Having an online reputation management strategy for your business is a vital component towards building a 5 star online reputation.
When it comes to managing your online reputation, it pays to have a reputation management strategy. What would do if a customer of yours has a bad experience while doing business with you, and leaves a negative review on your site? Worse yet, what would you do if a previous employee or even a competitor with a bone to pick decided to fake some bad reviews, thus wiping your business’ reputation through the mud?
In a 2011 study entitled Net Promoter Industry Benchmarks, including more than 22,000 U.S consumers, we saw that a bad customer experience can have a ripple effect that results in a 22% drop in business. This same study found that the most trusted source of information about a product or service came from family or friends.
You can read more statistics like these, here.
With the Net being as huge as it is, there are any number of places that the people using the Net can post a product or service review. Google may well be the largest, but it is simply not the only one.
You can rest easier, though: there are ways to respond to this form of negative advertising.
First, you can do your best to make sure that there is a marked difference between the number of positive reviews and the number of negative ones. Secondly, you can take a hand in managing where these appear on the Net.
If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get
You don’t have to sit around and wait for the reviews- many times, all you have to do is ask your customers, and the positive reviews will start coming in. If you have a system in place on your site that allows your customers to easily post a review, you’ll see that most are happy to do it. According to statistics, 5-20% of the customers you ask for a review will in fact leave one on your site; the simple fact is, if you don’t ask, you won’t know.
If you don’t ask, the number of negative reviews on your site will look higher, achieving exactly the opposite of what you want.
Where Do the Reviews Go?
Obviously, it’s not possible to find out and control every single site on the Net that may have customer feedback for your company. That being said, it’s possible to create a spot on the Net designed to gather reviews. When previous or existing customers see other reviews, they are encouraged to leave their own two cents about your company. Eventually, the list of reviews on your site will get so big that search engines like Google and Yahoo will recognise the site, and the reviews will begin to fill the top spots on their results pages. This creates visibility, which is essential for a successful reputation management strategy. The more visible the reviews are, the more other customers will want to leave reviews… and it gets bigger and bigger, until the site basically becomes like a magnet for word-of-mouth advertising; the “go-to” site for people wanting to read reviews on your product.
It’s not easy, granted. The longer you wait to create a review site for your company, the longer your customers have to thinly spread their reviews all over the Net. When that happens, it becomes more difficult to get enough positive reviews on a company website to make that site the authority for their product.
So, as you can see, it’s good to have a reputation management strategy in place so that your business can put its best foot forward and open the doors to a greater flow of customers.
If you have any questions about ORM, or would like find out what the Online Rep Guy can do for your business, why not contact us?