It’s that time of year again, and everyone seems to be so much happier! The sun is shining, and the flowers are beginning to bud and bloom. Everything is coming to life again! Springtime is a great opportunity for everyone to get moving, and do some cleaning. Clean out that cluttered garage, empty all of the old, useless junk piling up in the basement, or clean out your closets.

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One thing small business owners don’t necessarily think of when “Spring Cleaning” is mentioned, is their website and online reputation. The one thing that SHOULD be cleaned up and maintained regularly is often forgot about, and neglected. This leads to a major lack of brand awareness for customer, and potentially a handful of harmful reviews on websites that, if not taken care of, can majorly scar your reputation.

Once monthly (at the least) you should do a little brand research on your company, and check out what people are saying about you. Try googling your name and your company’s name to see what shows up. Also try to search Facebook for any type of information on your company that you may not have seen before.

Just keep in mind, when reading negative, or hurtful reviews to KEEP YOUR CALM! Approximately 95% of people who have a bad experience with a company will share it while only 87% of people who had a desirable experience with a company would share.§ With this in mind, just remember that when someone posts a bad review, there is always something you can do to rectify the situation.

Instead of first leaping to delete all evidence of a bad review, reply to this individual, and ask what exactly they did not like about their experience with you. You can then apologize, and offer a way to ease their burdens. Perhaps offering a percentage off of their next purchase, or a free item, or a full refund could do the trick for the unhappy customer. It all depends on the circumstance!

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In addition to reviews, you will want to be able to control as much of your online presence as possible. A great start is with your website, and making sure that all of your content is perfected to a “T”. This means that you will need to make time to work with your Webmaster and create content that is not only useful for customers but aesthetically pleasing as well. Your first impression you make on a potential client could be your only impression, and you always want to put your best foot forward!

If there is any information you can’t seem to change, or any situations you can’t rectify, sometimes it’s best to try to delete it. I VERY STRONGLY ADVISE you to get advice on your specific situation prior to attempting to delete any information. Sometimes the customers are so angry with you and your company that there is just no pleasing them, and all they want to do is complain, and damage your image. Do not let them get to you. If you are conducting a great business, and your customers seem generally happy, you should have nothing to worry about. Happy customers, and their positive word of mouth will have a LOT of more influence on your business than a silly complaint on a website.

If you need help with your small business spring cleaning, give us a call, and we will be happy to help you out!