The idea of managing and improving your business's online reputation ranges somewhere between intimidating and impossible. Here we show you how simple it really is.
You can get a lot done in a few clicks these days. Just ask the people whose kids find their phones and "accidentally" order thousands of dollars of toys from Amazon in the space of 30 seconds.
If only it was that easy to improve your business' online reputation. As any experienced owner or manager knows, cultivating a positive reputation is something that takes years of effort, tons of money and lots of one-on-one interactions with customers.
Wait a second... [Checks calendar, finds it's no longer 1995.] Good news! A few clicks actually can improve your online reputation, if your clicking finger chooses wisely.
Passing a hard level of Candy Crush = wrong clicks. Embracing customer feedback software = right clicks.
What the Heck is My Online Reputation?
Some business owners or managers are surprised to learn that they have an online reputation, to say nothing of its importance. Basically, your online reputation is the sum of everything that people are saying about you online.
If your ratings and reviews on sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor and Facebook are mostly raves and your customers routinely sing your praises on Facebook and Twitter, congratulations! But if your reviews are a mix of positive, neutral and negative, or if there are virtual tumbleweeds rolling across your review pages, your reputation could use some work.
And it's work that's worth doing. Because even if yours is a brick-and-mortar business that's been thriving for decades, your online reputation will play a huge role in determining your business's future.
Just Like in High School, Reputation Matters
Hopefully, your business doesn't have too much in common with high school. But one similarity that can't be ignored is the importance of your reputation in dictating how others see you.
Imagine an average person in your community. Let's call this person Alex. Alex is a parent with a full-time job, a house to take care of and a dog that will not stop destroying the couch no matter what. It's time to buy a new couch, but Alex is picky; Barkley will eat almost anything, and this time the couch has to be super durable but also not crazy expensive.
So Alex navigates over to Yelp and starts looking at reviews of furniture stores. Polly's Discount Furniture is where the last couch came from five years ago, so Alex will probably go there - but Polly's Yelp rating is only a 3.3 (out of 5) and a few recent reviews say that the sales people are pushy and impatient.
Troy's Cheap Furniture Barn has a 4.2 rating and the reviews say that the salespeople are fantastic. To boot, Alex remembers seeing a rave review of Troy's that a friend recently posted to Facebook.
Decision easily made: Alex is going to Troy's Cheap Furniture Barn. But what Alex doesn't realize is that Polly's Discount Furniture has better prices than Troy's, and the staff are actually excellent. A few impossible-to-please customers recently came in and took out their frustrations on Yelp. And because Polly didn't have many Yelp reviews to start with, those low scores dragged down Polly's overall rating from a 4.3 to a 3.3.
Don't take Polly's word for it, though. Research shows just how much customers are influenced by reviews:
- 85% of American consumers surveyed say that they trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations from friends and family.
- 49% of consumers want a business to have a minimum rating of four stars before they choose to use it.
- 73% of consumers trust a business more after reading its positive reviews.
Here's the bottom line: your customers are reading reviews and making purchasing decisions based on what they read. You can't afford to be like Polly and neglect your reputation.
Not Your Grandpa's Reputation Management
Getting reviews to help boost your online reputation used to require a lot of work on your part: determining which customers are happy and then actually getting them to post a review can be difficult.
All that hassle is now unnecessary, thanks to customer feedback software. These tools help businesses collect honest feedback, encourage customers to write reviews, leverage those reviews to attract new customers and generally help you grow your business.
Enter ReputationStacker. ReputationStacker's primary function is to help you get more reviews from your happy customers while catching your unhappy ones before they leave a review so you can turn their experience around. The system also tracks the reviews your customers post, creates a feed of the best ones and shares them on your website and social media pages to attract new customers.
ReputationStacker does more than just help you improve your online reputation. By generating more feedback from your real customers, the system helps you figure out exactly what you're doing right and what you could be doing better. Unlike some businesses that buy positive reviews, you'll truly earn yours - and lay the foundation for years of further success.
Best of all? ReputationStacker is automated, which means that it requires just a few clicks from both you and your customers to start improving your online reputation.
The Final Click
You might not be able to tell, but your online reputation affects business every single day.
Generate more positive reviews and use ReputationStacker's other available tools to give your reputation a bump. When you know what your customers are saying, when you're consistently getting more positive reviews and when you're leveraging those reviews to grow your business, improving the online reputation of your business is easy!
Ian Kirby has been working in digital marketing for over 15 years. Having worked both with and for digital marketing agencies and in-house with multiple companies, he has a specific interest and expertise in online reputation management, online reviews, and the implementation of business systems. Ian’s writing, videos, and interviews have garnered millions of reads, views, and listens.