Online reputation management may be one of the most important actions your company can take in 2019 whether you are B2C or a B2B. People trusting word of mouth recommendations for purchasing decisions is a tale as old as time. But we now live in a world where consumers no longer have to know someone personally who has used a product or service to learn about it.
Online reviews are the word of mouth of the digital age. In fact, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (BrightLocal).
So when was the last time you checked out your company’s reviews? If it’s been a while, what you don’t know may be hurting you.
For example, many business owners and marketers, search engine rankings and getting found for certain keywords are high priorities. If this applies to you, consider this: what if your business is highly visible in search results, but has a bunch of negative reviews? This will likely impact whether customers will take the next step to learn more.
What if your business is highly visible in search results, but has a bunch of negative reviews? This will likely impact whether customers will take the next step to learn more.
There are many reasons for businesses to have an online reputation management strategy, from gaining valuable insights from customers to being able to address customer service issues. But business owners who take a more proactive approach to online reviews stand to gain the most.
Here are 5 things your business can be doing right now to take proactive steps for your online reputation management strategy.
1. Start monitoring your reputation online.
If you aren’t already, start monitoring your company’s presence on key listing sites like Google, Facebook, Bing, and Yelp (don’t forget Glassdoor if you’re recruiting). Glassdoor is a reflection of how people see your internal workplace. It’s important to take the time to update your Glassdoor Page or create one if one does not already exist.
There are tools that can help with this, but you can also claim your accounts on these sites to be able to log in, monitor the latest review activity, and respond as the business owner.
2. When someone leaves a review, respond.
When a customer takes the time to leave a review for your business, whether it’s positive or negative, it’s important to acknowledge them and provide a response.
This becomes even more critical if there is a problem that needs to be addressed; a negative review is an opportunity to resolve issues and try to get back in a customer’s good graces.
But that’s not all! When you respond to a review, you’re not only acknowledging the reviewer’s feedback, you’re demonstrating to other consumers who may be checking you out that your business is engaged and responsive.
Just like the reviews themselves, your responses (or lack thereof) as the business owner are public, so ask yourself: what do you want consumers to see when they look at your reviews?
When you respond to a review, you’re not only acknowledging the reviewer’s feedback, you’re demonstrating to other consumers who may be checking you out that your business is engaged and responsive.
3. Come up with a review acquisition strategy.
“The best defense is a good offense” is a saying you often hear in sports, but this applies to your online reputation too. The only way to balance out any negative reviews is to have some positive reviews as well.
Wondering how to get reviews from your happy customers? Ask them! Find ways to strategically work this ask into touchpoints that feel natural for your customers and authentic for your business.
Wondering how to get reviews from your happy customers? Ask them!
4. Do what you do, really well.
This may sound obvious, but when it comes to reviews, providing great customer experiences really matters.
According to a GatherUp survey, the largest group of consumers (33%) only write reviews if their experience was really good or really bad. And 25% of consumers only leave reviews when they had a great experience.
At the root of any review strategy, a consistent, helpful customer experience can be your best defense against negative reviews.
5. Use reviews to improve your business.
You online reputation management strategy needs to include good or bad online reviews because each and every one is more than just feedback, they are opportunities to see your business through the eyes of your customers.
Positive reviews can help validate things that your company is doing well and urge you to continue doing it, while negative reviews can shine a light on things to improve on.
Don’t just look at reviews as another thing to manage, use them to improve (and grow) your business and your overall web presence. Quintessa Aesthetic Center is one of our clients that have used these strategies to build a profitable business.
Don’t have any customer reviews yet and you don’t think online reputation management applies to your business? Think again!
Be proactive and get your review acquisition strategy in place to start getting customer feedback. This will help mitigate any negative reviews that may come in the future. Start listening now and be ready to engage when those reviews start coming!