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Practice Management > Building Your Business

Five tips to maintain a good reputation online

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With the advent of the Internet and Google, unfavorable reviews can be the kiss of death for one’s reputation and business. And due to the extended lifetime of anything posted online, such articles have a difficult time fading away from view. For these reasons, reputations today are eggshell fragile. What to do differently? First, understand that reputation death has two causes:

  1. You made a mistake and the client filed a complaint.
  2. Or, they think you did — even though you didn’t — and filed a complaint anyway.

Given these scenarios, here are some tips for safeguarding your reputation.

  1. Comply, comply, comply. Look at every aspect of your business and scrub it until it shines. Then scrub again.
  2. Be ready for the unexpected. If you need to pick up additional licenses to protect yourself, do it. Avoid sales practices that regulators are targeting.
  3. Communicate. Set appropriate expectations with clients. Make sure all key decisions are documented, make frequent touch-based phone calls and conduct annual reviews.
  4. Remember: Client first. You may earn commissions, but never recommend a product because it pays high commissions or bonuses. And never sell a product to qualify for a trip or toy.
  5. Guarantee satisfaction. Tell your clients you’re not happy unless they are completely satisfied. Obtain their assurances that any dissatisfaction will be communicated to you first.

Do you have ideas to share with other advisors? E-mail them to us at [email protected].

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