New people are coming online more quickly than ever before, and your online reputation has never mattered more than it has in recent years. Online reviews have been proven to have a dramatic effect on your brand’s online reputation and can be a determining factor when it comes to how potential clients perceive your brand. Knowing how to manage this perception as well as how to create a positive online reputation can go a long way in helping you expand and grow your company or product.
Let’s face it, good reviews, whether on Google, social media or review platforms, can make all the difference to your brand’s online reputation. Research dictates that approximately 89% of consumers say they would make an effort to read reviews online before finalizing a purchase. Companies with good reviews are able to reap benefits such as boosting sales, growing customer base, increasing visibility and awareness, and reaching stakeholders.
In fact 91% of 18 to 31-year-olds trust reviews as much as personal recommendations, and in general customers are willing to spend 31% more on businesses who have great reviews. This just goes to show how heavily customers rely on reviews posted online.
Customers are more inclined to buy from a brand which is reliable, especially if reviewed by someone they consider to be ‘like them’. These days people are very skeptical of which brand they are prepared to give their trust. Building or improving credibility, in a world where customers are able to gather more information on a company more quickly than before, can be difficult.
When a brand is able to take reviews as constructive criticism, it leads to better online reputation management. They can use these reviews to adapt and better serve their existing clients and target audience, keeping them happy and ensuring their return.
Brand reliability doesn’t only affect customer opinion, but potential employees too. Studies show that only one in five jobseekers are happy to work for a company with 1-star. Nobody wants to work for a company with a negative reputation, they want a brand with whom they share their beliefs and values. Attracting more employees will also lead to an increase in more talented workers applying for positions within your company.
Respond to Negative Reviews Appropriately
Listening is always important. It’s vital to pay attention to feedback from stakeholders – and indeed showing that you are listening. Statistics detail that 95% of businesses monitor their brand’s online reputation in some way or another, including reviews. Approximately 71% stated that they responded to these reviews, good or bad.
Nobody likes negative reviews, whether on Google, social media or review sites such as Yelp, Tripadvisor and so on. Dealing with them in a prompt yet attentive manner makes a world of difference. This displays the brand’s openness to feedback and willingness to improve, making interaction with stakeholders more enjoyable and positive, thus improving your brand’s online reputation.
Negative comments and reviews cannot be avoided but you can manage the negativity by responding quickly, thanking them for their feedback, and then apologizing and sympathizing with the problem they experienced. It’s important to address the reviewer directly and ensure the response is not generic. Take responsibility and make things right by explaining what you will do to rectify the situation. When possible, redirect the issue to an offline medium, so you may speak directly with the complainant.
Prepare for Your Brand’s Future
Preparation is important when it comes to managing your brand’s online reputation. Hiring an online reputation management agency to develop a strategy. Your brand’s online image is what users see every time they view your company. Making sure that users have a positive interaction with your company and responding to negative as well as positive reviews where appropriate can make all the difference when it comes to attracting new customers and keeping existing ones happy.