Reputation management is increasingly important to maintaining success and retaining satisfied customers for small and medium-sized businesses. In the digital age, keeping up with your appearance online has the potential to make or break your success.
In fact, 74% of people find that it’s easier for them to trust a local business if they’re reviewed positively online.
Good reviews and a strong reputation aren’t results of luck.
In order to keep up with your company’s online presence, you’ll need to take several steps to effectively manage your brand.
This article will examine three ways you can manage your brand’s online reputation efficiently, so you can run your company with more confidence and security.
Continuously Monitor Your Reputation
In order to properly correct issues that worsen your reputation, you need to be regularly monitoring and maintaining it.
Most businesses indicate that they monitor their reputation at least quarterly in some way. They can do this manually, using digital tools, or a combination of both.
Digital tools have the power to take work out of the hands of your employees, so they have more time to invest in their other day-to-day responsibilities. Both Google Alerts and Hootsuite are helpful tools that assist in a company’s effort to keep track of their online reputation.
Google Alerts is a digital tool from Google that allows you to track popular, recent search results containing keywords.
If your business is centered around cryptocurrency, for example, you could try tracking Bitcoin to quickly discover top headlines indicating its current reputation with consumers and other businesses.
On the other hand, Hootsuite is a tool known for tracking social media engagement. In 2019, reviews have been integrated into the platform, so users can monitor how they’re being reviewed by customers.
Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite, implemented this functionality, saying he also sees value in using digital tools to monitor reputation. “Most consumer reviews happen in a very social way, so it’s becoming essential for all businesses to monitor and respond to those reviews online in order to manage their brand reputation and control their online presence.”
Using manpower and digital tools is a great way to ensure that you’re effectively and continuously keeping track of your online reputation.
Encourage Satisfied Customers to Leave Positive Reviews
One of the best ways to boost your reputation is through reviews. Online reviews serve as third-party verification of the quality of your services.
Historically, small businesses have relied on word of mouth and personal recommendations to guide choices their consumer behavior and business partnerships. Now, the vast majority of consumers trust online reviews at least as much as a personal recommendation.
Source: Status Labs
With more people trusting online reviews just as much as word-of-mouth, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your online reputation is strong.
As a business leader, you interact with your happy customers often. In those engagements, it would benefit your business to encourage them to leave positive reviews online. However, most companies do not do this.
According to research from The Manifest, only two of every five small businesses ask their satisfied customers to leave reviews.
Customers who had a notable experience, good or bad, are most likely to post a review about your services so other customers can guide their decision making based on their experience.
For positive experiences especially, customers may not think to leave you a review without prompting. If they’re happy with your work, then they’re sure to write one for your benefit.
In order to affirm the quality of your services, it’s helpful to ask customers to write a quick review endorsing your business.
Engage With Consumers On Reviews Platforms
When a customer leaves a review for your business, it’s important to respond to them.
Good reviews are the result of a satisfied customer taking the time to support your company. Make sure you convey that you appreciate it.
That will make them feel like a valued, loyal customer. Those who feel appreciated are more likely to continue supporting and patronizing your business.
Every once and a while, you’re sure to notice a negative review associated with your business. While bad Google reviews have the potential to cause damage, don’t panic and respond emotionally.
Make sure your tones remain empathetic to your customer’s concerns. Responding in an understanding manner has the power to transform an upset customer into a satisfied one. Oftentimes, people want their complaints to be heard and understood.
Additionally, reply to these reviews publicly. Prospective customers will see your professional, caring approach to customer service and will be more inclined to reach out to you as a result.
Above all, make sure you’re responding to the reviews you’re given to offer support, clarity, and empathy to past and future customers alike. That’s a great way to have a say in your online reputation.
Remember the Impact of Your Online Reputation
During your day-to-day operations, keep the importance of your reputation in mind. It’ll benefit you and your company to continuously monitor your reputation, engage with customers discussing your services online, and ask your most satisfied customers to consider leaving a review for you. That way, you won’t have to worry about losing out on leads online.