Managing Your Brand
One of the biggest hurdles for a lot of business owners to leap when it comes to the internet is realizing that people will be talking about your company whether you like it or not.
And that includes good AND bad. Mistakes are bound to happen in any business, but when they do it’s quite possible that the story will wind up on the internet where anyone searching for your business can find it.
If you’re not maintaining an effective presence on the web or mortgage broker websites, you’re going to have two problems if this happens.
The negative review could wind up ranking high in the search results, so whenever somebody searches for your business, this could be one of the first things they see. The review might be accurate if a mistake really was made, or it might be completely inaccurate, but that potential customer has no way of knowing for sure (and is more than likely going to accept it as fact).
You won’t have a chance to explain the situation and fix it.
The solution here is to be a part of the conversation. In other words, engage your customers where these kinds of things might appear so you can try to correct any mistakes that were actually made, or explain your side if it’s completely inaccurate.
There are two of the places that these kinds of discussions can happen – Facebook and Twitter. It’s important that you have a presence on both, if only as a point of contact for your customers who are already in those places.
Imagine this scenario…
One of your employees has been dealing with a customer, and the customer is unhappy with the service they received. But instead of coming to you and giving you the opportunity to fix the problem, they go to these websites and post about the problem and how unhappy they were with your company.
If you don’t have a presence on Twitter or Facebook, you might never know about it. But people who are looking for information about your company online could quite likely find that information whenever they search for you.
Now think about this…
If you are active on those sites, on the other hand, you can jump in and try to correct the situation. This is not only going to give you a chance to turn an unhappy customer into a happy one (who might also become one of your biggest supporters at that point) it’s also going to add your side of things to the “record” of the situation on the internet.
Now when someone searching for you finds that review/complaint, they’re also going to see your response, and the fact that you tried to correct the situation for that unhappy customer.
Which scenario would you prefer?
Another place that it’s important to maintain an active presence is review sites, including:
• Yahoo Local
• Google Maps
These sites are local business directories of a sort, which let people post ratings about reviews about them. Much like any other website we’ve discussed, you need to maintain a presence here if you want to be able to manage your brand and what people are saying about it.
One of the reasons why mortgage broker websites are so important is many of them have apps for the iPhone and other smartphones, so a lot of people use them to look up local businesses when they’re on the go. If they find a listing with low ratings or bad reviews, they can just choose another one – the business owner will never know they lost a potential customer.
Just like Facebook and Twitter, you want to have an opportunity to either correct the problem or explain your side of it when these low ratings and review happen.
These sites aren’t only about reviews, however. Many of them let you make special offers to your customers, in the way of discounts, giveaways and more. These special offers can be another great way to draw in both new and existing customers through their smartphones and other mobile devices.
If they are searching for a local business using one of these services, seeing an offer from your company will make them a lot more likely to visit. And if it’s combined with good reviews and interaction on your part, it’s going to cement their decision even more firmly.