Think back to the last time you went on vacation with your family. Before you booked, you probably talked to friends on where they have been, where they would recommend, and undoubtedly turned to your computer to do a little more research. Ok, you have decided on Cozumel, Mexico for New Years. Next question, where are you going to stay? There are about 15 resorts that fit your budget so the next step is to see what people on TripAdvisor are saying about each resort to narrow your search and eventually find the perfect destination for your family. Whether you are a Caribbean resort, or a small business in the GTA, your reputation matters. A consumers decision on whether or not to purchase is strongly influenced by a company’s online reputation whether it be for a vaccuum, a new car, or a new roof. On one hand, your online reputation is completely out of your control. This is due to the simple fact that you can’t control what people say about you online. However, there are strategies that can help manage your reputation so that a couple disappointing reviews on Google don’t end up losing you revenue. There are also ways of boosting your brands reputation with a more proactive approach that often leads to significant sales increases.

Hollywood celebrities live or die by their reputation, as do all businesses (big or small). Now you may not have paparazzi taking pictures of you in a compromising situations, but you do have clients posting images and stories about your work and your company. Marketing experts agree that there are three main components that fall under the umbrella of reputation management. The first is actually building or having a reputation. You need to make sure you have a presence online and that people are talking about you (hopefully positively). Once you have developed a reputation, the second step is to maintain it. This requires consistent online customer engagement that continues after you have finished your work with the customer. As we know it is nearly impossible to only get 5-star reviews. Unfortunately circumstances can arise that are out of your control that can have the potential to result in an unsatisfied customer. In these situations, it is important to follow the correct steps to recover and prevent any damage to your companies online reputation.