The online marketplace is only getting more competitive, consumers are doing more research than ever before, and belief-driven buying is on the rise.
What does it all mean for businesses?
Ultimately, it has become difficult to stand out to consumers. Consumers aren’t fully sold by advertising anymore; what they’re looking for is businesses that share their values.
In other words, businesses that can be trusted.
Thankfully, there is a way to cut through the noise and stand out from the crowd, and that’s putting more work into your online reputation.
The internet has brought businesses and customers closer together.
And although increased online interaction with customers might sound like hard work, a good relationship will drive customer engagement and customer advocacy – two things that guarantee online success.
But to establish this kind of reciprocal relationship with customers, you need to get the ball rolling. So we’ve provided three steps that you need to start improving your online reputation today.
3 Steps For Improving Your Online Reputation
1. Work With Customer Feedback
How often does your business listen to customer feedback? Customer feedback surveys are one thing, but what your customers are saying on review sites and social media platforms is another.
All these forms of feedback are voluntary. But for the raw and more informative opinions of your customers, you need to look at their reviews and social media posts.
It’s daunting, we know. But instead of turning a blind eye, you can get ahead of the competition by capitalizing on the valuable insights that your customers’ online feedback brings to the table.
The bottom line is to work with customer feedback; not ignore it.
This includes negative and positive feedback, because knowing what your business is doing right is just as important as knowing what your business needs to improve.
Still, there’s a difference between listening to feedback and acting on it.
But the big advantage of review sites and social media platforms is that you can utilize them to show your customers that you are listening, valuing, and acting on what they have to say.
This level of attention, accountability, and transparency won’t go unnoticed by your customers, and will work wonders for your online reputation.
2. Start Responding To Negative Reviews
75% of businesses don’t respond to negative reviews, according to a recent study.
The same study also showed that businesses that reply to at least 25% of their online reviews earn 35% more revenue on average.
What’s important to realize is that negative reviews aren’t just posted by customers to vent their frustration; customers want their problems solved and more than half expect responses, so negative reviews are just as much an appeal for help.
Due to this, all negative reviews are opportunities to show how much your business cares for its customers. And proactively showing you care will benefit your online reputation in more than one way.
Responding professionally in a way that values the customer’s opinions can reduce the damage of a negative review.
Taking the time to fix the customer’s issue can even turn the customer into a repeat customer, encouraging customer loyalty.
Review responses are also public, so how you respond and deal with customer issues will have a huge positive influence on how potential customers perceive your business – and customers, a whopping 96% of them, do read review responses.
All in all, responding to reviews shows that your business takes responsibility. It also demonstrates transparency and credibility – qualities that more and more modern-day consumers look for before using a business.
3. Encourage Customer Advocacy
What customers say about your business online is more valuable than you think. Their endorsements serve as powerful social proof – the hard evidence that your business delivers on its promises.
And by endorsing your business, your customers become your free online brand ambassadors.
Something to take note of here is that 88% of consumers trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as recommendations from people they know.
So it’s everyday customers who have a strong influence on other customers and what they choose to buy – more than influencer endorsements, business statements, or marketing campaigns.
After all, customers who write reviews have had first-hand experience and are speaking out on their own volition – making their opinions more trustworthy in the eyes of other customers.
The big takeaway is that customer advocacy is essentially free online word-of-mouth marketing. It’s social proof that customers trust, so you need to make sure customers see it when they search for your business online.
This is achievable by collecting and marketing customer reviews. Nine in ten consumers read reviews before buying, which makes managing reviews top of the list for improving your online reputation.
Reviews Are The Building Blocks Of A Trustworthy Online Reputation
Reviews play a massive role in online reputation management – something you probably noticed while reading the above.
And it’s true. Reviews don’t just help your business to improve; they help potential customers learn more about your products or services, and, ultimately, whether or not they can trust your business.
Reviews are therefore the key to building a trustworthy online reputation. Consumers need to trust businesses before they engage with them, which means businesses need to get more reviews to increase consumer trust.
The problem is getting reviews. No matter the size of your business, you’ll already know that it’s easier said than done, because even go-to strategies, like asking your customers for reviews, fail to deliver adequate results.
There is a solution, however, and it’s also the easiest step there is for improving your online reputation.
The Fastest Way To Improve Your Online Reputation
Improving your online reputation easily might sound too good to be true, but ReputationStacker is a tool that makes it possible.
It’s simple: ReputationStacker automates the entire review request process for businesses, using an effective communication funnel that encourages customers to write reviews.
ReputationStacker works for different review sites, for businesses of all sizes. It can even embed reviews on your website, as well as send reminders to your customers who forget to post a review.
Overall, it’s clear: your business needs reviews to build an online reputation consumer will trust.
But instead of waiting for reviews or putting your effort into a time-intensive strategy, it’s far quicker and easier to let ReputationStacker do the hard work for you.
There are several steps you can take to improve your online reputation. First, monitor your online presence to identify any potential issues or negative content that may be affecting your reputation. Next, address any negative feedback or reviews directly and professionally, and strive to provide excellent customer service to prevent future negative reviews. You can also encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews, which can help to improve your overall online reputation. Additionally, focus on creating high-quality content and engaging with your audience on social media to build a positive online presence. Finally, consider working with a reputation management company to help you manage and improve your online reputation.
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.