The Importance of Online Reputation Management and Positive Reviews
The world wide web can be the best and worst ambassador for your brand. The average consumer heads to the internet to look for additional information on your company before calling for an estimate, dining at your spot, or purchasing your product. Review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Angie’s List have made it possible for consumers to gain additional information about the complete customer experience – no matter what they are looking for. These various platforms, including not-so-well-known places like RipOffReport, have a dramatic impact on your offline and online reputation, and how customers perceive your business.
Why does your online reputation matter?
Consumers do not want to waste their time or money. When they are unhappy, they want to be sure that everyone else knows about it. If you have even 5% negative reviews, it can result in substantial loss in business. Customers look to your online reviews to find out what types of experiences others have had and what your company has done to resolve the negative ones. By actively working with your customers, listening to their concerns, and addressing problems, you show transparency and therefore trustworthiness. These two factors are universally deemed favorable to new and returning users.
What can you do to manage your online reputation?
No matter if you operate a Fortune 500 company, or the dry cleaner’s down the street, you must be pro-active about your online reputation. There are several basic steps which can be implemented to achieve this easily.
- Monitor Social Media Accounts – Companies like Straighttalk, Capital One, and Hootsuite rely on their social media accounts to field customer interaction. It creates a public forum for other users to see how these companies respond to customer compliments and complaints in real time. Watch for reviews or messages sent via Twitter and Facebook. Thank customers for positive reviews and immediately respond with an apology and resolution to those with negative reviews
- Google Your Business Often – Social media complaints only make up a fraction of what users can see about your business. Adding the words “scam”, “review”, or “reputation” to your company name in internet searches will reveal additional sources of information that users are checking before making a decision. Many of the sites where you find consumer reviews also give business owners a chance to rectify. For example, TripAdvisor allows businesses to respond to comments left by their consumers and then gives those customers a chance to state whether they feel that it was rectified to their satisfaction. This step is important because consumers want to know you care. Even businesses have bad days. If consumers never see you actively trying to repair and maintain your relationship with your customers, they will view you as uncaring and not worth their business.
- Be Professional. There are plenty of unprofessional people out there – don’t be one of them. Forbes.com recommends never deleting a customer comment unless it is absolutely necessary (i.e. vulgar, inappropriate, or potentially offensive to others). Keep in mind that no matter how upset a customer remark has made you, your response still represents your business. Respond with the same class and professionalism of a Fortune 500 CEO.
- Invite Customers to Review Your Company Online & Offline. First and foremost, it is frowned upon to “bribe” customers with a review. This primarily involves offering them a free product or discount in exchange for their testimony. However, reviews are important and nearly � of your guests who have had a positive experience will not leave any type of review about your company. Provide links on your social media accounts or receipts to your preferred review platform and invite customers to leave “feedback” there. Additionally, if you have a service-based business, provide customers with feedback cards about their experience under the guise to “help you improve”.
Why do positive reviews matter?
The more reviews you have, the more business you appear to have to your customers. The more positive reviews you have, the less negative reviews can hurt you. Reviews are also the modern day version of a referral. Consider that for every positive review you have, up to five customers may use it as the reason to visit your business. Word of mouth is a thing of the past. Today, prospective consumers trust the online comments of complete strangers more than they do the person next door. By taking steps to ensure a positive online reputation from the start, you ensure that your business can thrive into the future.Also use Twitter,LinkedIn and You Tube.