Online reviews are a valuable resource for companies, especially small and local businesses. Modern consumers tend to research online quite frequently before making a purchasing decision. As such they often trust other customers more than promises made by brands. That is why positive reviews are so beneficial in terms of increasing revenue and supporting growth. To shape the customers’ perception of your business and make a great impression, focus on managing your online reputation effectively. Here’s how:
The first step to successful online reputation management is devising the right strategy. This means performing a Google search and going through social media websites to see what people are currently saying about your business across different platforms. Keeping the results you find in mind, consider what you want to achieve with reputation management. Whether it’s attracting positive feedback or doing some damage control. Then, think about the resources you can devote to this process. Consider which tasks and tactics will bring the most meaningful results. This will allow you to establish an effective online reputation management strategy that is likely to bring success moving forward.
The more reviews you manage to get, the better it will be for your company. Positive reviews aid in improving your rankings. Additionally, customers tend to prefer new and detailed reviews over old ones when making a purchasing decision as well. Unfortunately, most consumers won’t remember to leave reviews themselves. Get ahead of this by directly asking your customers for feedback. You can do this with a pop-up on your website, through your email marketing campaign, or even using polls and surveys on social media. Be careful of specific review websites if you’re incentivizing feedback. Many specialized sites will have policies against this to ensure honesty and neutrality.
Companies that respond to each review they receive in a timely manner tend to be favored among consumers and even get better reviews over time. That is why it’s recommended to respond to each review, regardless of its tone or nature. Regular interaction will demonstrate to consumers that you care about them and truly value their opinions. However, organizing a large volume of reviews can be challenging as well; leverage the right tools to make this process easier. For instance, you can use effective Google review management software to maintain your online reputation. This will enable you to manage your Google profiles, keep track of all reviews, and easily respond to each one, all using a single tool.
As already mentioned, it’s important to respond to all reviews, even negative ones. But your responses have to be strategic and carefully thought out. Especially, if you want to improve your online reputation instead of damaging it. For example, you can try to establish a more human connection with the reviewer, provide a polite response, and then contact them privately in order to resolve their issue, if at all possible. This can go a long way towards increasing customer satisfaction, and it might even encourage the individual to change their review. If a resolution isn’t possible, a polite and short public response thanking individuals for their feedback can also be a good solution.
It can be difficult to demonstrate any weaknesses as a business but this is often a common cause of negative reviews. You might worry that setbacks and flaws could damage your reputation. However, lies and deception are even worse. They lead to disappointed or even angry customers who not only write bad reviews online but also stop doing business with you altogether. Prevent this by being more open, honest, and transparent. Will there be a delay in shipping? Are you unable to accept specific returns due to company policy? No matter the situation, be upfront about it with your consumers. This effort can help you to build loyalty and trust and enhance your reputation.
To maintain a good online reputation in the long run, there are a number of things you can do beyond responding to reviews and resolving potential issues. For example, you can focus on social media. Start by reserving branded handles on all platforms, even if you don’t plan on using them. This will prevent anyone else from tarnishing your reputation there. On the social media networks you choose to use, focus on posting high-quality and valuable content regularly. This can improve your search engine rankings. Engaging with your audience frequently on these platforms can be of great help for managing your online reputation as well.
A good reputation is crucial for boosting trust and loyalty among consumers. Consequently, this then leads to higher profitability. Improve and manage your online reputation by following the tips above, and reach new levels of success.