How Your Business Can Benefit From Proactive Reputation Management
The Internet has empowered anyone with access to a computer with the ability to make or break a business with online reviews. An estimated 85 percent of consumers seek out and read reviews about the local businesses they’re considering spending money with, and the majority of them trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends or family, according to a recent study by BrightLocal.
Your company’s bottom line is directly tied to the quality of your online reputation. A Harvard Business School study has concluded that a one-star increase in positive ratings can increase revenues by 5 to 9 percent. On the other side of the coin, a single negative review could cost you up to 30 potential customers, according to the Convergys Corporation.
A proactive reputation management program can build a powerful 5-star reputation, and reduce or even eliminate negative online reviews about your business before they ever see the light of day.
How Does Proactive Reputation Management Work?
Proactive reputation management equals the sum of the positive steps you take to build and maintain your online reputation before negative reviews start to take their toll.
- Get started developing your social media presence. Claim your business name and complete your business profile starting with Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. Other good properties to consider include About.me, BrandYourself, Blogspot, Pinterest, and Tumblr. Be sure that your business information is identical across all your profiles.
- Once your profile is complete, start engaging with each property. Ask and answer questions, join conversations, write a few articles about your company and your key products or services.
- The next step is to start promoting your content on each property. You can get better search engine rankings by linking your profiles and posts to each other.
Monitor Your Online Reputation
You should consider subscribing to one of the many online reputation monitoring services. These are designed to alert you whenever your business name is mentioned across a number of online sites and directories. While monitoring is also used in damage-controlling a problem reputation, it continues to play an important part in proactive reputation management; when it comes to your business reputation, what you don’t know can hurt you.
Focus on Superior Customer Service
The best way to practice proactive reputation management is to sell a quality product at a fair price that is supported with superior customer service. Assuming your product line offers genuine value for the price you are asking, you need to carefully evaluate your customer service procedures and personnel; an estimated 68 percent of customer dissatisfaction has been associated with poor customer service.
- Every employee should have a clear understanding of your company’s commitment to customer satisfaction.
- Employees that deal with your customers should be trained on the importance of your online reputation, and encouraged to go out of their way to create a positive experience every time for every customer.
- Customer service personnel should be empowered to resolve customer complaints and problems quickly and fairly.
Have you taken any steps to promote or monitor your online reputation?