As an up-and-coming startup, the reviews you receive for your business are critical. A few bad reviews can sink a startup, leaving you struggling to figure out what to do next–or worse, closing your doors before you even had a chance to prove yourself. By following these critical reputation management tips, you can improve the way people view your business and ensure that when they do find reviews about your business, they’re as positive as possible.

Tip #1: Track Your Online Reputation

Your online reputation in today’s highly digital society is more important than ever. Many of today’s customers view reviews left online as being just as important as reviews from family and friends–and in fact, a high percentage of customers will go online and browse through reviews before making a purchase or choosing your business for their needs. That means that now, more than ever, you need to know what customers are saying about your business online.

Tip #2: Go Above and Beyond for Customer Service

Customer service is one of the most important aspects of your business, especially in these early days. When you’re first starting out, make sure that you go above and beyond for your customers. Be willing to go out of your way to make things right, whether it means expediting delivery, accepting a return outside your intended window, or simply taking the time to walk a customer through the process of getting started with their new product.

When you interact with customers online, whether through social media or via email, make sure that you respond fast: one of the most important elements of customer service is how soon you respond to your customers’ needs.

Tip #3: Answer Challenges and Problems

In many cases, you can’t erase a bad online review, but you can change the way potential customers view it. If you’ve received a bad review, address it! Discuss what went wrong with the customer and look for ways that you can fix it, even if means going out of your way. Remember, as a startup, you don’t yet have a wide client base, and every one counts. Leaving your commentary with the review, whether it’s on social media or another site, also means that future customers will see your willingness to fix any problems, rather than just seeing another customer’s complaints.

Tip #4: Build a Content Library

If you want to establish a solid online reputation, one of the best ways to do it is to showcase your authority. Your content library is a great way to show your customers that you know exactly what you’re talking about, that you have experience in your field, and that it’s worth taking a chance on you. Your content library can also help move customers through the buyer’s journey, encourage them to trust you over your competitors, and increase search engine optimization.

Tip #5: Maintain Your Social Media Accounts

Social media may feel like just one more thing you have to keep track of when you’re in the middle of launching your startup, but it’s also one of the most vital tools in your arsenal. Your social media strategy is the most effective way to establish your presence, create your brand, and make it easier for customers to interact with you in positive ways.

Tip #6: Listen to Your Customers

Whether it’s customer complaints or customer interactions on social media, take the time to genuinely listen to your customers. Learn what they have to say about your services, your products, and your industry. By listening to your customers, you’ll boost your overall reputation and create a more solid presence for yourself.

Launching a startup can be a challenge. If you need help with your bookkeeping or just a financial adviser who will help you establish relevant financial information about your business, contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

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