The internet is quite possibly the most valuable contribution to marketing that has ever been made. However, without management of your online reputation and reviews, your internet marketing strategies are for naught. Here is a look at reputation and review management and how it can help keep your digital marketing plans moving forward.
Out of the estimated $500 billion a year that companies worldwide spend on marketing, only $9 billion is devoted to customer relations, in spite of the fact that a mere 5 percent in customer retention can result in a 25-90 percent increase in profits. Review management is a process by which you can track incoming customer reviews from various review sites and respond to them as necessary. Rather than deleting negative reviews, review management can actually show your potential customers how you settle conflict with thoughtful and personalized responses. Reputation management is the act of continually monitoring, optimizing, and responding to all company information across all channels to provide a greater consumer experience and a more positive image online.
According to a study from Search Engine Land, 88 percent of consumers read online reviews in order to determine the quality of a business. 81 percent conduct online searches about products and companies before heading to the store. More than 94 percent of consumers say that a negative review has caused them to avoid a business. Your online business reputation is dependent on a number of factors, including:
- Your presence online through your website and social media, including likes, hashtags, and check-ins.
- Your updated local listings in which the business information is complete and reviews are responded to.
- Your reviews and ratings on various sites, including in-depth review sites and the star ratings given to your products or your brand on those sites. As of 2018, Google was the review site of choice with more than 63 percent of Review Tracker surveyed consumers stating that Google is where they go to read reviews on a business they're interested in visiting.
- Mentions of your products and brands on online forums, such as Reddit and industry-specific forums.
- Blog mention and reader comments
- News articles that mention your company and reader comments
- Your replies to social media reviews as well as your attempts to make it right with unhappy customers.
Whether it's an angry ex-employee or that customer that was impossible to please, those who leave angry reviews about your company online can drive away both existing and new customers. Likewise, attempting to delete negative reviews or pay reviewers to say positive things about your company can also hurt your credibility.
A wave of negative reviews online or low star ratings can cause customers to lose confidence in your brand and seek their products from somewhere -- and someone -- else. A lack of online conversations with your customers can hamper key metrics that allow your business information to reach a larger swath of potential customers. An overall negative tone in reviews with words such as "bad" or "terrible" can turn off your potentials. Customers who complain in a review that is never responded to are left with the feeling that no one at your company cares that they had a bad experience and that the company doesn't wish to improve their experience.
While simply having a negative presence online won't cause you to immediately have to close your doors, negative reviews that haven't received an appropriate and caring response in a timely fashion are a sign of a company that is struggling to provide the products and services that its customers need.
We can help you with your online reputation and review management. Contact us at 866-530-2729 for more information.