Online reputation management is a critical tool for influencing consumer purchasing behavior. According to the 2014 Local Consumer Review Survey, nearly 88 percent of people read online reviews to establish the quality of local businesses. Seventy-two percent of them say positive reviews increase their chances to trust a local business. This survey emphasizes on following the ideal steps to manage online reputation.
The first noble step is to monitor your profile. According to Brian Hughes, a seasoned digital marketing expert, you should start by ascertaining the review sites that generate the highest referral traffic to your website since they’re often the ones with the strongest views. Remember that going it alone is not a good idea. Use tools that provide multi-site monitoring with email alerts and notifications such as ReviewPush to avoid being blindsided by a bad review.
Next, monitor industry review sites to ensure you know the specific companies to look up. Many specialty online platforms aggregate reviews about the same products all into one place.
Also, be quick to respond, but don’t confront any customer. It is impossible to please all customers, so negative reviews are inevitable. How you handle these reviews makes a big difference. The best way to address negative feedback is with a prompt, sincere, and polite online response that asks the customer to contact you at their convenience. If they’re ready to try your product again, offer a substantial discount and subsequently ask them to leave feedback based on the new experience.
Building positive word-of-mouth is also very useful since most customers that are satisfied with a service or product never post a review online, which is not the case with people who are unhappy. This strategy involves targeting your best customers and incentivizing them with service discounts and free products to share your business with friends and colleagues.
If negative reviews have damaged your online reputation or need help to avoid online crises, seek the help of experts. The president of Status Labs, Darius Fisher, can be of great help to you. Fisher is in the profession of delivering second chances to public figures, leaders, and business executives. Headquartered in Austin with offices in Sao Paulo and New York, Fisher specializes in protecting their client’s digital image where possible in advance or else repairing after damage.
The bottom line is that you should never turn your back on online reviews. Always remain informed of what people are saying and respond politely, sincerely, and on time. Also improve where change is merited or seek advice, ask negative reviewers to try your products again, and build a strong referral system that allows you to give happy customers an incentive to spread the word.