Reputation Management Strategies for B2B Businesses
At UpCity, we know that to leave your mark as a credible brand, you need to have a solid reputation in place. One doesn’t exist without the other. While we strive daily to build tools that help our customers position themselves as credible experts in the competitive landscape, a combination of tactics and strategy is what ultimately will yield the most success for brands.
Customers are people and at the end of the day, people talk. And know that if your reputation precedes itself, your customers will carry out that message through reviews, social media posts, and general word-of-mouth. That’s why it’s imperative to have a solid reputation strategy in place, so you can get in front of what others are saying about your business and have a say in the narrative. While there are a like of great tips on reputation management (such as this five-step guide from Sprout Social), UpCity customers themselves, had great advice to share when it comes to reputation management.
How Does Your Business Manage Its Reputation?
“We manage our reputation by taking part in public relations and anything related to building our online presence as well as reputation. The benefit of leveraging PR is that you get to align your brand and name with already highly reputable brands and websites, in turn, your brand will rise the ranks of reputation online.” –Ben Precious, CEO of Pace Social Media
“We actively request client feedback on platforms such as Google, UpCity, Clutch, and wherever else potential clients go to research us. We have a strategy set in place where a team member contacts past and existing clients for feedback, asking them to leave a review of their experience with us. In addition, we promote our brand by writing for relevant publications. We also keep a close eye on our business’s search results. Our social media is regularly updated to ensure accuracy and alignment with what our brand represents. We also publish press via Cision and Business Wire about the latest company news.” –Asad Kausar, CEO of Dabaran
Active alerts and responses: We have alerts set up on our various company pages (Glassdoor, Google, Indeed, etc.) so our team gets notified when a new review is left. We’ve also set up Google alerts for variations on our company name so that we are alerted if we are included in a newly published article. We try to encourage both clients and staff to leave reviews of what it is like working with or for the company so people looking us up will see both sides of the business. –Colton De Vos, Marketing Specialist at Resolute Technology Solutions
With a whopping 93% of customers reading reviews before investing in a product or service, we carefully monitor our reviews on platforms like Google and Yelp. We proactively reach out to our clients for reviews and quickly respond with gratitude when they post one. We keep an eye on the competition, apply for awards, and monitor our social media platforms for any positive or negative feedback relating to our brand. Our reputation management strategy is an ongoing process to maintain a positive online presence that accurately reflects the level of service we provide to our valued clients. –Lauren Devens, Digital Marketing and Social Media Coordinator at Creative MMS
We handle managing our reputation by marketing and what kind of messaging we use, how we show up for our community, by asking for reviews, and by speaking up about topics in our blogs as well as in PR about topics that are important to us as a company. We are a disabled and woman-owned digital marketing agency that advocates for disability inclusion in marketing as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion. –Aunia Kahn, CEO of Rise Visible
“Managing your business reputation means GROWING your reputation. Many business owners think doing something once is enough. It is not. Your reputation is ongoing! We ask for reviews when completing a website. We also take those reviews and create social media posts to get them in front of prospective clients and remind networking partners that we are still actively seeking new clients. We also apply (and win) awards that are placed on our website and posted on social media as well. Your reputation precedes you, is it good or bad, or worse–non-existent?” –Dotty Scott, Website Designer and Owner of Premium Websites, LLC
“Be sure to check your ‘company name’ and ‘company name + reviews’ to see what shows up on Google. Many of your potential customers are searching for your brand name online and want to know your reputation. If you have any review sites like Yelp, Glassdoor, Facebook, Clutch, etc with a low review score, be sure to focus on getting reviews for those sites. If you have 200 Google reviews with a 4.8 review score, and then two reviews on yelp with a rating of 3.5/5, potential customers will check out Yelp after looking at your Google reviews. –Jack Kim, Owner of Digital Uptrend
“Building out local citations is a small way to help with your brand’s reputation. It certainly helps in the eyes of search engines, but it also helps in the eyes of internet searchers – if they search your company’s name and the SERP shows your website plus other sites that match your business information, it provides for legitimacy and encourages the user to learn more about your business.” –Marcie Lord, Founder and Lead Digital Marketing Strategist at Digital Dynamo LLC
Hear From Industry Experts
Read the latest tips, research, best practices, and insights from our community of expert B2B service providers.
