What a customer thinks and feels about your business can be the deciding factor for whether they use your business or not.
And since your online reputation ultimately determines how customers perceive your business, your business needs an online reputation strategy.
What this comes down to is advocating your business values online.
Your website, social media platforms, and reviews should all be managed with your reputation in mind because modern consumers are now looking for one thing above all else: trust.
In the internet’s wealth of information, trust is important.
And by getting a consumer to trust your business, you increase the chances of turning them into paying customers – maybe even repeat customers.
But increasing conversions isn’t the only reason your business should have an online reputation strategy in place.
Let’s look at all the reasons below, along with the best online reputation strategy every business needs.
The Importance Of A Good Online Reputation
Consumer buying has changed for good.
The internet has made information more accessible than ever, so consumers no longer need to guess whether or not a business, product, or service will fill their needs – because the information is there to find.
Review sites, for example, along with social media platforms, make it easy for browsing customers to see real opinions from existing customers who have had first-hand experience with a business.
Reviews, in particular, are especially hard to ignore.
And the fact is, customers will take another customer’s word for it – more than yours and more than the opinions and recommendations of friends and family.
This makes having a solid online reputation more important than ever. Modern consumers are clued-in, so businesses need to get one step ahead by proactively managing their online reputation.
7 Reasons Why Your Business Needs an Online Reputation Strategy
Building a good online reputation can take time.
It requires a dedicated strategy and the patience to maintain it, especially since businesses now need to manage their reputation across different online platforms.
But the benefits are worth it.
Put simply, having a strategy for online reputation management is the key to standing out from the competition and driving more sales.
The bonus is that more sales can lead to more happy customers who are willing to praise your business online… leading to more sales.
1. It Shows A Good Relationship With Customers
Customers need to trust a business before buying its products and services, so they look to other customers.
It’s understandable because finding unbiased information about a business is as simple as looking at real customers with first-hand experience.
Online reviews are a prime example of this. Online reviews tell a story of how a business treats its customers, as well as display the relationship a business shares with its customers.
Customer advocacy is, therefore, an invaluable resource for your business.
Whether in the form of a positive review or social media endorsement, the online praise of your existing customers will lead more new customers to your business and what it has to offer.
2. It Encourages Customer Engagement
Engaging with customers is one of the best ways your business can improve its online reputation.
Building on the above point, it can also demonstrate a healthy customer relationship – something potential customers want to see.
This makes it important to interact with customers wherever possible, such as your social media channels and review sites.
This includes creating social media content that fosters engagement and responding to your customers’ comments – including their reviews.
The good thing about interacting with customers is that it encourages more engagement.
By seeing that your business is communicative and caring, more customers will readily interact with you and feel more inclined to endorse your business with user-generated content.
3. It Builds Trust And Credibility
A good online reputation will serve as your banner of trust and credibility.
A high star rating backed by hundreds of positive reviews, for example, can often be more than enough to persuade a potential customer to skip further research and head straight to your store or website to buy the product or service they’re after.
In an age of accessible information, trust and credibility are factors that will make your business stand head and shoulders above the rest, as these days building a good online reputation and building trust are virtually synonymous.
4. It Increases Employee Loyalty
Alongside customer reviews, review sites such as Glassdoor invite employees to rate and review the companies they work for.
This is a whole new side of reputation management your business needs to account for, as it ultimately shows how you treat your employees.
For that reason, employer reviews now play a big role in determining whether or not jobseekers choose to apply for your company.
Customer reviews, on the other hand, can also determine whether or not existing employees remain loyal to your business, as what your customers say can have an effect on whether your employees feel they are making a difference and are part of a business that cares.
5. It Helps Your Business Improve
A good online reputation can increase sales, which can increase reviews.
And with more reviews—more customer feedback—the more valuable insights you will have into what your business is doing right and what it needs to improve.
No business, small or large, should rest on its laurels.
Businesses should always be looking for ways to grow and innovate, and your customers’ opinions are by far the most valuable form of feedback your business can receive.
This doesn’t just make it important to listen to your customers but to encourage your customers to say what they think via customer feedback surveys, social media content, and online reviews.
6. It Assists Information Search
Having a good online reputation is vital for information search: the second step of the buyer decision process is when a consumer searches for a business, product, or service after recognizing a need or want.
It’s during this stage that consumers do their research, weigh pros and cons, and refer to credible information sources, such as customer reviews, before making an informed decision based on trust and confidence.
As a result, having a credible, authoritative online reputation will not just draw customers to your business but speed up the buyer decision-making process.
After all, the sooner a customer trusts your business, the sooner they will confidently buy what you have to offer.
7. It Boosts Sales
In today’s competitive online market, a good business reputation is what generates sales.
This is the main reason your business needs an online reputation strategy and the end result that all the above reasons will lead to.
But more sales are not the only benefit of building a good online reputation.
As touched on earlier, more sales can lead to more reviews, which can create a powerful feedback loop that can influence more customers to use your business.
The result is that your online reputation will start to grow by itself.
The driving force here is customer reviews, as reviews will increase sales by inspiring trust and confidence. So the bottom line is clear: businesses need reviews for online success.
Reviews Are Key To Building Your Online Reputation
Central to your online reputation is what customers think and feel about your business.
This includes customers who are researching your business and customers who have reviewed your business online.
For new customers, the opinions of customers who have already used your business will have a direct influence on whether they buy what you have to offer or choose one of your competitors instead.
Above all else, this makes customer reviews the most important resource for your online reputation.
Reviews inspire trust, and trust is the bedrock of any business’s online reputation.
Customers want to be able to trust your business before buying from it, so you need to do everything you can to build that trust.
The Best Online Reputation Strategy: Get More Reviews
You can’t build an impressive online reputation without a strategy. But creating an online reputation strategy isn’t as difficult as you might think – your business just needs to get more reviews.
What is the best way to do this? Request reviews from your customers.
There are different strategies for requesting reviews, but it’s far simpler to use automation.
This eliminates the hard work of sending manual review requests, which, as most business owners soon realize, is time-consuming.
ReputationStacker is a solution to this. And it doesn’t just send review requests automatically; it takes care of the review request messages themselves, so you don’t have to deal with templates, review links, and the rest.
ReputationStacker is effective because it streamlines the review process from start to finish.
The result is that it makes it easier than ever for customers to post reviews, making it easier than ever for your business to receive them.
So why take the long route? Your business needs an online reputation strategy, and ReputationStacker is the all-in-one, hands-off solution that will effortlessly grow your business’s online reputation for you.
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.