If you use one of the popular online review sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor before making a purchase or booking a flight, you have used the power of online reputation to form an educated opinion about whether a company is right for you or not. The same process extends to googling independent online reviews of a plumber or reading what previous buyers have to say on Amazon before you choose between products. Very few people go into any type of financial transaction without first checking out company and other people’s experience with them.
Online reputation tells consumers whether a product, service, company, brand name or professional individual is something they should give their hard earned money to. There are even websites where people can give ratings to their professors and doctors. The omnipresence of the Internet in all types of transactions imparts power to consumers who now have a convenient and easy way of judging who to do business with. Intelligent companies know this because any interactions with the public can and will be spread far and wide and affect future sales.
How to Receive Positive Online Reputation
Remember the research you have done in the past when trying to find a new company to deal with or a product by. Did the reviews left by other people help you make up your mind? Building a positive online reputation is not something that happens by chance. Of course, if a company does give stellar service or has an exceptional product, consumers may be inspired to share with their friends and post on review sites.
Most of the time companies employ online reputation management experts to monitor and improve the impression that consumers get about them when they look for reviews and information. These individuals or companies can also eliminate negative reputation, but building a positive one is the first step.
The basis of any online reputation management campaign is simply asking for reviews. Many people buy a product or use a service and the idea of leaving a review or rating the company doesn’t even enter their mind. Reputation managers are tasked with contacting these people through various means such as emails, direct mails, phone calls or in person, and reminding them that the company values their feedback. As long as you have quality products and services and the transaction was friendly and swift, asking for a review frequently results in a positive one.
How to Counter Negative Online Reputation
Even the best companies with the most valuable products get negative feedback on consumer review sites once in a while. This could stem from a simple yet time-consuming mistake, or a difficult customer who simply could not be pleased with any of your positive customer service methods. The news is peppered with stories of irrational people who trash a store because the shirt they liked wasn’t made in their size or their order was not available as quickly as they would like.
If this kind of negative review pops up online, you still have the opportunity to correct the situation and turn a negative into a positive. A response to these comments, which should come a few days later to allow the person to calm down a bit, can be made privately or publicly. Demonstrating clearly for all to see the lengths you will go to to make the customer satisfied can do a greater benefit to future sales than a simple positive review in the first place could.
Responding to criticism demonstrates to the consumer that you care about what they think and how they view their experience with you. If a person is searching Yelp for the perfect dog groomer and finds one where the groomer apologized sincerely and offered recompense for a bad experience, wouldn’t they be more likely to have positive outlook on the company than if the complaint was ignored?
It is easy to see that online reputation management is a vital part of success with the help of an online reputation management services company.
Online Reviews – Online Reputation FAQs
Q: What could happen if I do not monitor my online reputation all the time?
A: The first outcome a business could notice is a slowdown in leads, contracts or sales. Current customers with whom you have held a positive relationship through multiple transactions may vanish. People love to complain online and any negative story about a company gets passed around between review sites and social media pages until it is a viral monster. Your competition may also get involved and try to exacerbate the process. It is vital to business success to keep an eye and a hand on company online reputation all the time.
Q: Is online reputation really a serious factor in business success?
A: Even if you take the day-to-day effects of decreased sales or leads out of the picture, online reputation can have long-term repercussions. Online defamation suits have ruined companies in the past, forced them to close and even made a few of them pay millions of dollars in lawsuits. If ignored, online reputation can become an unstoppable force that could put your company out of business.