Does Your Business Have An Official Reputation Management Policy?
“We don’t use a specific policy, however, we do follow processes. These include actively managing our website SEO to ensure we’re ranking well, I believe this is key regarding online reputation. Another activity is leveraging our client management processes whereby after three months of service we will send a review request over to their inbox, usually including a gift card of some kind.” –Ben Precious, CEO of Pace Social Media
“Always address negative online comments about your business quickly. If the conversation becomes too involved, take the discussion offline, but make sure to address the customer’s concerns. Businesses that ignore customer input may appear callous or uncaring.” –Evan Neirman, CEO and Founder of Red Banyan
“While our reputation management policy involves different aspects such as brand marketing, applying for awards, public relations, and reviews generation, one important element is monitoring and responding to negative feedback. In such a scenario, we keep a level head and try to get to the crux of the problem. We make sure our customers know that we’re all ears when it comes to hearing about complaints and that we are keen to resolve any issues quickly, even if it means going above and beyond the call of duty.” –Asad Kausar, CEO of Dabaran
“We typically take each scenario on a case-by-case basis. Some reviews or feedback merit a response and others are people venting their frustrations for reasons outside of our control and are better left without engaging. We typically flag and report anything that is completely misleading or an attempt to scam others.” –Colton De Vos, Marketing Specialist at Resolute Technology Solutions
“Through Bad Rhino, we offer reputation management services to our clients. These services involve a three-step process:
- Assess which review platforms are the most relevant to a given brand. Google should be used for all clients, but secondary niche platforms should be utilized as well based on the industry.
- Start asking for reviews. The more customers you ask, the better your chances are of improving your overall rating. Create a template, but ensure that it’s personalized to the client and the services provided.
- Monitor reviews and respond to all of them, whether they’re positive or negative. Reviews should be addressed on time with a professional voice.” –Lauren Devens, Digital Marketing and Social Media Coordinator at Creative MMS
“No, we don’t but we do have some like it such as a social media code of conduct.” –Shan Serran, CEO and Founder of Veewz
“Our policy is that we solicit reviews from our customers after every learning opportunity. Whether we lead a workshop, do a podcast, or work with a client, we are always asking by sending a link that brings them into our software tool, at local5stars.com.” –Jay Vics, Founder of HowTo.Agency by JVI Mobile
“We have a pre-built campaign to ask clients for reviews. The email that goes out to clients has four different places to leave a review (and links directly to them). It also says if they want one posted on our website to email us the review. If they want to be featured in our Website Portfolio then they must leave a review that gets included on that post. We then use Canva to turn those reviews into beautiful, eye-catching social media posts.” –Dotty Scott, Website Designer and Owner of Premium Websites, LLC
“Be sure to answer all questions and reviews on Fridays every week. Be polite, courteous, and you can even squeeze in some keywords.” –Jack Kim, Owner of Digital Uptrend
“Ask for a review at the right moment: When you’ve established rapport with your customer and after you’ve made a sale. Timing is everything and asking directly makes it more likely to receive a review. If you are using automated messages make sure they are personalized and include relevant information about the recent transaction that makes it less generic.
Make the customer aware that you are specifically asking them and that it means a lot to you.” – Tim Steckel, Digital Marketing Expert at Lion Tiger Jaguar
What Are Some Challenges Of B2B Reputation Management Your Business Has Faced?
