Your reputation online dictates the responsiveness of your target audience and how they perceive your brand. By using a local business review management tool you can identify, monitor and enhance how your customers find you. It is also instrumental in helping you determine what exactly it is they are looking for and their experience with your website and customer service.
The online reputation you have harnessed from previous users isn’t going to be enough to attract future customers. You have to maintain and enhance it so that you can reel in potential customers and provide them with the same level of experience. Consistency is the name of the game here.
The importance of streamlined online reputation management
Managing your digital reputation may sound like a service required to win you the next presidential election or if you’re launching a cutting-edge device. The fact of the matter is, if you want people to spend money on your products or services, you need to first make a good first digital impression. For example, you need to be able to respond to user comments on Facebook in a timely manner. Customer service is what is essentially all about.
In light of this, here are six dynamics you need to understand about your online reputation.
It impacts buying decisions and sales
According to the Local Consumer Review Survey posted by BrightLocal in 2017, it was determined that around 97% of users based their buying decisions on reading online reviews on local businesses. Moreover, according to the same survey, 12% of consumers searched for new local business each day.
There is no question, online reputation management acts as a bedrock for local business success and popularity. Consumers value positive online reviews. You’d be shocked to learn that as per a Moz report back in 2015, four to five bad reviews on any company online cost them 70% of future customers!
Your existing customers will still read new reviews about your product or service or company as a whole, which is why online reputation management can either make or break your digital footprint.
Your digital reputation is eternal
While we aren’t immortal, our business reputation will surely be around for generations to come. The online world has significantly evolved, becoming a sort of a public archive for a variety of things. This includes things that are known and unknown to most. Simply put, in a business sense, your company will always be what people say about it – and it could be frighteningly difficult for you to change anything.
Even if a user says something that is simply not true, there isn’t much you can do about it, other than to not give them a reason to say anything bad. However, comments such as “it’s a scam!” or “don’t shop from this business” can put a lot of potential customers at the backfoot. What is done will remain done; the only thing you can do is effectively manage your online reputation and ensure consistency.
Word of mouth – faster than a speeding bullet!
The speed by which information travels on the web is phenomenal. Social media networks are a great example of how people spread the word around on new businesses and products. As much as this can help businesses grow their brand visibility, it can also destroy them before they can even lift off. Just look at the backlash United Airlines got after it forcibly removed a passenger from an overbooked flight in 2017.
The point is, your customers can either leave you with a 1-star rating or a 5-star rating – both actions depend on a slew of important variables, such as customer service, delivery, quality of the product, response rate and sometimes, boredom. You have to understand that if a customer doesn’t like your website or how sluggish your customer rep was to respond to his queries, one bad review, and down your company goes.
That is why it is so important to keep a check on these incidents and ensure consistency. As per a research report posted by Vendasta, 95% of unsatisfied users or customers will come back to you if you solve their problem on time.
The opportunity to set the record straight and make things right
Have you looked back on something that you did wrong then jumped on the opportunity to set it right? The feeling is overwhelming, and you don’t have any regrets about anything. Online reputation management is a surefire way to convert a potentially adverse perception of your target audience into trust.
Bad reviews and constructive criticism can be a very good way of acting quickly to change everything that is wrong with your business. You can improve your quality and services and learn from your mistakes. However, repeating the same mistake twice may not give you the opportunity to correct it again.
Sure, it can be heartbreaking to hear a customer talk bad about your business; however, attentively listening to them and converting their criticism into a healthy discussion is a good way of improving your business. That is exactly why a local business review management tool is so important!
The inability to get rid of a bad review
Sure, you can try your best to solve a customer’s problem quickly and effectively, and you can overshadow some bad comments as well. But what you can’t do is delete negative comments. Sometimes an angry customer is just looking for validation or a refund. Good reputation management includes taking on-time actions on resolving and de-escalating consumer complications in a harmonious yet professional way.
You can also try to overshadow bad comments by pushing your content at the top of the SERPs, getting rid of the negative search results on Google. After all, most people don’t go past the first page on Google when searching for information or products.
Overall, these are some vital elements that will dictate your online reputation for better or for worse. If you are meticulous with your digital strategy, ensure quality and consistency, and are willing to solve problems on time, there is nothing for you to worry about.