As a business owner, are you aware of what your customers are saying about your brand and its offerings? If the answer to this question is “No,” then it’s high time you start worrying about your brand’s reputation. Before the era of the Internet, business owners concerned themselves with word-of-mouth and referrals. Although they still have their importance today as well; however, now we also have to depend on the online reviews and feedback. In the present digital age, customers have access to several online channels where they can share their experiences with brands and businesses, no matter good or bad. Hence, every business owner must pay due attention to their online reputation, and both listen and respond to such reviews.
UNDERSTANDING THE TERM ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT AND ITS IMPORTANCE
In the simplest terms, Online Reputation Management (ORM) refers to the process of crafting and implementing strategies that hold immense potential for influencing the way people across the globe see your brand and business out there in the highly competitive environment. When it comes to Digital Marketing, investing in ORM is a must for business firms and organizations of all levels. It is a matter of fact that yes – your brand’s online reputation is crucial to becoming and even remaining a successful business in the market. Most importantly, it’s indeed your business’ most valuable asset. Therefore, monitoring brand reviews and mentions, along with responding wisely, is necessary to safeguard your brand’s integrity. According to various surveys conducted, nearly nine out of every ten customers go through the online reviews for determining the trustworthiness and quality of a business or its brand. So there is a dire need to put in sincere efforts for ensuring that the information your customers find reflects your business well as your survival depends on the same.
CAN ONLINE REVIEWS HELP YOUR BUSINESS?
Besides being an ever-evolving process, here are a few reasons explaining how online reviews can help your business in enhancing its online visibility, generating qualified leads, and driving more sales.
1- POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS TRUST ONLINE REVIEWS AND FEEDBACK
Without any second thoughts, your potential customers or target audience shall trust the comments and feedback of your already existing customers instead of the content available on your business website or mobile app. That’s why user-generated content in the form of reviews and feedback matters a lot. Also, somewhere around 90% of the customers believe in online reviews and then form an initial impression of a brand. Therefore, you must use online reviews to gauge your company’s reputation, identify the issues in your overall process, enhance brand awareness, and gain customer loyalty.
2- POSITIVE ONLINE REVIEWS AND FEEDBACK BOOST REPUTATION
Positive online reviews can be shared across various social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc., for building brand awareness and driving more traffic. Additionally, you can include them in your overall Digital Marketing Strategy to show customer loyalty and credibility. You can also use such reviews as a starting point of building stronger and long-term relations with the ones who left the comments. If someone has a positive experience with your business and its offerings, go ahead with saying a simple thank you or giving them an exclusive discount offer to gain customer loyalty. They might also refer your brand to their friends, family, and colleagues, which, in turn, shall help you in gaining immense popularity.
3- NEGATIVE ONLINE REVIEWS AND FEEDBACK PROVIDE VALUABLE INFORMATION
If you respond to the negative online reviews in the right manner, they can prove to be useful and beneficial for your brand’s reputation as well. When a customer leaves a negative comment, all they want is you to listen to them and offer some help. By responding to such reviews transparently and implementing a sincere plan of action, you can resolve the issue efficiently. Such gestures will show your customers that you care about them and actively respond to their feedback. Therefore, you must identify the problems faced by your customers and come up with solutions to lead towards the ultimate path of success.
4- ONLINE REVIEWS PROVIDE MATERIAL FOR CONTENT MARKETING
For boosting Content Marketing, you can turn the online reviews into testimonials, and with consent, you can also use the positive reviews on your business website. Furthermore, you can also consider coming up with a blog post featuring the best reviews of your business in a year. You can also design and feature a slide deck of reviews on your website to influence your potential customers.
HOW TO RESPOND TO POSITIVE ONLINE REVIEWS?
Positive online reviews can benefit your business in multiple ways ranging from boosting your brand reputation to building stronger relationships with your already existing customers and potential customers. However, how you respond to positive online reviews needs to be taken into consideration. You can start by thanking directly to the positive reviews in a personalized manner and then make those customers’ experience even better by surprising and delighting them with special offers. It is essential to keep in mind that a simple thank you goes a long way, and a simple thank you with a little extra effort goes even farther.
HOW TO RESPOND TO NEGATIVE ONLINE REVIEWS?
Responding to negative online reviews and feedback can be a little tricky and depends on the intensity of a particular situation. However, you should never feel frustrated and try to avoid taking such comments personally. You can start by finding the truth and paying attention to what made the customers unhappy. After identifying the issue, you must come up with a plan to resolve it. In the end, you can draft a response with all the knowledge you have gathered by first thanking them for the feedback, apologizing to them, taking ownership of the issue, and then briefly describing your plan to fix it. Such measures shall make the customers believe that your brand is attentive and cares about them at all times.