“Naturally, your online reputation can be a delicate element to manage. More and more social media platforms are suffering from fake accounts pretending to be other people and bots. We’ve experienced fake accounts being made of our own social media profiles, these profiles will interact with your customers to ultimately scam them. Keep an eye on your online presence using analytics and a regular check-up. Specifically, on Instagram, a typical fix is to get as many account reports stacked as fast as possible for fake profiles.” –Ben Precious, CEO of Pace Social Media
“Using social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube to share positive news and messaging about your business is a great way to reach a large audience. But it also requires constant monitoring to make sure the online conversations remain positive.” –Evan Neirman, CEO and Founder of Red Banyan
“Because we are a specialized business that offers a results-based service, it can be difficult to meet the expectations of every one of our clients. Some companies don’t understand SEO as well as others. This knowledge gap may lead to unrealistic or inaccurate expectations from our services, especially regarding the timeline of our process. This may lead some clients to post negative comments about the service, however, we then ask them to give us at least a quarter to show positive results. That is typically enough time to show our clients that their campaign is headed in the right direction.” –Asad Kausar, CEO of Dabaran
“Getting clients to actually leave feedback can be a challenge. Typically, if work has been done well–it is acknowledged and then they move on to the next thing. Everyone in the B2B world is too busy to go out of their way to leave reviews.” –Colton De Vos, Marketing Specialist at Resolute Technology Solutions
“When onboarding some of our clients, we’ve seen that their online reputation is poor across the board. Their customers are unhappy with their services and their employees are venting about their leadership team on Glassdoor. A big challenge with these types of clients is setting expectations. It takes time and consistent monitoring to boost a B2B brand’s online reputation when it started very low. It’s a collaborative process that involves identifying and reaching out to clients/employees that feel positively about the brand. Then, it’s important to respond to these reviews even if they are negative. Negative reviews can be a great tool for improving as a business.” –Lauren Devens, Digital Marketing and Social Media Coordinator at Creative MMS
“We have been lucky that we have not had to face or address anything major. We have had customers that we have not jived with and ended relationships without burning bridges. We have had very few relationships go sour. We have been able for the most part to keep our reputation in good standing.” –Aunia Kahn, CEO of Rise Visible
“Service-based businesses were often telling their employees to have clients ‘mention their name’ in a review to incentivize them to collect more company reviews. It is nearly impossible to do this effectively. Either the employee forgets or the client doesn’t listen. There are just a handful of tools out there that provide each employee their review capture link so no one has to remember the account manager’s name.” –Jay Vics, Founder of HowTo.Agency by JVI Mobile
“Some platforms require a bit more elbow grease and leg work to set up and maintain reviews. This may seem like a challenging task and to avoid headaches, you must have a stellar reputation across all channels. Do not give potential customers any reason to window shop away from you. Everything should be lined up and encourage them to move forward with you right then and there.” –Jack Kim, Owner of Digital Uptrend
“50% of the time people will say yes to leaving a review but will forget it or not follow through. Circling back after a while and sending a happy reminder increases the number of reviews you’ll receive.” –Tim Steckel, Digital Marketing Expert at Lion Tiger Jaguar
Why Do You Think Brand Reputation Is So Important For B2B Companies?
“Your brand reputation will come down to a deal being a close or a walk away simply based on your reputation and online presence. First impressions are everything people like to say and the truth is, it’s much harder to change the impression from a bad start, this applies in business too. Your brand is your business’s personality so make sure your reputation backs it up!” –Ben Precious, CEO of Pace Social Media
“A company’s online reputation can establish the business as a market leader, so how a business is viewed as important.” –Evan Neirman, CEO and Founder of Red Banyan
“Brand reputation is critical in the digital age. Information about your brand is available to anyone, at any time, so your brand reputation needs constant maintenance and monitoring to ensure you are always projecting the right image to customers and clients. There used to be one or two places a person could go to get information about a business. Nowadays, the internet is filled with information, from open-source data and hard figures to personal opinions and anecdotes. B2B companies must stay on top of what information is available to secure B2B connections and maintain healthy relationships with their network and supply chain.” –Asad Kausar, CEO of Dabaran
