April 1 2019
Being visible online is vital to today's businesses. Showing up above the fold on those first-page search engine results is even more critical than product or service lineups in terms of first contact. In spite of all the marketing time, effort and dollars put into reaching those coveted positions, one element has the power to take a business down in a heartbeat: reputation. When it comes to convincing consumers you're worth their attention, online reputation management could be the difference between success and failure.
Why Is Reputation Important?
In all likelihood, reputation development and management is built into your overall marketing budget. If your marketing team is taking measures to generate customer reviews, it's definitely part of the repertoire. While reviews are integral components in visibility, link-building strategies and other aspects of the marketing realm, they're also part of a much bigger picture. Numerous benefits can come from keeping those customer opinions flowing in and shedding a positive light on your business.
Improving Bad Experiences: You can please some of the people some of the time, but pleasing everyone all the time is impossible. Unsatisfied customers are bound to arise despite your best efforts to make them happy. Unfortunately, those displeased people are the most likely ones to make their opinions known about offending businesses, and they like to do so in the most public way possible: online. This can hurt a company, but it also offers ample opportunities to respond positively and show the world you're willing to do anything in your power to make things right.
Boosting Sales: Consumers have come to expect reviews when they're looking for products and services. In their eyes, companies without reviews have very little to offer. They want to hear other people's opinions of a specific business before bringing out their credit cards. Without reputation management, those reviews won't be there for all to see, so you'll lose credibility in the eyes of the beholder.
Building Trust: More than 95 percent of consumers look for online reviews before deciding to place their trust in a company or its products or services. Some 85 percent now believe their peers as much as they would those of friends and family members. Having plenty of positive reviews and affirmative reactions to negative ones lets consumers know they can trust your company.
Reputation management goes a long way toward bringing in leads and converting them to paying customers. In turn, they'll leave reviews to foster the process further down the road. It's not all about visibility, but that's certainly one of the side effects. Plenty of other bonuses can come from the effort as well.