How Does Online Reputation Management Work?
Ready to glow up your online reputation? Here’s everything you need to know!
What Is Online Reputation Management?
Online reputation management is the practice of maintaining vigilance over how your business is perceived on the internet.
Many businesses opt to highlight positive reviews and glowing testimonies of past customers on their website, in their ads, and in their emails in order to communicate all the success that is possible in working with them.
But when a customer drops a bad review on your product page or comments negatively on an ad or social media post, this can have a hugely detrimental effect to the image of your online business.
When this happens — and it happens to everyone every so often — it’s important to stay on top of the issue and get your online reputation back under control.
How Can My Online Reputation Be Harmed?
Reviews and comments by your past customers matters to your potential future customers, and in some cases, the negative comments or experiences of your customers will hold more weight with future customers than all the positive ones put together.
Inc.com reports that 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as they trust the recommendation of a friend, and 91 percent of customers read reviews before making a purchase.
Additionally, another 68 percent of customers reported that they made their decision on whether or not to buy a product after reading fewer than six reviews.
This means that a single negative review — even if it is one of 100 reviews — can have a devastating impact on the choices of future potential customers. This makes it exceptionally important for you to manage your online reputation effectively and stay on top of how your business is perceived online.
What Reputation Management Tools Are Effective?
Businesses are not at the mercy of reviewers who have a negative experience, even though their comments may not be within their control. What you do have control over is your response, and your response is often just as important — and in some cases, even more important— than the original negative comment or review.
Here are a few reputation management tools you can use to rein in any damage done by negative reviews online:
- Respond immediately. Staying on top of what commenters and reviewers are saying about your business on the internet is key to managing your online reputation, but so too is responding as quickly as possible. This is not something to ignore or to allow to go unnoticed.
A delay often further angers customers and could make the situation worse. It also appears to future customers that the woes of past customers were ignored.
- Be helpful, polite, and understanding in your response. Even if a customer review is completely fabricated, unnecessarily angry, or totally unwarranted, it is important to always respond with professionalism and diplomacy, prioritizing the feelings and needs of the customer.
They would not have taken the time to write the review if they did not feel it was necessary to share their experience. By giving them your attention, you are already beginning to assuage the situation and demonstrating to future customers that you care about their needs.
- View negative reviews as an opportunity. Feedback of any kind is always going to help you to better your business. This reviewer may be giving you key information that will help you to rectify an ongoing issue.
Thank them for reaching out and ask them for the resolution they desire if it’s not immediately clear. Offer to fix the issue immediately, if possible.
- Give customers the opportunity to provide feedback privately. Your customer may have left a negative review because they did not know how else to reach out for support. Make sure that all your support options are communicated clearly and that you provide customer feedback survey opportunities for them throughout the sales process.
Where Do I Find the Internet Reputation Management Support I Need?
We’re here to assist you in all your online reputation management needs. Reach out today to get your questions answered and improve the perception of your business online.