More people use the Internet today than ever before. That means you have a lot of new potential customers to contact online. But it also means someone can easily say something bad about your company.
Google, Yelp, and other high-profile websites host customer reviews for free to help consumers find quality businesses. They also show negative reviews so consumers can avoid a bad experience. And even when you deal forklifts, you can lose sales to negative reviews online.
With so much potential for negativity out there — not to mention customer social media profiles — how can you hope to maintain a positive reputation?
It’s not easy, but it sure is worthwhile. If you’d like to speak to a specialist before reading on, you can reach us at 888-601-5359.
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Why reputation management matters for forklift dealers
Your reputation is your best friend when it comes to attracting new customers to your forklift dealership. You can advertise and promote your company as much as you want, but nothing ever sounds quite as good as a recommendation from a previous customer.
The most obvious solution is to keep your customers happy. And for the most part, that’s all you’ll have to do.
But every company always encounters difficult clients who make life hard. You can try to please them, but it might not work. Some people are just dedicated to negativity.
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Checking your online reputation
Checking the online reputation of your forklift dealership is as easy as Googling your company’s name followed by “reviews.”
That will give you a big list of sites where your company’s name shows up with the word “review.” You’ll probably see sites like Yelp and Google, and each will have a handful of comments.
Look at those sites and read the comments. If they’re positive, you know you should keep doing what you’re doing. But if they’re negative, you have to read the comment carefully.
Most review sites allow you to respond to comments people make about your business. Responding to a criticism is also a great way to turn an upset customer into a satisfied customer. Something as simple as asking a customer to contact you to discuss an issue can fix a situation in a couple of minutes.
Still, reputation management goes beyond writing a few responses to customer complaints.
Using social media
Social media is not only a great marketing tool — it’s a great way to make sure your customers are satisfied. If you’re on Twitter, Facebook, or other social networks that encourage direct communication with your customers, keep an eye out for any negative comments about your brand.
If you find one, you have a few options at your fingertips:
- Privately message the customer to discuss the complaint
- Publicly address the complaint, so others can see it
Private messages are a great way to talk about sensitive or specific issues that would only pertain to that customer. It’s also a nice way to show your customers that you respect them enough to talk directly, away from other people.
There are a couple advantages to private messages:
- Privacy in general
- Direct customer service
- Going above and beyond for your customers
On the other hand, publicly addressing an issue is a smart way to address any baseless complaints or rumors, particularly if you have a customer trying to extort you for free perks.
While those kinds of customers are few and far between, there are always a few people in the world willing to go to extremes to get free products or services from any business. If you find yourself in a pickle with one of them, share your side of the story in a Facebook comment or tweet that shows everyone else what you’ve already done for the unhappy party.
Going public about a complaint has a few advantages as well:
- Maintain your reputation
- Pressure disreputable customers away from badmouthing you
- Show that you’re an honest company, but you won’t let people take advantage of you
All in all, both ways of contacting unhappy customers help your business’s reputation, especially on social media. It’s up to you which one you want to use and when.
Create content about similar keywords
In the event an unhappy customer has pulled out all the stops and written a bunch of bad reviews across multiple sites, you need to take your reputation management to the next level.
That could entail creating new pages on your site based on similar but different keywords, publishing your customer policy online, and other long-term projects. To find those keywords, you should invest in doing some keyword research to ensure that you’re targeting the most important keywords to your industry.
The goal is to push those negative reviews out of the search results whenever someone looks for “[your company] reviews.” Instead, when someone looks for that keyword, they’ll find positive, helpful information that encourages them to become a customer.
This kind of work takes a long time by yourself, and it’s difficult to implement all of these strategies in time to keep negative reviews from hurting your business. But when you have these strategies in place, you can enjoy a much more positive, user-friendly reputation online.
WebFX knows reputation management
At WebFX, we know exactly how to manage a forklift dealership’s reputation. We understand that you want to give your customers a high-quality experience for their dollar, and we know how to highlight the best qualities of your business to fight back against unkind reviews. Whether it’s on social media, Google, or anywhere else, we improve our clients’ reputations by the day — and we’ll do the same for you.
Do you want to protect your stellar reputation? Contact us today to lay out a reputation management plan for your business!
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