» Build Your Online Reputation: Step 2

This post written by Sonny Ganguly, CMO of WeddingWire, you can follow him on Twitter @sonnyg. A full version of this article is available in the Education Center. Sonny leads WeddingWire’s marketing strategy, customer acquisition, and business development.

Step 2: Promote Positive Feedback

Feedback can come in many shapes and sizes.  As a business owner it is good to promote all types of positive feedback, in particular Reviews, Testimonials and Endorsements.  Reviews have become extremely important in the online world as consumers want to make informed decisions.  Building reviews for your business is critical to success and should be aggregated on reputable websites that showcase reviews across a wide set of businesses.  This will enhance the credibility of the reviews that you receive.

Testimonials are also another great form of feedback and can be used very effectively on your website or blog.  If you receive letters or messages about the work you have done, you should show it off.  Consumer testimonials tend to be less formal than reviews, but can help showcase the great work you have done.  Also, it is important to get endorsements from your peers.  Reviews and testimonials come from your clients, but having other wedding professionals vouch for your services can provide additional credibility.  You may also receive feedback on social media sites or blogs.  Make sure to treat these with the same type of respect and respond in a timely manner.  When it comes to these different forms of feedback, there are three factors that determine your success:

Quality of Feedback – Having high quality feedback is the first thing a customer notices.  Positive reviews, testimonials and endorsements show customers that you are good at what you do.

Quantity of Feedback – Quality matters, but you need to make sure that you have a large amount of feedback.  This is also important in case you receive some negative feedback.  Quantity shows your track record over time.

Recency of Feedback – This is the one area that most businesses overlook.  After receiving high quality reviews and a large number of them, business owners tend to stop pushing for more feedback.  Potential customers also care about how recent your feedback is.  It shows that you are consistently good.

The most important part of the process is to actively ask for feedback.  Don’t just hope your customers will share their positive feedback about your business.  You need to push them to share their thoughts.  Build feedback into your sales cycle.  The same way that you have a process for sending out contracts and invoices, make sure to have a step in your sales cycle that focuses on getting feedback.  Ask and you shall receive!

Written By: Sonny Ganguly, the CMO of WeddingWire, you can follow him on Twitter @sonnyg.