You simply cannot afford NOT to manage your business’s online reputation. Think of it as a powerful tool in your online marketing toolbox. How did the first marketing pioneers even know what their customers thought of them? A hundred years ago, the only way Coca Cola knew whether it was doing anything right was if the customer showed up a second time to buy another Coke. Thankfully, in the age of information, it’s easy to get into the minds of your customers because they are more than happy to tell you.
Online review sites are plentiful and include Google My Business, Yelp, Angie’s List, Facebook, and others. It’s important to develop a strategy that helps your business not only respond to online reviews in productive ways, but furthermore, to improve customer service, product offerings, and operations.
Sites such as BrightLocal can aggregate customer review data into reports that are easy to analyze so you can create a reputation management plan. But how do you get reviews in the first place? Did you know that 70 percent of customers are likely to leave a review if they are simply asked to do so?
Once you ask for reviews, it’s imperative to stay on top of the feedback loop. Sign up for alerts so that you are notified when a review has posted to the major review sites listed above. And be sure to respond to both positive and negative reviews. If positive, you can simply thank the customer for patronizing your business. If negative, insist on solving the problem. The key is to be relatable to your customers, as well as to counter any negative perceptions before they build momentum. ‘Perception is reality’ as they say.
Another benefit of reputation management is the ability to brag about your five-star status on social media. Never miss an opportunity to tell potential customers how much your current customers love you.
If all of this seems overwhelming for you, then consider hiring an expert to handle your reputation management for you. A professional services firm that specializes in online marketing can manage every aspect of your campaign. This includes creating dashboards, analytics, and alerts, as well as responding to reviews from customers. An outside firm can even develop social media strategies geared toward trends or issues that become apparent once this data feedback loop opens up. Feedback is the breakfast of champions, after all.