With the Internet being a major source of information, it is also becoming the go-to place for sharing feedback and reviews about almost anything. Now, more than ever, customers are flocking online to share their latest experiences with businesses whose products and services they have tried.
Customer comments can literally cripple a company’s ability to generate new customers – especially if there are multiple negative comments and hardly any positive comments…
“Whatever you do, DON’T go there!” or “I will NEVER go back to that place again!”
You obviously don’t want to see these comments about your business floating around online. Any prospective customer that hasn’t tried your business will run the other way.
There is no doubt that customer reviews on the Internet have a real impact on the company’s ability or inability to get new clients.
Consequences can be really disastrous if multiple negative reviews are posted, and overpower the positive ones... So avoiding the publishing of negative reviews about you on the Internet is a priority.
Similarly, it could be as disastrous for your image if there was no comment about your company. Customers will, indeed, tend to choose your competitors’ offer, especially if it has collected good reviews.
For all these reasons, monitoring your reputation is a crucial step. That is why Online Reputation has become, in a few years, a priority for many companies.
And it’s a lucrative strategy... Companies with a good reputation see their sales increase, while others lose market shares due to negative reviews (or lack of reviews!).
As an entrepreneur, you’ve probably already asked yourself if it was wise to spend time and money to online reputation. The answer is undoubtedly «yes»!
Even if you do not currently have a negative reputation, you should still work towards building your brand and monitoring what is being said about your company, so you can avoid any future damage.
So... What is Online Reputation Management?
Online Reputation Management is exactly what the name implies; the ability to manage your online reputation. But what does this really mean?
These days, every single piece of information, every single review, and every single comment written about your business online can be seen by all, no matter your business sector or size.
In fact, everything ever written about your business online is accessible to anyone via what is known as your ‘digital footprint’. One thing you have to realize is that, regardless of the size of your business, your
customers are talking about you.
Years ago, if a potential customer wanted to use a business, the only way of finding out about its reputation was through word of mouth; they relied solely on the recommendations (or warnings to stay away) from previous customers.
Fast forward to the modern day and social media, Google, Facebook, Yelp, Trip Advisor…, allows the world to see instant opinions and experiences regarding every aspect of your business: your products, quality of service, pre-sale & after-sale services...
No matter how good you are at what you do, it is difficult to please everyone all of the time.
For larger scale businesses in particular, keeping a 100% perfect online reputation all of the time is tough, if not near impossible!
However, a 100% squeaky clean online image is not to be expected; every business will have at least one unhappy customer.
But your goal should be to have more recent positive mentions about your company than negative.
People will leave negative comments about even the smallest things that bother them and usually the first place they head to do so will be online.
Reputation Management allows you to keep up to date with what is being said about your business online and take back control to some extent if your reputation is being portrayed wrongly.