“For B2B companies, a quick cursory glance at the top two reviews or even just the five-star rating can be the decision point on whether to reach out for services. It’s important to manage the brand reputation so that when other companies are comparing brands, your company gives prospects a reason to pick your business.” –Colton De Vos, Marketing Specialist at Resolute Technology Solutions
“Brand reputation is essential for B2B companies because prospects trust online reviews as much as they trust a word-of-mouth recommendation from a peer. It will be incredibly difficult to grow your B2B brand if your online reputation is either negative or non-existent. People want to do business with companies they know, like, and trust. Building trust with prospects starts with delivering high-quality services to your existing customers who will, in turn, sing your praises online.” –Lauren Devens, Digital Marketing and Social Media Coordinator at Creative MMS
“Brand reputation is important because it’s one of the first things other businesses see while doing their research. An excellent reputation leads to more trust.” –Shan Serran, CEO and Founder of Veewz
“Businesses need to keep a healthy reputation with current and future clients or customers. A business’s reputation can be ruined by it interacting poorly with its audience. One of the best ways to keep a business’s reputation positive in the eyes of the audience is to always address negative feedback and take ownership of any wrongdoing even if it feels like an inconvenience. One small thing could snowball into a disaster for any business. The most damaging thing a business can do is ignore issues that come up and not address them properly. When a company takes responsibility for its actions, it helps it keep in good standing with the public. Everyone makes mistakes, even businesses. Being authentic and willing to repair any damage or misunderstandings with the public is paramount to online reputation management.” –Aunia Kahn, CEO of Rise Visible
“Brand reputation is important to B2B companies for the same reason it’s important to B2C companies. All relationships are really H2H. Human to human. People are looking at and reading reviews of companies prior to making a decision. If you can improve your overall rating just a little bit, it can lead to a nice jump in customer acquisition and revenue.” –Jay Vics, Founder of HowTo.Agency by JVI Mobile
“We THRIVE or DIE upon our reputation. I receive calls from potential clients because of our great Online Reputation. Without that, it would be difficult to remain profitable.” –Dotty Scott, Website Designer and Owner of Premium Websites, LLC
“The reputation of a company is the sum of all its interactions with customers, stakeholders, and the public. In today’s world, those interactions are taking place online more than ever before.
That’s why brand reputation is so important for B2B companies: it enables them to reach out to potential clients and build relationships with them in ways that were never possible before. If you want your B2B agency to thrive in today’s market, you must understand how your business is perceived by others—and how you can use that knowledge to help improve your services.” –Joe Fredrick, Owner of Fredrick Media LLC
“1. It gives potential customers no excuses to window shop 2. It solidifies you are a legitimate brand and company to work with 3. It can make you stand out from your competition.” –Jack Kim, Owner of Digital Uptrend
“If you lose your reputation as a company that is either easy to work with, or at least worth the hassle of working with, you can lose all credibility and trust in the local community.” –Rob Shurtleff, co-owner of The Website Guy
“Businesses looking for your products and services have very little time on their hands, yet they have many options to vet and they have a responsibility to justify their recommendation or purchase of your service and products. The more evidence you can provide that your brand is trustworthy and an expert in your field, the more likely it will be for businesses to do further research on your company, which is where you’re able to make your value proposition. The first and major hurdle in marketing is to get people interested to learn more about your business, and that’s what brand reputation management helps with.” –Marcie Lord, Founder and Lead Digital Marketing Strategist at Digital Dynamo LLC
“Do you read the reviews before making a purchase? See, most people do that. Reviews also send signals to google: you are trustworthy and real people interact with your business. That increases your rankings and can move the needle on local SEO.” –Tim Steckel, Digital Marketing Expert at Lion Tiger Jaguar
What Advice Would You Give To Other Businesses Trying To Protect Their Company Credibility And Reputation?
