Do You Have Control of Your Online Reputation?

No matter what type of business you have, knowing how you are perceived online is essential. Although no one can fully control the perceptions of online viewers, you can certainly influence your online presence so that it swings in your favor.  This is done by actively improving your online reputation and presence.

Your online reputation is all about how others see your business and how it is represented online. In the 2016 Consumer Survey Report 91%* of consumers checked out online reviews left for a business before choosing to make a purchase. Reviews are playing a bigger and bigger role in how consumers feel about your products or services. Reviews can even impact how you are ranked within search engines. Reviews could include up to 10% of the ranking. Not just any reviews - the better the reviews the higher the rank. A large portion of your audience may take their business elsewhere if what they see is not positive enough. A staggering 86% of consumers will hesitate over a purchase if there are negative reviews, with 60% say that negative reviews make them not want to use a business.

If someone is happy about your product and raving to his or her friends then getting an online review from them will be easy, right? Not necessarily. This is usually because people’s lives are so busy that unless truly motivated, they are less likely to leave a review. If a customer receives excellent service and is completely happy with the product they may rave to their friends but may not consider leaving a virtual review on the sites that matter to your business. That is because only 10% of people leave feedback but 91% read it!    What is the best way?  Invite them.

Customers with bad experiences are far more motivated to leave a negative review because they are emotional. Best to have a system in place to capture that feedback so they don’t post directly online.  Consumers that have had a bad experience will look for a venting source and we offer a system on your website and the use of technology to offer this option to your customers so they share first with you. Especially in the age of social media, where big brands are investing resources into engaging with their audience online, consumers tend to go there first when they have a grievance or concern.  Best respond appropriately, take the dialogue offline quickly and keep it professional.

Already have some negative reviews online? Never fear! There is a way to turn a bad review into a bit of good PR. Replying to reviews and offering assistance to fix the issue, helps people feel appreciated, listened to, and respected as a consumer. This can turn a negative review in to either a positive or more neutral one.

After a purchase or even an interaction like an online inquiry or a visit from a customer, it is beneficial to follow up with a request for a review, without harassing the consumer and creating a negative experience for them. Generally, this may need a secondary follow up, ideally with a system in place to do so. This is a great way to control the content you can representing your business online and have more influence over what others are saying about your company over the Internet.

If you need help to grow your online reputation using review marketing, the staff at Deluge Digital Marketing specializes in helping businesses build a strong, positive online experience for their brand. 

*Source Bright Local Consumer Review Survey released 11/2/16   

Tamela Cantor