Reputation management is the method of monitoring, responding to and controlling what people are saying about your business in all forms of media, including: newspapers, magazines, social media, review sites and forums.
Online reputation management (ORM) focuses exclusively on areas online where potential customers and current/previous customers can view and discuss their experience with your business or product online.
Common places where you may find people talking about their experience with your product or brand include:
- Google My Business Reviews
- Third party booking sites
- Industry specific websites (such as the good garage scheme for mechanics)
- Blog comments
- Online articles
- Trust Pilot
Why Online Reputation Matters
“All you have in business is your reputation – so it’s very important that you keep your word.”
Your online reputation can either assist a sale or alternatively can put off a prospect before they’ve even visited your website or picked up the phone. It is extremely important to know what is being said about your brand so that you can respond to the discussion (both good and bad) and use the information to improve your business practices.
If your desire is to grow your business, then knowing how online reputation can affect sales is a crucial part of your success.
According to a study by Neilson, 70% of online consumers trust an online review. If 70% of your prospects are researching your business, then it makes sense to monitor what is being said about your brand, company or product.
Other mind boggling stats include:
- 92% of consumers read online reviews about a business
- 80% of consumers changed their mind about buying based on reviews
- 67% of consumers will not buy from a business if they have 1-3 bad reviews
- 91% of consumers research a business online
- 40% of consumers form an opinion of a business after reading 3 reviews
Your online reputation goes further than just helping you sell more and has far bigger implications than you might think, including helping your team grow successfully with 84% of jobseekers saying they would leave their current role to join a company with an “excellent reputation”!
These stats alone should make you take note about what is being said about your business!
Ways To Improve Your Reputation
Finding where your reputation is being discussed is the first step to building a better reputation.
Start by searching your company name in search engines such as Google & Bing. Your should get an immediate insight into whether customers are talking about your brand on your search engine business profile (shame on you if you haven’t claimed yours!)
- Search for your company name + review in search engines e.g “ Go Websites Reviews”
- Search social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to unearth what is being said about your company
- Use Google Alerts to set up automatic monitoring of your company name each time it’s mentioned online
Once you have a concise list of reviews, comments and mentions of your brand then start deciding what you are going to do with the discussion.
Do you need to respond to an honest review? Do you need to take legal action against a fake review? Do you need to take on board what the customer has said and use the criticism or praise to improve your business? Do you need to react quickly to what is being said?
Proactively improve your business reputation
Let’s face it, if you have a dodgy business, delivering poor products or a service, consistently delivering bad customer service, then there needs to be a fundamental approach to how you are servicing your customers. If you cannot change your ways then trying to generate real reviews from satisfied customers will be a waste of your time.
Most of us have experienced a good meal and a bad meal at a restaurant, but it’s more likely we’ll leave a negative review than a positive one if left to our own devices!
And no matter how efficient your business is, there will always be a chance something can go wrong, whether that’s burnt food, late delivery or project delays due to unforeseen circumstances outside of your control.
Being prepared for these occasions can help you manage the situation so that the customer doesn’t feel aggrieved enough to go online and leave a scathing review.
However, if like most businesses, you want to deliver exceptional results and customer satisfaction, you’ll probably have to chase up your customers for positive reviews or testimonials.
Here are 5 fast ways to improve your reputation…
- Deliver an award winning service that deserves praise!
- Follow up and encourage customers to leave positive reviews on popular sites such as Facebook and Google My Business
- Release content on blogs and press releases so that positive news about your company hits the first page of search results
- Claim any business profiles and respond to reviews (without antagonising the reviewer!)
- Add a customer testimonials page to your website
Do you need help with your online reputation?
As award winning marketing experts, Go Websites can help you assess and address your current online reputation. If you feel that your business could do with help in finding, generating and responding to reviews, then contact the team today and we’ll help you to develop a strategy to improve your reputation.
“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”