Today, having a positive online presence is important if you are to succeed in the world of business. The sad fact is that many business people only come to realize how critical their online presence is after they experience a problem such as a damaging negative review from a customer.
If you want business success, you just can’t afford to ignore the role played by online reputation management. These days, customers can easily provide feedback on your brand, services or products and it is important to ensure that you keep tabs on what is being said and also know how to respond in a timely manner.
A negative online review that doesn’t get an appropriate response could be extremely damaging to your business. Therefore, ensure you go through, and record all online reviews that touch on your business.
Your response should, in general, come as soon as the review is made, preferably within a day or at most, two.
You need to craft a response that makes that particular customer feel that his or her concern has been noted and is being addressed.
You also want, at the same time, to show all other potential customers that you are responsive to customer concerns.
Impact of Customer Reviews
A few negative words about your business, products or services are enough to spell doom for you take months to recover from.
If customers, both active and potential, aren’t too happy about something regarding business, they are not going to keep quiet about it.
Today, they turn to social media to vent their anger or frustrations and before long you could be having a major PR disaster on your in-tray.
If you want to know how important online reviews are, just imagine that before they visit a business, 90% of consumers actually read the views of others.
Additionally, 72% of customers will only take action after they read a positive review. And 86% are likely to keep off a business with negative reviews.
The fact that 88% of buyers trust online reviews like they would a personal recommendation underlines how important reviews are. And the clincher, 92% will utilize a locally based business if at least it has a 4-Star rating.
The fact is that today’s consumers are swayed heavily by online reviews in making a final purchase decision and it pays to take heed of what is being said online.
Online Reputation Management
Online reviews are indispensable and powerful tools for the modern business, especially when you are targeting new customers.
If your customers are happy, consider asking them to post an online review expressing their views as this boosts your collection of positive online reviews.
Managing your online reputation requires a well-thought-out plan backed by strategic thinking. This will entail keeping tabs on each online review, as well as key review sites and in some way, responding to 99% of the reviews.
If you can afford it, you may want to consider engaging the services of a reputable PR agency or even just hiring a professional communications expert as part of your internal staff may be a good idea to help you manage this component of business that is increasingly growing in importance.
In view of the growing use of social media and other digital platforms, online reputation management is vital, irrespective of the size of your business.
As a similar preventive measure, you normally don’t wait for your teeth to become gross before deciding to get a toothbrush. In a similar manner, don’t wait until your business has negative online search results for you to start collecting, reviewing and managing customer feedback.
Be proactive, it could save you from the future heartache of having to seek the services of a professional online reputation management firm.