Over 80% of consumers read reviews first before they purchase products and services. It’s even higher among younger people. The reason for reading reviews is that people don’t have any other means of determining if the brand is worth patronizing. They will rely on what other people have to say. Therefore, having a positive online reputation is necessary. It means that the business has tons of positive reviews from different sources. It’s easier to trust companies with a good reputation. Therefore, it’s crucial to have an online reputation management strategy. Businesses without one will most likely end up losing potential customers. These are some online reputation management tips that can help businesses.
Online reputation depends mostly on reviews. People have something to say about the services received. However, not all of them are willing to write a review. It would be great to encourage people to leave reviews. Sending them an email as a reminder or allowing them to leave a review on the same app used for purchasing items would be great. It’s also important to make it easy to leave reviews. Avoid re-directing people to different pages and letting them write reviews for several minutes. A one-page form would already suffice. If they are too busy, putting a rating would be enough. It only takes a second to select from 1 to 5.
Highlight positive reviews
If there are already lots of good reviews about the company, it will help to spotlight them. People should immediately see these reviews when they visit the website. The good thing is that there are reviews widgets available for people to view everything on the homepage. If they wish to learn more, they can click on the review. If not, it’s good enough for them to see a few sentences written by other people. It should also be easier to share these positive reviews on social media. Highlight them by posting the links to the reviews so that people who follow the social media pages can also read the reviews.
Improve product quality
There’s nothing more important than having quality products and services. It’s not easy to ask people to write a good review if they didn’t like their experience in patronizing the brand. The business should focus on improving product quality. When people like what they got. It’s easy for them to say something good. Change suppliers if necessary. Always listen to what people have to say and use their suggestions in improving the products and services.
Respond to all reviews
When people write reviews, there should be an immediate response. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad. Positive reviews deserve a simple thank you as a response. If it’s negative, the business should also address the concern immediately. The good thing is that there’s review management software available. It helps spot the presence of reviews about the business online so that it’s easier to respond. It’s not easy to go through every review about the business and respond to them.
For negative reviews, it’s important to have a strategic response. Avoid being too emotional and arguing with a person who said something negative. It could be a real concern, and the business should show empathy. It’s not only for the person who left the review but for the other potential customers. They need to know that the business cards. They should also see that there’s a promise to do better. If they become customers in the future, they want to patronize an excellent company.
If it’s not enough to discuss all the concerns online, there can be a continuation offline. Encourage the other party to discuss the issues further through a phone call or email exchange. They might be angry with what happened, and not everything should be in public view. It’s already enough for the people to see that the business cares and tries its best to address the problem.
Be sincere in listening to concerns
Having an excellent online reputation is essential. It’s the reason for responding to reviews and letting potential customers know that the business takes the concerns seriously. However, it’s also important to walk the talk. It’s not enough to only respond for the sake of doing it. If there are serious concerns that require immediate responses, it should happen right away. Some of them might be recurring problems, and it requires immediate changes. Not doing so might frustrate the potential customers. They may decide to look for other options instead of patronizing the brand.
Reward people who leave reviews
If customers who availed of the services before decided to leave a review, they can get a reward. It can be a gift check or a voucher. It will encourage them to continue writing a positive review. People who didn’t have a wonderful experience in using the products also deserve compensation. It doesn’t have to be something expensive. Again, a gift card would already suffice. It’s not a payment for failing to do the job well. It’s a way of telling them that the business acknowledges the mistakes and will only offer customers what they deserve.
Don’t sugarcoat the problem
People like authenticity. If there’s one thing that they will consider in patronizing a brand, it’s the quality. They don’t like it when companies cover up the truth. Everything eventually comes out in the open, and it would backfire. Therefore, it’s important to present the problem and respond to them as soon as possible. There’s nothing wrong and apologizing for a previous issue as long as there’s an effort to do better.
Online reputation management is an ongoing process
Just because the business is doing well and as a part of the reputation doesn’t mean it will continue to stay that way. The reputation may go negative overnight. It would be great if you have an excellent online reputation management strategy with the help of experts. They can provide advice on what to do to look good for the target audiences. If the business ended with a negative reputation, there’s still a chance to change the reality and earn people’s trust. There’s no need to panic.