Before purchasing goods or services from a company, many consumers read online reviews and view their social media. A positive online reputation in today’s digital world is critical to the success of your business. As a small business owner, strengthening your reputation will increase your competitive advantage.
What is Reputation Management?
Online reputation management can help to influence the way consumers view your business. It can strengthen your online reputation. The following reputation management mistakes will lead to lower revenue and can even potentially ruin your brand’s image.
Mistake #1: Ignoring Reviews.
Not every comment or review is going to be positive. But online discussion can give you information on how to improve your business. One of the most damaging mistakes your business can make is failing to respond to reviews. When a customer leaves a positive comment, write a reply. Negative reviews should be addressed in a polite way. Cost: Just four negative reviews can cost you up to 70% of your business. Respond to unsatisfied customers quickly and offer solutions.
Mistake #2: Not Having a Reputation Management Strategy.
One of most costly mistakes to make is not having a strategy when it comes to your online presence. A plan can help mitigate negative reviews. 58% of consumers looking for businesses are influenced by a company’s star-rating. Cost: A decrease in customers if your competitors invest in a reputation management strategy, and you do not. Instead, use your plan to mitigate poor reviews.
Mistake #3: Inconsistent Branding.
Strong branding allows new customers to understand what your business is about. This needs to be consistent on all digital platforms so use the same branding so consumers will recognize your brand. It includes your messaging, font, colors, pictures, and patterns. Consistency builds trust in your brand. Cost: According to a Brand Consistency Benchmark report, conflicting brand usage can damage a brand’s credibility by 56% which makes it 30% more difficult to compete in the market. This leads to a loss of customers but can easily be remedied by remaining consistent across all platforms.
Mistake #4: Not Asking for Reviews.
The core of a reputation management strategy should be to ask your loyal customers for reviews. Many small businesses have a plan for asking for reviews from their customers by sending out an email to remind their customers to give feedback. Then monitor the responses to improve reputation management. Reviews of all types can increase conversion rates. Cost: As high as 70% of e-commerce consumers read online reviews before making a purchase. Studies have found that sales can increase anywhere from 4 to 18% by including reviews. Put reviews on your website and watch the uptick in sales.
Mistake #5: Not Apologizing.
The customer must always feel that they are right, even when they are not. Not making good will result in harming your business’s reputation. The BP Oil crisis is a classic example of poor reputation management. The lack of compassion from BP as well as a lack of information about the situation resulted in a backlash by the public. BP’s public image was tarnished. Cost: 41% of companies reported loss of revenue from a reputation-related event. Be gracious and pro-active when things go wrong and your customers will be more likely to stay loyal.
Your online reputation can be a great asset to your company. Recommendations on Facebook, Google reviews, and comments on your posts can build your customer base. By using reputation management, you can influence how others perceive your brand.
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