Why You Need Reputation Management in Our Social Society
It’s nearly impossible to put a dollar value on your reputation, but one thing is certain: when it comes to reaching new customers your reputation is everything. As a business owner, your online reputation often determines whether potential customers will decide to work with you or not. Often expressed in the form of a review on one of many websites, your reputation is built by each interaction customers have with your business both in person and online. Bad reviews (or a lack of reviews in general) can hurt your bottom line because they limit your opportunities to impress customers. The good news is that no matter the condition of your online reputation, you can always take steps to fix it.
How Valuable Are Reviews?
In one survey, the impact of online reviews was measured. In that survey, 85% of consumers say they turn to these online customer reviews for local businesses often before interacting with that company. Additionally, 71% say their trust of a small, local business increases when positive reviews are present and 79% say they trust online reviews as much as recommendations from family and friends.
It’s Not Just for Restaurants Anymore
You’ve heard of websites such as Yelp, but you may be under the misconception that consumers only use such sites for restaurants or bars. Small businesses from hairdressers to plumbers to roofers and everything in between get ratings online from consumers they’ve worked with or otherwise come in contact with locally.
Where do your customers post reviews about your business? There are many sites and social media tools that get reactions including:
- Your social media pages including Facebook
- Google reviews
- Your website
- Angie’s List
- Local listings and directories
Take a few minutes to search your company’s name with your city and the word “review,” and you could come up with a dozen reviews you didn’t know existed.
Worried About What You Are Reading?
Small business owners locating negative reviews online for the first time may be concerned there’s no way to fix the problem. And if you do not have reviews, you may believe it’s not a big deal. In both cases you may be mistaken. Reputation management services can help you in various ways, including the following:
#1: Establish a Reputation Online
A lack of reviews can be just as problematic as having a number of bad reviews. Reputation management helps to build your online reputation by establishing a profile and presence for you on the most important websites. This creates a foundation to allow for positive reviews to be published about your company.
#2: Manage Negative Experiences
Let’s say a consumer visits your Facebook page and leaves a rant about a poor experience in-store. This is a key opportunity for you to regain that individual’s long-term business and more importantly show other customers that you care. Positive interactions with negative feedback can build loyal customers. This is what reputation management can offer.
#3: Building Positive Reviews
You want people to search for your company, read something positive, and think “I want to work with this company!” A wealth of positive reviews will encourage potential customers to pick up the phone and call you. Reputation management also aids in building a strong, long-term relationship between your company and that customer.
Any investment you make in reputation management is likely to produce a solid ROI, especially for small, local businesses. Feedback collection, positive review generation, and customer follow-up are all key to building a strong online presence. The good news is you do not necessarily need to be hands-on throughout the reputation management process. Here at Chair 10 Marketing we can help facilitate this process so you don’t have to add it to your already-full plate! Give us a call today if you’re interested in learning more about how reputation management could help take your business to the next level.