The web has made the world more connected than ever before.

It is easier than ever to:

  • live and work remotely,
  • have longer distance relationships (personal and professional),
  • have fewer conversations face-to-face versus through an electronic device and
  • share our thoughts one-to-one or one-to-many

Our world is smaller (figuratively speaking of course).

This changes the nature of “word of mouth” — it is easier to share, and find, an opinion (review) on any product, service or business.

According to marketing and customer service keynote speaker Jay Baer,

50% of all word of mouth is online

Any staffing company will have more candidates (and clients) visit their website in a month than those they speak to in a year. When we then consider that…

90% of people report that reviews help them determine the quality of a local business

We cannot help but ask, what story do our reviews tell about our business?

Any staffing company will have more candidates (and clients) visit their website in a month than those they speak to in a year. (tweet this).

The best thing we can do is understand what is being said about us out there, address anything bad, and get more control over what is shared publicly.

We need some reputation management.

But, where do we start?

Over the course of 4 articles, we will walk through a 4-step guide to help you be proactive and effective in managing your online reputation.

Step 1 – collect and address what has been shared online,
Step 2 – get ahead of potential (negative) reviews and track what is being shared,
Step 3 – learn from the past (Step 1) and affect what will be shared in the future
Step 4 – promote the positive (uncovered and tracked in Step 1 and Step 2).

Let’s start with Step 1, Collect and Address What Has Been Shared Online
Tip: Use this step to see what people are saying about your competitors

The best place to start to manage your online reputation is to figure out what it currently is. Do you have predominantly negative, passive or positive reviews out there?

Let’s understand what our starting point is.

Search for your business
The quickest way to find out what reviews are out there around your business is to search for them. A great place to start is with a Google search.

Simply go to Google and type in “[Your Business Name] Reviews”.

For example, ABC Staffing would search for “ABC Staffing Reviews”

Make a list of review sites
Go through your search results and see which sites come up with reviews for your business. You may be surprised to find candidates and clients are leaving feedback in places you have never heard of before.

This is a great exercise to find all the places people go to research your business when deciding whether to work with you.

Make sure to click on each relevant search result and note down the site, for example, Facebook or Glassdoor, and the general rating you received. Also, make sure it is your business and not another business with a similar name.

Rank your list from worse rating to the best rating
List out your findings starting at the top with the site that gave you the worse overall rating, typically on a 5-star scale, to the best rating. Track number of reviews as well.

ABC Staffing
Glassdoor – 2.0 Stars (38 reviews)
Facebook – 2.5 Stars (22 reviews)
Yelp – 3.0 Stars (7 reviews)
Indeed – 4.0 Stars (54 reviews)
Google – 4.7 Stars (24 reviews)

Calculate your average rating by totaling all of the 5-star ratings and dividing by the number of sites you have listed.

For ABC Staffing, their average rating is 2.9. As you take control of your reputation you will want to track this number — does it trend up or down with your efforts.

Prioritize the results
We will do this in two easy steps:

1. Group your list into three segments by the 5-star ratings.

Detractors = 0 to 3 Stars
Passive = 3.5 – 4 Stars
Promotors = 4.5 – 5 Stars
*These labels are based on the Net Promoter Score (NPS) methodology.

ABC Staffing would segment their results as follows:

Detractors

  • Facebook – 2.5 Stars (22 reviews)
  • Glassdoor – 2.0 Stars (38 reviews)

Passive

  • Indeed – 4.0 Stars (54 reviews)

Promoters

  • Yelp – 3.0 Stars (7 reviews)
  • Google – 4.7 Stars (24 reviews)

2. Arrange each list by the number of reviews received. The higher number of reviews at the top of the segment. If there is a tie, simply go by the star rating instead.

For ABC Staffing

Detractors

  • Glassdoor – 2.0 Stars (38 reviews)
  • Yelp – 3.0 Stars (7 reviews)

Passive

  • Indeed – 4.0 Stars (54 reviews)

Promoters

  • Google – 4.7 Stars (24 reviews)
  • Facebook – 2.5 Stars (22 reviews)

Review your results
It is now time to take a quick look at the list you have collected, grouped and arranged. Using ABC Staffing as an example, we can quickly see that

  • Most of their negative reviews are shared on Glassdoor.
  • Their best reviews appear to be on Facebook and Google with most on Google

This is a good starting point to begin addressing our online reputation.

Address the worse reviews first
We want to take a more detailed look at the Detractors group in our list and respond to the negative reviews.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when responding to negative reviews:

  • Respond in a timely fashion. Do not respond to old(er) reviews.
  • Be pleasant and polite. Thank the person for leaving the review
  • Tell them why you appreciate their feedback. Share generally how it is useful to your business.
  • Ask for them to respond offline. Tell them how to connect directly and avoid a public discourse

When you have tackled your Detractors move on to your Passives and then Promoters.

In the next part of this series, we will look at how to get ahead of, and track new reviews.

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