In today’s increasingly customer-centric world, reputation management has become a core focus for businesses of all types and sizes. Now that people are able to leave feedback online and everyone can see it, companies are under pressure to stay transparent while building a strong presence online.
Before the internet came along, social proof was all about word of mouth, celebrity endorsements and professional reviews published in newspapers and magazines. Today, people are far more likely to form their decisions based on what they read online. In fact, 85% of consumers place their trust in online reviews. That’s hardly a statistic that any organization can afford to ignore!
People Are Talking about You, But Are You Listening?
If your company has customers, then chances are people will be talking about you online. Even the smallest local businesses often have an online presence, even if they don’t know it themselves. One only needs to glance at Google Maps to see just how ubiquitous customer feedback is. Even if you don’t have a website, there’s a good chance that reviews of your business, accompanied by ratings, exist online.
It might take time and effort to actively monitor your online reputation, but without listening to social media chatter and keeping on top of reviews, you won’t be in any position to grow your business. Negative feedback spreads like wildfire, particularly in an environment like the Internet, which is alive and kicking 24/7. With that in mind, it can take just hours for bad publicity to devastate your brand’s image.
Negative online comments and reviews have a greater influence on purchase decisions than just about anything else. Even with a full shopping cart or a recent reservation at a local restaurant, consumers can change their minds at the drop of a hat if they suddenly stumble across a one-star review on Google, Yelp or anywhere else.
Act Before It’s Too Late
You can hardly expect to mitigate the damage caused by a negative online review if you don’t even know it’s there. That’s why you should continuously monitor all mentions of your brand online. Reputation monitoring platforms such as our Brand Intelligence Center help you keep track of what people are saying about your brand by tirelessly monitoring the search engine results, social networks and review sites.
By monitoring mentions of your brand, you’ll know about any negative feedback as soon as it appears. Using technology to help also means you’ll be less likely to miss anything important – after all, the Internet is a big place! By receiving automatic notifications, you’ll be able to act quickly to mitigate much of the damage a bad review can cause.
If it goes ignored, a single bad review can ultimately lead to a reputation meltdown. Customers hate to be ignored, especially if they have grievances to settle. With that in mind, other would-be customers often put a lot of weight into how a business responds to a bad review. By demonstrating that you’re able to listen to and address your customer’s concerns, you can even turn a disgruntled customer into a loyal brand ambassador. However, if you’re not capable of acting before it’s too late, that one bad review could quickly lead to major and lasting damage to your reputation.
Be Vigilant Against Unjust Criticism
Everyone has the right to voice their legitimate concerns, but that doesn’t mean your company has to suffer because someone is out to troll you. By monitoring online reviews, you’ll also be able to identify things like fake reviews posted by competitors or defamatory content that’s untrue and published for the sole purpose of causing damage to your organization.
Monitoring mentions of your brand helps protect your company from ruthless competitors, trolls, and scammers. Fortunately, you’re well within your legal rights to remove incorrect or defamatory content from Google and other websites. Nonetheless, it’s not always quick or easy to do so, so you’ll need to have the tools in place to help you make sure you can launch your defense as soon as possible.