Managing the online reputation of your business is easy if you know what tools to use. We review the nice-to-haves and the need-to-haves here.
"Online reputation management," like "high current income mutual fund" and "a Kardashian said," is one of those phrases that probably makes your eyes glaze over.
No judgment; reputation management may sound dry and dull if it's not part of your job. It's also the kind of term that gets thrown around a lot but doesn't mean the same thing to everyone. But in most businesses, online reputation management simply means making sure that customers are saying good things about you online.
And while some businesses use shady practices to ensure their positive online reputation, it's actually easier (not to mention more ethical) to tackle this in a straightforward way. It's as simple as this:
Give your customers great service, and systemize the way you handle the rest. You're responsible for the first part. Reputation tools help you do the second.
Why Does Online Reputation Matter?
Back in the olden days (aka the '90s), your reputation was determined by word of mouth.
For example: Your cashier gave Peggy some attitude, Peggy told everyone at bridge club that your business didn't value its customers, and the bridge players repeated that to everyone they knew. Suddenly, everyone in town has a vague idea about your business that isn't accurate. It would take a great deal of time and effort on your part to win back the trust of all those people.
Today, Peggy probably plays bridge on her iPad and airs her grievances from the comfort of her recliner. The rise of the internet has changed the business world forever, and online reviews have been part of that huge shift.
Despite not knowing whose words they're reading, customers trust each other's reviews. In fact, 85 percent of Americans trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations from friends according to a recent survey. And 93 percent say that they read online reviews to determine whether a business is good or bad.
Basically, if Peggy goes on Yelp and says your business is bad (and if there aren't enough positive reviews there to drown her out), people will believe her.
Reputation Management Tools: An Overview
So, yes, your online reputation matters a great deal. It's no surprise that so many companies now promise to help you manage it. You'll see a lot of tools available on the market.
Not all management tools are created equal. Some are so buggy that they rarely work as advertised, and others require so much effort to use that they're a waste of time. And some require you to pay for features that you'll never use.
Reputation management tools offer services including:
- Review gathering. Simply put, these tools will help you get more reviews. (Some use unethical practices, like flooding sites with fake reviews.)
- Feedback solicitation. Those services will help you gather customer input that you can use to identify both strengths and weaknesses.
- Review notification. By letting you know when you get new reviews, these tools allow you to manage your time more efficiently. Instead of refreshing your review pages multiple times a day, you'll know exactly when a review comes in. Take action right away if you get a fake or inaccurate review.
- Testimonial creation. These tools make it easy to create a testimonial page on your website that displays some of your most recent positive reviews. You may also be able to link them to your social media pages so you can automatically share rave reviews with your Facebook and Twitter followers.
Some products offer one or two of these tools. ReputationStacker offers all of them, and more.
How ReputationStacker Works
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.
Because a small coffee shop doesn't have the same needs as a medical practice, ReputationStacker has different levels of plans so you can find the one that fits your business.
Included with all Standard, Plus and Premium plans is ReputationStacker's online review monitoring. The system automatically tracks your reviews on all of the major review sites and the most popular industry-specific review sites.
It also creates a feed of your best reviews and automatically posts them on your own website and shares them on your social media pages, leveraging what your happy customer are saying to bring even more customers into your business.
ReputationStacker's ability to collect customer feedback is one of its game-changing benefits. Finding out what your customers really think about you can be uncomfortable in the short term, but it's the best way to grow your business.
Showing customers that you truly care about what they think and what they want is an easy way to earn their loyalty, too. (Take that, Peggys of the world.)
Reputation Management: Easier Than It Looks
Earning a good reputation is hard. Leveraging that reputation into new business shouldn't be. Online tools should help you translate your real-world successes into a positive online reputation, which in turns equals more real-world success.
Use ReputationStacker's customizable tools to put your reputation to work for you.