The way a potential customer perceives your brand is fundamental to your success, regardless of your industry. If you are viewed in a positive light, it may be easier for you to attract new customers and more business. On the other hand, if you have developed a negative image, you may struggle to retain even your existing customers.
Unfortunately, you are not entirely in control of your online reputation. Your past and existing customers are free to develop their own opinions about your brand and products and share them with their friends and family on social media. However, while you cannot entirely control what is being shared online, you can take measures to safeguard your reputation.
Online reputation management allows you to monitor what is said about your brand online, track how your brand is perceived by customers and make necessary changes to improve your brand image. Reputation management is not only for big corporations or global brands. Effective management of online reputation can be beneficial to businesses in a variety of industries.
According to research, businesses risk losing 22 percent of business when potential customers find negative feedback about them on the first page of their search results. This number increases to 44 percent with two negative comments or articles and rises to 59 percent with three or more negative articles.
The bottom line is that an unfavorable online reputation leads to a loss of customers and revenue. If a negative comment or lousy feedback is showing up on the first page of customers’ Google search results, they are going to stop considering your business and move on to a competitor.
Here are three telltale signs your business needs online reputation management:
1. You have negative online reviews and low ratings: Online reviews and star ratings on third-party sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor act as social proof and influence potential customers’ decisions on what products to buy and which brand to trust. According to the latest survey, more than 50 percent of potential customers often look for online reviews. The survey also revealed that nearly 70 percent of potential customers read online reviews throughout the research phase.
So, if your existing customers are rating your business poorly and posting negative online reviews, it is a sign that you need to focus your priorities on reputation management.
2. Low conversion rate: Assessing your online reputation based on metrics is not easy, but it is a good idea to pay closer attention to how your business is converting leads into customers.
Digital marketing strategies, search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing can improve the online visibility of your brand and generate buzz around your products and services. However, your online reputation will determine if this buzz translates into actual sales.
Web traffic sources, page visits, goal conversions and bounce rate are some of the important metrics that can give you a better understanding of your online reputation.
3. Most of your customers are unhappy: One of the most critical considerations is how you will identify which customers are happy with your services. This is because only delighted and satisfied customers will help you build up your online reputation.
The net promoter score (NPS) is a commonly used tool for businesses looking to measure customer satisfaction and loyalty. You can use NPS in a survey and ask questions like, “On a scale of 0 to 10, how happy are you with our services?”
The results will let you categorize customers into promoters and detractors. The NPS methodology will allow you to leverage a critical business metric as part of your reputation checkup. NPS can also boost your business goals by delivering valuable customer insights.
It is essential to understand that with online reputation management, you are not only safeguarding your business from the negativity but also preparing to put the best foot forward. You can use online reputation management to drive new business and increase your bottom line.