Once you decide to hire a reputation management company, you need to figure out which company will serve the best interest of you business. There are hundreds of reputation management companies available, and choosing the right one is extremely important. You want a company that is reliable and gets results, otherwise your throwing your money away and likely doing more damage than good to your business.
Here are some tips you can use to evaluate whether or not a company is worth looking into for managing your business reputation:
Verify the company’s credibility: Clearly, it is important that you use a company that is experienced and has been in the business of managing the reputation of businesses for a couple years. Obviously, the chances for success are higher if you use a reputable company. Just like the Internet, reputation management evolves and reputation management professionals with more experience are likely to be aware of and adapt to the latest trends.
Overall, remember that hiring a local company is usually the best option so you can verify their authenticity and meet with the business staff.
Research their results: If at all possible you should also ask to see live results of current clients. Ask the how long they have been working on the business, and don’t be afraid to ask how seriously the businesses reputation was damaged. Your ultimate goal is to hire a company that can provide you with results in the fastest and easiest way possible.
Most reputation management companies will usually refer you to past client experiences and rationalize how they were able to help them. In all likelihood you won’t be told everything about the business, but getting basic overview of how their services work should be sufficient to give you a better understanding of things. If the reputation management company you are considering cannot provide you with some proof that they are credible and efficient at resolving business reputation issues, then they are probably trying to hide something and you should not hire them.
Talk to someone: As a business professional you should know that your gut instincts are sometimes the best tool for making a business decision. Some reputation management companies are too pushy. Call around to a few different companies and speak to an actual person so you can get a feel for the company and how it operates. If you do feel good about a company, simply move on to the next one. There are hundreds to choose from and chances are you will find one that will provide you with what you need.
Visit their website: Browsing a reputation management website is one of the best ways to find more about them. Basic information such as how long have they been in business, their past clients, and the services they provide should be clearly displayed? The most important thing to look for is their contact details. Use your best judgment to verify their credibility and authenticity.
Check their reviews: If a reputation management company cannot manage their own business reputation, why would you trust them with managing your businesses reputation? The best way to do this is to browse the Internet and see if you can find any dirt on them. Don’t just look on the first page of the search results either. Dig deep — like five or six pages deep — to make certain that they have not buried any potentially bad reviews about them. If you manage to find something negative, chances are this is not the company you want to choose. If you don’t find any negative information about the company you should feel safe about using them.
Use comparative quoting: Do not immediately settle on the first reputation management company you come across. Treat it like buying a car or looking for a lender to purchase a home. Contact a few companies and get quotes from each of them. Be certain to include the services that are offered for those quotes and compare what you get. Chances are you will save money if you take the time to shop around.
Choose your reputation management company very carefully. If you make a poor decision, you might put yourself in an even worse position in relation to your reputation. Reputation management is vital to local businesses, so do not rush your decision. You just might end up regretting it if you do.
Some reputation management companies have gotten very careless in their actions and have been exposed by journalists. Unfortunately the reputation management companies are not the ones who had mud on their faces. The companies who hired the company to clean up their mess were the one’s that suffered.
Use these tips to your advantage and be assertive in your search. Do not be afraid to ask questions or dig deeper to see if the company is hiding something. The reputation management industry is still surrounded by an enigma and most people do not understand exactly what goes on in their day-to-day operations. You want to be sure that the company you hire is knowledgeable, effective, and affordable. If you do your homework and follow these simple tips, you will likely find a great reputation management company that will boost your business rankings and improve your company’s image.