As consumers, we want to make sure that we are getting the best product at the best price with the best quality. 

Thanks to the rapid evolution of technology, information like this is at our fingertips through online ratings and reviews. These can be found everywhere, from Yelp to Google and Facebook. This is where managing your online reputation becomes crucial. 

What does this all mean for your business? It shows that now, it’s more important than ever to make sure your business has a good reputation. You want to ensure customers have the best experience with your product or service, because others will be able to see what they thought of your business easily online. Here is a quick guide on how to manage your business’s online reputation.

How Important Are Online Reviews?

Before we dive into maintaining a good online reputation, just how important are online reviews? Research shows that 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews. That is a significant number of people who walk through the virtual front door of your business before they decide to commit to a visit, and a lot of potential to immediately attract or deter a prospective customer.

Good reviews inspire a sense of trust, loyalty and reliability, while enough bad reviews can tarnish your reputation. In general, reviews are powerful because the fact that a customer would take time to review a business, be it good or bad, says a lot about their experience with your business. 

Building Your Reputation With Good Reviews

If you want to get good reviews, the first step is to start tracking your reviews. Use an automated review tool to help you track and manage your online reputation. Make sure you’re also encouraging customers to review your business by giving them an incentive to do so. And once they leave a good review, don’t forget to thank them! According to SearchReputation.Net, “Sincerely thanking a customer who has left a positive review can go a long way in boosting a business’ reputation, making them seem humble and appreciative for their relationships with their customers.” This back and forth communication serves as a way to boost online reputation.

Tracking all your reviews using an automated tool is important even with bad reviews. You can use these as a way to improve your customer service and marketing strategy. Also, don’t be afraid to engage with these types of reviews. According to Womply, “ a study by Cornell University professors found evidence that sales go up each time you respond to a review, and a one-star improvement in online rating increases revenue by 39%!” 

How To Handle Online Criticism

None of us are perfect, so some criticism is to be expected. When responding to negative reviews, do not blame the reviewer. Admit fault and offer a solution. Solution based answers will help you seem more personable and professional, focused on customer satisfaction. Womply also reports that, “negative reviews are a big deal for small businesses and need to be addressed. In fact, one negative review could cost you 30 customers!” 

Be sure to stay out of arguments online, as you want to show other visitors to your site that you can handle criticism well, regardless of whether it is constructive. Social media plays into online reputation management as well. According to edgytal, “It is highly recommended that every company which has a social media presence should practice ORM to know what their customers really think and expect from them.”

Finally, remember there is always a chance to turn a negative review into a positive review! If you are able to solve the problems addressed in a negative review, this reflects well on your online reputation.

Maintaining your online reputation is important for a any successful business. However, it can be daunting. This is why BrandRep offers Reputation Management services to help you paint a positive image of your business. Make sure to contact us if you’re interested in our services, and let us know if you found this guide helpful.

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