Your reputation is everything in business. Before the internet, pool builders only really had to focus on doing excellent work and providing high-quality customer service to make sure their reputations were in check, but the advent of social media has made reputation management much more challenging. If you work with a digital marketing strategist, online reputation management is one of the things they will help you with, so you can stay in control of the messaging about your brand. For pool builders, online reputation management means ensuring that your local community has a good impression of your business, which is a critical factor in your success. It’s natural to have questions about why your online reputation matters so much and how to make sure review sites show your company off in the best light. Here are the answers to common questions pool builders have.
Why should I care about my online reputation?
It is common for small-to-medium size businesses to maintain the misconception that online reputation management is only a concern for large, national brands. A bad online reputation could be significantly more damaging to local businesses than they can be to national brands. Even if you know that word-of-mouth recommendations of your business consistently bring new customers, all it takes is a few scathing reviews online to turn new customers away from you. Most people looking to build a new pool research companies online first, so a bad impression will easily turn them away from your brand.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter much if the bad review or post on social media about your pool building business represents the reality of the situation. If there are bad reviews of your business online that you haven’t adequately addressed, your reputation will suffer.
How can I monitor my reputation?
Monitoring your online reputation can be a big job, which is why many pool builders hire a digital marketing company for assistance. There are multiple places that negative or inaccurate information about your business could circulate online, including:
- Social media, including neighborhood-specific sites like Nextdoor
- Press reviews/articles
- Review sites, like Google Reviews and Yelp
- Complaints on your website, such as in the comment section on blogs
- Competitors that say negative information about your company in advertising
This list of platforms exemplifies how much time managing your online reputation can take. Effectively monitoring and responding to negative information online usually involves creating a set of goals for your reputation and a defined strategy for prioritizing sites to monitor.
Is there a way to fix negative reviews?
If a review is posted on a site like Yelp about your business that is fake, there are processes for appealing to have that information removed. If your business is being targeted by a barrage of negative reviews that are motivated by non-business reasons, you can often get a warning message attached to the reviews that highlight them as potentially untrue.
However, if there is an element of truth in negative reviews, such as interaction with a pool customer that didn’t go the way you wish it had, you have a great opportunity. You can respond to the customer online and work with them to make the problem right. Research shows that most people who posted something negative about a business would work with them again if the business responded to the problem and found a solution. Even better, when potential customers see you working hard to make sure the customer is satisfied, their trust in your brand is likely to grow. For this to be effective, it’s important to keep your responses positive and not get into arguments with customers, even if the customer is being unreasonable.
How do I find out my online reputation?
If you’re not sure what the reputation of your pool building business is online, then the first place you should start is finding out exactly what people are saying about you. You can audit your online reputation by simply Googling your name. Use an incognito browser, so you can get the experience of someone searching your brand for the first time. Make a list of what you find, highlighting the negative information in particular, so you have a starting point for your management.
Online reputation management can be challenging, especially for pool builders trying to meet their customers’ needs. Call us today at (866) 961-2086 to find out how we can help you with your digital reputation management strategy, so you can focus on what you do best: building pools for satisfied customers.