Reviews on Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, or just your own business page have the power to make or break one of your biggest assets – your online reputation. Yes, your business’s online reputation is a fragile one unless you do something to protect it. Even if hundreds of your customers have good things to say about your business, just one bad review can take everything away. That’s the power of words and the customers that spew them!
While managing an online reputation is a delicate process, ignoring it can simply be dangerous. So what should you do? How much do you know about online reputation management for you to be able to protect yours? Let us help you with that!
What is Online Reputation Management?
What others say about your business matters! It has a substantial effect on how potential customers view your business. But that’s not all, your business must thrive in the industry, and for that to happen, it must be able to co-exist with others. All these are possible only if your business is serious about its online presence.
When talking about online presence, we are not only discussing digital marketing but also public relations, negative and positive reviews, news, and much more. For example, you will not receive only positive feedback, and there could be negative reviews.
There could be customers who aren’t satisfied with your services. In such cases, you should be able to manage them wisely. You shouldn’t find ways to delete the review just because it’s not saying positive things about your business. If you do so, you might have to face the consequences. Customers are vigilant and know how to protect themselves, so chances are that they will have screenshots of their review posting. This is one of the reasons why you shouldn’t make hasty decisions.
Instead, you can tackle the issue wisely. You can try to find out about the problem behind the reviewers’ negative experience. You should accept it if it’s fair and do something that will make the customer stay while not trying to do anything to distort the facts. The same customer might end up sharing their experience about how you corrected your mistake – this will definitely impact your business, and that, too, in a positive way.
If you are able to play fair in keeping your business’s online reputation, you can bolster your public presence and online image. There are a lot of strategies that you can leverage to manage your brand’s online reputation. But before you start formulating your techniques, we’ll help you understand the reasons to consider online reputation management below.
Reasons Why Online Reputation Management Is Vital
Unless you have faced issues with your business, you wouldn’t have thought about online reputation. It’s not a thing that you actually pay attention to, but the truth is, it’s the intangible asset that keeps your business safe. Suppose, you have put in a lot of effort by adding quality content and using other creative tactics to build a good online reputation for your brand on social media. Now, have you ever thought about how you’d bring back your business if any of the social media platforms decided to delete your account? Of course, it’s not going to be a problem if you have a website, but it’s always essential to build a reputation for your business on multiple platforms.
So even if you sometimes have to leave the scene, you’ll have an audience cheering for you when you make a comeback. Here are some reasons why you should take online reputation management seriously:
Influences Customers’ Purchasing Decisions
People aren’t ready to trust what you have to say about your business. But they are ready to listen to what your previous customers have to say. This is why customers’ feedback substantially impacts your business’s reputation.
Reviews are also a good way for potential customers to filter information, as an overwhelming amount of data is available online. Positive customer reviews help potential customers make the right decision. These reviews cultivate your business, so you should keep up with reviews mindfully.
Creates Relatable And Reliable Customer Experiences
Customers aren’t simply ready to buy what a business’s advertising and marketing are selling. Things have come to a point where customers can easily grasp the thought process behind marketing gimmicks. This is why potential customers look for relatable experiences from other customers.
When your services or products are reviewed by those who have used them, it gives your business solid online proof. It also increases your business’s credibility, and people will then start relying on your business to meet their needs. This is why online reputation management should command more of your time and effort.
Makes For Good Word-Of-Mouth Marketing
It’s no secret that word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most versatile sales techniques. This technique is still helping to convert prospects into sales. The best part is that it works for online sales, too, though it does go both ways. If you are not providing good service, your customers will show their frustration online, which will impact your business heavily.
This is why you must take the necessary measures to handle word-of-mouth marketing intelligently. For example, if a customer is unsatisfied with your service, you have to find out what and where things went wrong. Then, you need to have a counter strategy to handle negative feedback. Whatever approach you use should be able to help improve your online reputation.
Garner Valuable Insights Into Your Business
While it’s cool that businesses spend time and money to find out what their customers have to say through surveys, there are other, more straightforward ways. Yes, we’re talking about customer reviews. They are one of the best ways to see what your customers think about your business. And for that, you don’t have to pay any money, but rather you have to pay attention.
The insights you gain from positive and negative customer reviews help you take your business to a higher level. If you look at positive reviews, you’ll see your business’s strengths from your customer’s point of view. On the other hand, negative reviews help you see the areas you have to work on. It’s better to take swift action once you find these mistakes because they will ultimately affect your online reputation.
Build Your Brand Image
A positive online reputation helps you build your brand image. But how do you do it? You must first be all ears to your customers. When your customers realise that you listen to them, it automatically gives your brand a warm look.
While warm looks don’t bring sales, they definitely become a reason to consider your brand. When customers know you listen, they will feel like doing business with you. Their positive impression becomes a means to uplift your brand image. When your brand image is solid, you will be able to attract sales.
Gain Web Traffic Through Reviews
Search engines need proof that your website is worth considering. The major evidence they’re looking for is customer reviews. If your customers talk about your business online, it means your business is still active. But what if the reviews are positive? It means you have been providing excellent services. This is what Google and other search engines need.
When it happens, your business will rank better, and a better ranking will help bring in organic traffic. What this means is you are earning revenue, but at no cost to yourself! Isn’t it amazing how managing an online reputation can bring more sales at no cost?
Bottomline – Should You Hire Help To Manage Your Online Reputation?
If you want to, you can manage your business’s online reputation single-handedly. There are many online management tools you can make use of. But what if you and your team have their plates full? This is when outsourcing sounds like a good option. Online reputation management companies are a huge help because your business’s reputation is a valuable asset you can’t compromise on.
While managing your business’s online reputation is essential, you should hire a third party only if necessary. If you don’t have the time, staff, or tools, you can consider hiring someone else to do it for you. Otherwise, it’s something you can do on your own. However, what’s crucial is giving complete attention to the online reputation of your business.
A single word about your service can spread globally in less than a minute. Taking a customer’s feedback lightly will severely impact your business. Therefore, you can’t overlook your online reputation, even if it’s an overwhelming task. You can’t let it slide, assuming you don’t see the returns for now. It’s an intangible asset that you must protect at all costs!