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SERM – What Is This and Why You Need It

Have you ever have unsatisfied customer? Off course, you have. It is hard to realize any business nowadays that may stay 100% perfect. Everyone commit mistakes and your staff is not an exception. As for me, the main task for any company is not being perfect, but being able to manage with customers which have got complaints.

In the era of web 2.0, that implies quick sharing through internet, managing with complaints has become much more complicated task. Why? 20 years ago if you have one unsatisfied client, you reputation would fall in his and probably his friends and family eyes. Now if you have one unsatisfied client, he will go online and share his bad experience working with you in social media, on his blog and forums. In point he finds support in online community, the information will circulate in the web until you do something or your reputation will be totally lost.

Last week one our client have confronted with such situation. His customer wrote about unpleasant experience with the company in themed forum. In just two days an active debate has been launched. Today this post appears on 2nd place in Google search result for his brand name.

So this is point where SERM takes place. SERM or Search Engine Reputation Management is managing with business reputation in search engines.

There are two strategies in SERM:

1 – Transforming bad reviews in good ones. This is the best solution and we will explain why. What will you do if you get unsatisfied customer and don’t want to lose him? You will try to find out what exactly is not suitable for the client and get agreement which will be appropriate for both. The variant works when review was written by real client.

2 – Throwing out negative reviews from TOP10 by creating and optimizing positive. As a result all the negative reviews fall down in ranking and become practically unattainable for the user. Company may use this strategy if they feel reviews are made by competitors or enemies.

Second strategy could be achieved by generating a positive or neutral feedback on authoritative sites which can replace negative reviews.

Here are some kinds of authoritative resources used to displace the negative reviews:

  • Major news sources
  • Portals
  • Industry forums
  • Personal blogs and personal websites of users

What if negative feedback is placed on the authoritative resource? In such case you may request the site owner where negative feedback was placed for an exclusion from the search engine index or even for deleting the page from the site.

Sometimes company notice negative reviews too late which make resolution more complicated. How to avoid such situation? Set up Google Alerts with your company name (it will send you e-mail once your company was mentioned somewhere in the web) or use the following symptoms to predict it:

  • Unexplained drop in sales
  • Reduction of website traffic or, conversely, a sudden and inexplicable increase of it
  • Decrease in current customers activity or the loss of some part of them
  • You have a large staff. As a rule, you cannot please everyone – some percentage of people is always dissatisfied and could share their feelings in the network
  • Your business is connected with the production of certain material goods. Any illiterate user will blame the manufacturer, not his ineptitude
  • Your business is a service provider. Here reputation is a key.

Wish you just satisfied customers! For SERM issues you may always contact us.

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