“Make sure you’re consistent at collecting reviews, ideally five-star and positive ones. Put a process in place for this to ensure you’re regularly gaining more positive online feedback, things like gift cards and over-delivering where it makes sense are easy ways to collect these for B2B businesses.” –Ben Precious, CEO of Pace Social Media
“Keep close tabs on all online conversations and reviews that mention your business.” –Evan Neirman, CEO and Founder of Red Banyan
“Do your best to show how your business is a trustworthy authority in its industry. Make connections with reputable entities that can provide the public with a fair, honest assessment of your business. Be transparent about your processes, your goals, and your purpose. Offer more information than is being asked for. If businesses and customers need to seek out information, they may not feel your business is being transparent, which can lead to feelings of distrust. If you make a mistake that could be damaging to your reputation, address it and show how you plan to fix it. Hiding mistakes is nearly impossible and will only damage your reputation further when uncovered.” –Asad Kausar, CEO of Dabaran
“Actively manage your brand reputation by creating accounts on the sites where your business is listed and comes up during searches. Encourage clients to leave reviews after a successful project or during a high point of service delivery. Engage and respond to comments when possible to show others reading reviews that you actively take feedback into account and are constantly looking to improve.” –Colton De Vos, Marketing Specialist at Resolute Technology Solutions
“Start collecting reviews! Take a look at your contact list and build a separate list of customers that you can reach out to and request a review. Create a template for these customers, but personalize the individual emails. Make sure to drop a link to your Google Business Profile page to ensure it’s as easy as possible for your recipients to leave a review. Or, if you can, ask for a review when you’re on the phone with a happy customer. Ask them if they’d be comfortable leaving a review about their experience, then send them a link to your page. As you build those positive reviews, your credibility and online visibility will both improve.” –Lauren Devens, Digital Marketing and Social Media Coordinator at Creative MMS
“Be an empathetic business not only to your business clients but to your employees as well. If not, expect bad reviews when something goes wrong and you’re not empathetic towards solving the problem.” –Shan Serran, CEO and Founder of Veewz
“The best thing a company can do is be transparent, and if there is an issue that arises be accountable. We are all human. The quicker you address an issue, the better. You will still have people that no matter what you do will never be happy. Do your best to show up, listen and be accountable where you make an error.” –Aunia Kahn, CEO of Rise Visible
“Utilize a software tool that does the heavy lifting and uses it. Unless you think you can remember to ask everyone to go to your Google Business Profile and leave you a review. Also, the software can try to filter out the negative reviews.” –Jay Vics, Founder of HowTo.Agency by JVI Mobile
“Get a plan in place to request reviews from every client. Make it easy for you, and easy for them. Create a process for repurposing content so that you can get your reviews noticed by more people.” –Dotty Scott, Website Designer and Owner of Premium Websites, LLC
“I think one of the most important things to remember is that your company’s reputation is only as good as how you treat your customers.
In other words, if you’re a B2B agency and you’re working with clients who are always complaining about your work, then that’s going to reflect badly on your company. On the other hand, if you have a 100% satisfaction rating from all of your clients and they’re all singing your praises, then that’s going to reflect well on your company’s reputation.
So my advice would be to always make sure that you’re delivering high-quality work for all of your clients—and not just in terms of creating content or providing services, but also in terms of customer service. This means responding quickly when something goes wrong or when a client asks for help with something, and it also means being honest when something goes wrong and not trying to hide behind excuses or blame other people for mistakes (even if those mistakes were made by someone else).” –Joe Fredrick, Owner of Fredrick Media LLC
“Keep your company’s website up to date, create a company blog, manage online reviews, socialize relevant company content, Don’t ignore your brand.” –Jeff Foster, CEO of Local Siren
“Just do what you can to keep an eye on it, and be an upstanding business owner. Market ethically. Respond responsibly. Under promise and over deliver consistently.” –Rob Shurtleff, co-owner of The Website Guy
“Always be proactive. Build out your citations and make sure they’re accurate. Make reviews a top priority. Be regularly engaged with your social media profiles. Invest in PR if you have the means. Publish articles on your blog consistently. Take full advantage of your Google Business Profile and build it out fully.” –Marcie Lord, Founder and Lead Digital Marketing Strategist at Digital Dynamo LLC
“Reputation starts internally. If people keep complaining, something is off. You can only mitigate so much after a negative review has been posted to your profile. Adding a sincere response signals to others that you take care. Your marketing team has to communicate with your operations team to improve the process that leads to negative reviews.
Sometimes we see negative reviews from a competitor, trying to put a dent in your reputation. You can try to report them but google and other platforms are slow to remove fake and fraudulent reviews.
Don’t sweat and look at this as an opportunity. The way you handle negative comments shows a lot about your corporate identity. We have publicly provided evidence for our local service clients, showing that their service had never been booked by the reviewer.” –Tim Steckel, Digital Marketing Expert at Lion Tiger Jaguar