Why Is Online Reputation Management Important
Feedback is found on a variety of the platforms online today for any products or services you can imagine. Some common places people seek reviews are on: Google My Business page, Foursquare, Google+, TripAdvisor (if you are a travel-related business), Yelp, Facebook or even Amazon. People may even consult forums, ComplaintsBoard.com, PissedConsumer.com, Scam.com, RipOffReport.com, etc to get the answers as to whether a company is trustworthy.
Consider for a moment what gave you the “confidence” to purchase what you bought recently. Did you check out the reviews before making the decision to buy? When you read mostly positive reviews as opposed to negative reviews, did it swing your opinion? It is likely that many positive reviews will lead you to purchase something you want, and negative reviews influences your decision otherwise. Online reputation management is an important aspect of your overall marketing strategy that you neglect at your peril.
Here are some stats for you to ponder on:
- In a BazaarVoice survey, it was found that 51% of people found user-generated content more important than the opinions of their friends and family.
- eMarketer.com cites that 65% of users between the age of 18-24 consider information on social networks when making a purchasing decision.
- According to eTailing Group, 92% of online users read product reviews and 89% of people say that reviews influence their purchasing decisions
It is for the simple reason that no one likes to be taken advantage of or shortchanged. We all want to be treated with respect and courtesy while provided with timely and reasonably priced products and services. We are more likely to purchase something if it has gotten glowing reviews before as we are more assured of the outcome.
It used to be that people thought before they acted and with the rise of smart devices and mobile phones, it makes it even easier for them to voice their frustrations instantly online. People used to hold on to the attitude of “if you don’t have anything nice to say, just keep it to yourself”. The sooner your business recognizes this new-found power in the hands of a consumer, the better you can protect yourself with the right reputation management strategy that helps you maintain a good online reputation which then improves your bottom line.
Bad comments or negative news reports stick around for a long time because everything is archived on the Internet. Unless the website the comment was placed on is down and it wasn’t reposted somewhere else, a negative review made even years ago will likely still be viewable today. What’s worse, removal of all traces of untruthful, biased or unfair feedback is nearly impossible in some cases.
Are You Actively Monitoring Your Online Reputation?
When was the last time you kept tabs of any reviews people have posted online about your business? Is there a negative review, Twitter tweet or Facebook rant about your business making rounds on the Internet that you aren’t aware of? Too often, bad reviews spread like wildfire and if not handled correctly, can easily devour a business’ reputation overnight hurting the brand equity that the business worked so hard to build.
If you haven’t checked recently, now is a good time to do so.
Start by opening up a new window or tab in your browser right now. Next, type in your business name in your city (Los Angeles, New York, etc.), together with the word “review” to see what comes up and then come back to this page.
Now that you’re back, you must have noticed that some folks have left reviews about your business. If there are mostly good ones, good job! But don’t be complacent just yet. Carefully study and understand if some of the negative ones are truly valid or are they simply being unrealistic. If there are many negative ones, it should spur you to get into action.
Let’s also be real about this. We aren’t talking about that occasional frivolous negative review out of 100 positive reviews that is going to break your business. We may try but it just isn’t possible to ensure all of your customers happy a 100% of the time. Inevitably, there will be some who simply won’t be happy no matter what you do and no one can do anything about that. Rather, we are talking about here is handling the dissatisfied customers where you had to power to make things right for them but didn’t do so. You see, in some cases, if you handle a negative review correctly, you can actually turn the whole situation around into a positive. Making things right for that complaining customer creates a raving fan who’ll recommend you more business.
Is Your Business’ Online Reputation Under Attack?
Unless you operate a fly-by-night business (which we are sure you don’t or you wouldn’t be here), negative reviews damage your business reputation. As a reputable business owner, a response to the criticism or negative feedback directly may sometimes be in order but sometimes using an alternative method to deal with it may be best. Ignoring or not dealing with negative feedback altogether, however, works against you and results in lower revenues and profits for your affected business.
So what should a reputable company do to counter negative reviews about their business, and how can they avoid making it worse or giving the issue even more longevity in the search engines? One strategy, which is a passive one, is to ignore it and simply wait for positive reviews to suppress the negative reviews in the search results. This could take a long time and your reputation may get damaged further as a result.
Besides just the bad review itself, let’s stop to consider another aspect to this. How many reviews online did not get an appropriate response from top management to make things right? It’s not as simple as having that an occasional bad review ruin a business. When business owners ignore them, prospects see this as an uncaring or unresponsive business. While you may say “we’ll try to do better next time”, do they know this without you explicitly expressing it?
Responding to customers’ comments appropriately and in a timely fashion is absolutely critical. As a business owner, you are already bogged down with all the day-to-day responsibilities of running your business and likely too busy to monitor and manage feedback regularly properly.
Good online reputation management is not just about responding to your reviews, be they good and bad. It is also just as important to avoid piling on more bad reviews and significantly outnumbering the negative reviews with positive ones.
So how then can you manage this important aspect of your business effectively?
When you hire us to manage your online reputation, we perform much of the researching, collecting and responding to customer reviews.
We are marketing strategists who will craft a comprehensive strategy that:
- Manages your customer feedback before they even decide to leave any reviews so only the positive ones are posted
- Foster the right environment so customers will more likely interact in a positive manner before they do business with you
- Create additional properties online beyond your website that will be visible to potential customers so you become more of an authority in their eyes
- Promotes a positive and lasting impression of your business on social media
- Dramatically increases the number of positive reviews to outnumber the negative
Do You Need Reputation Management?
You might be thinking: “my business is fine, and I haven’t seen any negative reviews yet. How is this helpful to me?”
Well, would you like MORE business? If you are already satisfied with your current business situation and have all the business you can possibly handle or want, you probably don’t need us.
If you want more customers and better results from your marketing, however, why not see if how our services will help in this regard?
We take a highly personalized approach to managing every company’s reputation online. This ensures we achieve the best result possible for you. Give us a call today at (480) 232-1848 to take a more proactive role to your business’ reputation.