwise, its rage will resume on the web.
- Then once the conflict is defused, ask him to reconsider his opinion.
Note: sometimes this customer profile will not even answer your questions … Indeed, for him his opinion is done, and he will have used a bogus email address, or quite simply he will not receive your answer. In this context, your only solution will be to show your efforts by showing that you have made an effort to respond.
3 – The Troll who simply wants to harm you
A troll is a person who hates you and takes advantage of every opportunity to destroy your online reputation or give advice.
- With a troll, there is no point in arguing for hours, simply because your products and services make their hair stand out.
- Often times it is that the products and services that you offer are simply contrary to its philosophy.
- He is a person who wants to play the vigilante, and who takes this as a mission. He takes pleasure in the written joust and awaits your answers to let go again.
- It is essential to know that no matter how hard you try, you can’t get him to change his mind.
- Rather, you have to accept that he will never be your customer and that your offer is not suitable. You should not argue step by step to his answers or justify yourself in the face of comments that often go miles in length.
- It is better to close the dispute and let him deport his hatred elsewhere (eg: ” I’m sorry that you don’t like xxx. I just paid you back in full. I advise you to see a certain range of products instead … These products are probably more suitable than mine. ”).
- Usually, this attitude is enough, because you are going to distract his attention and play “regular” people.
- If he still comes back despite your message, it is because you have to do one to a real troll. You must then try to block him and have his account deleted (eg: delete him from a Facebook Group, ban him from your Page…).
- It is important not to argue for hours with him because he will spend even more time answering you and you will end up in a negative spiral.
To understand the Trolls, here are two reports on the Trolls on the Internet:
Here is a report in English on the rise of the Trolls
Note: in the Troll category, you can also find a dishonest competitor who uses false profiles to harm your eReputation. If you spot this kind of behavior, go directly to the judicial phase that you will see later in this case …
How to improve your eReputation?
If there is one thing to remember, it is that prevention is always better than cure …
If for the moment the situation is not serious (eg you have opinions and testimonials are rather positive or neutral), you must simply counterbalance the spontaneous opinions (often negative) with the positive ones to give a more accurate picture of the reality.
To do this here is the first series of simple actions to implement.
Note: To ensure that your customers have a good experience, do not forget to play the mystery shoppers, that is to say, follow the entire purchase journey as if you were a customer (or by asking a third party to do it for you). It is often through this process that we are able to detect black spots in the customer journey (see this article on the Customer Journey ).
1 – Directly ask your customers to leave a testimonial on Google My Business, Trustpilot, Amazon …
It sounds simple, but many businesses don’t think about asking all of their customers to leave a review.
It’s a simple technique to start getting positive reviews.
This is a completely legal way, which is similar to the Google Flooding technique(you will have the explanations right after!).
Sometimes all you have to do is ask it face to face, via an email in an auto-responder sequence… all your customers to leave a review.
This avoids having only “extreme” opinions on the web (the very dissatisfied and the very happy).
For example, in the automatic message sequences following the purchase of my training courses, I suggest that my clients give a review.
Here is an example of a scenario, with different branches depending on whether the customers are happy… or not!
Sometimes, on certain products like my book “Growth Hacking”, I offer bonus videos in exchange for a review (positive or negative). This is all programmed into the marketing automation scenario as well.
Sites like Trustpilot allow you with their free offer (Freemium 100 reviews/month) to leave a review and be able to display a badge with the reviews on your site, or even the last reviews left.
2 – Set up a space for discussion with your customers via satisfaction surveys.
This is the basic element to avoid having too bad an eReputation.
Indeed, it is better to give your customers and prospects space where they can express themselves with you, rather than letting them look for a way to catch your attention and that of all Internet users on the web and social networks.
To do this, it is sufficient to measure satisfaction (eg an NPS or a Csat) following a customer interaction, or at least once a year for all customers.
And of course, if the ratings are good, you can link them to the post of verified reviews.
Communication means (eg: contact form, give your opinion…) may also be available on your website, on your Facebook page via the Reviews tab…
3 – Offer your products to relationships and ask them to leave a testimonial.
