Have you ever wanted to try a new restaurant for dinner, but you weren’t sure where to venture out to? Are you new to an area and don't know the best HVAC service company in town? Are you having a difficult time deciding between two different cable providers? What is the first thing you do? Read reviews.
People read online reviews to help choose the most reputable business based on the opinions of their fellow consumers. Here at CenterRock Advertising, we have studied and are aware of the fact that the higher the star rating is for your business, the more success you will have in gaining new customers and maintaining a loyal customer base. So what does it take to have a successful online reputation? We have created a list of the five most essential tips to ensure that the next time a customer searches for a business in your industry, they choose you.
CenterRock defines online reputation as the way in which your business ranks in regards to products, services, personnel, and the overall company on various digital platforms. Sharing opinions by word of mouth has transformed into the word of type, causing a high importance of a business’ online presence.
Using the internet, your business instantly gains a vast reach for potential customers. Reading what other customers have to say about a business’s service or product and the experience they had has become a reputable source for personal research. One study claims that customers read an average of 7 reviews before trusting a business (BrightLocal, 2017). And that makes sense. It has become a crucial part of why customers choose you over your competitors or vice versa.
The faster the response time, the more likely a customer who wrote a negative review will update it to a positive one if the issue is resolved in a timely manner.*
Maintaining a positive online reputation is imperative in the current digital age. With countless search engines and social networks demonstrating how businesses rank online with special review features, it’s crucial that these reviews portray positive feedback. There are also more third-party review sites than ever that customers use to write about their experience with your business. Believe it or not, Yelp and Facebook are the most trusted review sites, followed by Google and BBB.org (BrightLocal, 2017).
By responding to your reviews, you are promoting your brand. Crafting the perfect response to the reviewer is important to let them know that you care, whether the review is positive or negative. Say they had a bad customer experience with you; you care because you want to improve upon the situation for all future customers. Say they had a fantastic experience with you; you care because you want them to spread word to their friends, family, social media followers, or strangers looking for a business like yours.
To respond efficiently to positive feedback, make sure you include the customer’s name (if it is disclosed), a thank you greeting for using your business product or service, acknowledge what how their experience was and then conclude with appreciating him or her for using your business. Make sure to encourage them to come back in the future.
In contrast, to respond effectively to negative feedback, make sure you include a genuine apology and understanding of their experience. If you are not the person who will contact them, then provide a name with an email or phone number stating to have the customer reach out if they would like.
In addition, respond to all reviews not only for your reputation but with relevant keywords you can help improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & visibility for your business. Your page on Google will have a higher chance of being noticed before your competitors.
Even if you and your team give your best effort, negative reviews are unavoidable. How you take care of this negative feedback is what matters.*
Why is reputation management important? Let’s talk about brand integrity. Brand integrity is how consumers perceive a company through their products, services, messaging, and reputation. Keep brand integrity, keep the business.
For any business in any industry, it is important to maintain a positive reputation from loyal and potential customers. Positive reviews make 73% of customers trust a local business more (BrightLocal, 2017), so your brand’s integrity depends on the experience your customers had with you. The promise you make to customers in reference to your service should always be the top priority upon delivery. The less satisfied your customers are, the more you diminish the relationship, causing a decline in your reputation.
Year after year, negative reviews can add up, costing your business money and continued customer loss. A negative review left on review sites could result in a long-term effect on your business if not handled appropriately and efficiently. Therefore, it is important to know where your business ranks on a page of Google and how to continue highlighting why you stand out from competitors.
If you are responding to reviews, then do not skip over and choose the ones you just feel need more attention than others.* Do you want your loyal existing and potential new customers to trust you more? Check out these statistics about online reviews:
53.3% of customers expect businesses to respond to their online review within 7 days (ReviewTrackers, 2018).
Negative reviews have convinced 94% of consumers to avoid a business (ReviewTrackers, 2018).
Respond to all reviews within 24-hours. Be authentic, concise and positive. If a review is not so great, be apologetic, do not delete posting (there are rules for removing keep that in mind).
There are multiple strategies towards managing your online reputation. You should have one or two of your employees (or a reputation management agency like CenterRock) tasked with monitoring incoming reviews is a good way to make sure no review is missed (positive or negative). When you are responding to each review, it is important to make each response unique towards that specific review. It will show the customer you carefully read their review to make it personal and show you genuinely care about their feedback.
If you are hard at work and need reminders to check your reviews every day, you can set up a Google Alert. This ensures an alert will be sent to your email when a customer has left a positive or negative review on your Google listing page. Other review sites also have an alert feature to help with monitoring too. You will be aware of what others are saying about your business and then take the appropriate action if needed to further investigate a situation.
While it is not uncommon to have irrelevant reviews posted to your business’s pages, keep in mind Google and other sites do have a place to “report” if the review meets any of the criteria such as discriminating statements that can arguably be removed. As it may be longer to remove reviews on Google than a third-party review site, however, you can use software to help catch and suppress negative reviews before they are public. This option is to help monitor and collect negative comments to try to resolve the situation without other customers reading it first.
Inside your business or on your social media profiles, directly ask your customers to give you feedback on their service or product to help make adjustments and improvements for the future.
There is no harm in asking your customers to write a review about their experience. The customer writing the review will be honest, as it will be fresh on the mind after a purchase or service given. Providing a text link they can quickly give a response to is also a feature to think about for increasing chances of a customer writing a review. As mentioned, reviews will help your online visibility and ranking. All reviews will help make the business be able to make adjustments and improve strategies for the future.
A business’s reputation is an important factor in determining how successful it will be. Use these 5 tips and discover how much more online reputation success you will have with your business! Providing a solid, clean appearance inside the business is one thing, but having a solid, clean and reputable appearance on the internet has changed the game. A well-designed website, steady followers on social media platforms, and high-star ratings on search engines like Google and third-party review sites like Yelp all qualify in the realm of keeping up with your business’s online reputation.
CenterRock Advertising is a digital marketing agency in Little Rock, Arkansas that offers a well-established reputation management solution, so if you don't have time to manage all of your reviews, reach out and we'd love to chat!
What I think is critical for business owners to know is that there is a direct correlation between their positive google reviews and interactions potential customers have with their Google business listing.
Posted by: Keegen