Combining the power of unlimited information exchanges online with the rise in popularity of social media, consumers now have the most influence they have ever had on a brand’s reputation. More than ever, a consumer is likely to turn to online research and factor in other customer’s comments about your product or service when forming their opinion and making a purchasing choice. That is why reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp or other business rating sites are so critical.
Nearly every day we encounter businesses owners who think they can weather the storm of mixed reviews, or worse, mostly negative feedback without addressing it. As our economy is shifting to more online purchasing and decision making, your presence on the web is even more important to protect. Here are some valuable reasons why a reputation management strategy would positively affect your business.
1. Reviews drive sales
Over 90% of consumers say that reviews factor into their decision-making process, so having few reviews, or predominately poor reviews, can absolutely impact your bottom line. Having reviews online, whether on your website or on search or directory sites, gives potential customers more confidence that they’re choosing the right company to do business with.
2. Local business will find you easier
Our clients are primarily local business owners, so searches such as “This service near me” are key to directing leads to their phone number, website, or location. The more valuable reviews - meaning current posts that include specific keywords relating to your business - the more likely your business will be found in searches and Google Places (the map) relating to your geographic area.
3. Be a part of the conversation
Just like social media, the most successful brands online facilitate a conversation between the brand and their customers. That includes listening to what customers, evangelists, and detractors say about you. Comments are not always found in the comment section of your Facebook page, but in hashtags, comment sections, and reviews. Whether a positive or negative review, you should respond personally and build a relationship for future business. As others see the dialogue, you can instill confidence with people who might have never interacted with your brand before.
4. Tackle customer issues head on
Not every single customer is going to be 100% satisfied with your work. That’s just the nature of business. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t rectify the situation both publicly and privately. In the instance of negative feedback, it’s vital to respond directly and quickly. We suggest in 24 hours or less there should be a public response to a negative review. Responding and resolving the issue will show that your company is reliable and will do right by their customers.
5. Key feedback on your business
Online reviews could provide important feedback about your product, service, process, or basically how your business is perceived. Seeing how customers react to what and how you provide your work is important when thinking of long-term improvements.
As you can tell, it’s very important to have a steady flow of customer testimonials and reviews coming in to run a successful business. Like social media, reputation management is very time consuming. Instead of tackling this yourself, count on Content & Creativity to create a high-powered strategy to nurture a conversation between you and your customers through social media management and review gathering. Call 610-937-5187 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.