What is online reputation management?
The quick answer is that it’s the process of managing what customers see when they search for your business or while searching for information about your industry.
The next question is “Do you need online reputation management?”
Some businesses respond to this by saying one of the following statements:
- “No problem, we have a website and we regularly place happy customer testimonials on it. We look like all-stars when you read our website.”
- “Our loyal customers know what we provide. We’ll always have these customers.”
- “Who cares what someone says about us online? Why do these people hide behind their computers?”
Unfortunately for these folks, these statements may be true to some extent. But let’s address the first response.
For the business that believes that people will go straight to their website without reading elsewhere about their service or product, are ill-informed. The web is no longer a closed system where users can’t easily voice their opinion. Now customers have virtually unlimited outlets to post their opinions or reviews for anything from the weather to a particular customer service rep. To illustrate this fact, take a normal day on Facebook. At any given moment you could have customers posting about how great your food is or now poor the service is.
Next let’s look at the business that believes their loyal customers will simply, continue to come to their establishment, no matter what someone posts online.
Though it’s cheaper and more lucrative to keep customers than to reach out and seek new customers. Without continuing growth of the customer base, there is no one to fill the void if a customer leaves or if simply seeking to increase business. The businesses that believe loyal customers will be enough to infinitely sustain them need online reputation management more than the previous group because they believe what they do is enough to stay lucrative, but don’t realize that prospective customers won’t purchase from their business so easily. Even “loyal” customers may check out the reviews of a favorite business. This could lead to loyal customers finding negative reviews of a particular business and deciding to find a more positively reviewed business for your service.
The third response is the most dangerous of the three. This business owner still believes that the internet is a fad and that the people posting about their business are lonely people who’s opinion doesn’t count and no one worth serving will read the review anyway. This is a totally false assumption and presents this business as troubled as there may be numerous reviews of their business but even if they are negative and the business becomes aware of them, they will not do anything in response or try to remove negative statements from the first few pages of search results.
The web now allows consumers to define a service or product they receive, to other users. The current web allows users to do this much easier than ever before and unfortunately negative reviews pop up more often than positive reviews.
According to a comScore study in October 2007, they surveyed and found that customers were between 8% and 41% more likely to purchase a product or service after consulting online reviews. comScore
On this same study respondents reported that between 73% and 87% of users identified reviews as significant influence on their purchase. Furthermore 97% reported that they found the review to be accurate.comScore
If you’re still trying to determine if purchasing an online reputation management service is price effective, note that on 4-5 star ratings, consumers are willing to pay between 20% and 99% more for 5-star service instead of 4 star service. If you could use that extra 20% for your business, give us a call and we can give you a free consultation.comScore
With online reputation management, Sharp Reputation works with you to build positive reviews from real customers . This helps to push negative reviews lower and lower on search results and provide the vision of your business you want customers to have so you are able to gain and keep new customers.