The most difficult thing with opinions on the web is to have them… this is why it is necessary to prime the pump with first opinions.
The goal is not to have false opinions, but to find people who will make the effort to give a testimony.
For example, when I launched the 2020 version of my “Growth Hacking” training, I offered this training free to all readers of the paper book + influencers by asking them only in exchange for leaving a review.
On the one hand, it allows me to have feedback in order to improve my products before the official launch, but on the other hand, it allows me to have opinions from the start that I can use.
4 – Offer to call in a Mediator
A lot of negative reviews come from customers who find the situation unfair or who don’t feel heard.
When you have a large volume of clients, and in order to have an impartial intermediary between you and your clients, it is recommended to suggest using a mediator.
The goal of the Mediator is to listen to the stakeholders, understand the situations, and find an arrangement before arriving at legal proceedings.
Here is an example with the Mediator of Electronic Communications:
How to clean up your eReputation?
If the preventive part comes too late, and you already have many negative opinions on the internet, you must move on to the curative phase in order to clean up your eReputation.
Here are some actions to take to get rid of this handicap of a bad reputation.
1 – Google Flooding
Most of the information about a business can be found by doing a simple Google search …
It is for this reason that users go there: to find out what is being said about a brand or a person.
The trick is therefore to push negative reviews, videos, images, etc. from the first results of the 1st page of Google as far as possible.
Indeed, Internet users rarely go beyond the first page of results, and therefore thanks to the technique of Flooding on Google you will try to add your own results in front of opinions, testimonials, sites, forums … with negative information.
In other words, you will “drown” derogatory opinions about your business (with neutral or positive content) under a large volume of information.
It can be buying a domain name on your brand, creating a WordPress blog, and massively creating content on social networks …
By mass-producing content (text, video images, etc.) on different platforms (eg WordPress.com, blogger.com, Linkedin, Twitter, etc.), publications will end up passing on the second page of Google, and thus become less visible.
However, in addition to creating your own communication spaces (your blog, your Twitter profile …), you must also publish content on your brand, the name of your products … on other websites (if possible of confidence) in order to gain visibility.
2- initiate legal proceedings
If you content yourself with an email to the administrator of a large website, you are more often than not likely to take action to remove content.
This is why do not hesitate to send a registered letter to the owner of the site in order to officially notify your disagreement on the published content.
In the event of a dispute, the fact of having sent this registered letter will also be the official starting point of the procedure.
Generally, sending a registered letter with the threat of legal proceedings shows that you are not kidding and that your request must be taken seriously.
Depending on whether you know the perpetrator, the type of defamation … the procedure is different.
You have all the information on the Government website :
3 – Ask Google to delete results from its search engine
There is a form on THIS LINK that allows you to request the deletion of results.
This form is especially useful for personal information, but a company can also use it (ex: insulting remarks on the names of the leaders…).
You can also contact the affected websites directly and let them know about your problem.
4 – The use of specialists (eReputation management agencies)
Cleaning up an eReputation is not easy, because there is both a notion of content creation, but also legal work.
On Google, you sometimes have to try to pass in front of very large sites or modify pages on Wikipedia… which is very complex.
This, therefore, requires real expertise to make information disappear or hide, and call on eReputation specialists (eg La Nantaise du Web).
It is indeed necessary to have experts in natural referencing and legal procedures to identify the right levers to operate according to the eReputation problem and the type of content.
In conclusion, how to properly manage your eReputation?
In managing your eReputation, the key remains to prevent rather than cure …
This consists first of all in setting up spaces for discussion between the brand and its ecosystem, in particular via satisfaction surveys throughout the customer journey, but also the possibility of directly contacting the company to share his dissatisfaction.
The second step is to monitor your eReputation (see this article on tools to monitor your eReputation ), in order to detect dissatisfaction and negative comments in order to respond quickly.
Depending on the communication channel, the expected responsiveness will be different.
For example on Social Media (Twitter, Facebook), customers expect a response within an hour
Finally, if there are any negative opinions, the goal will be to communicate and to find a solution so as not to tarnish the reputation of the company.