Your business reputation plays a critical role in how new customers interact with your business. Internet savvy consumers are doing internet searches, gathering information, and making their buying decisions in seconds. Underestimating the value of a five-star reputation is a mistake small businesses must avoid, especially when competing with larger companies with bigger marketing budgets.
With a poor online reputation, money spent on marketing your business is a huge waste of resources. Customers are looking for information before the purchase that will give them a sense of how their experience will be if they do business with you.
Your Business Reputation Influences Buying Decisions
Online reputation and reviews have become so valuable and readily available that new customers will either hold off on making a decision until they feel comfortable or choose another business that gives the impression of providing a stellar customer experience.
When you build and maintain a business reputation that demonstrates high levels of customer satisfaction, you’ll find that customers are willing to spend more with a company that trustworthy and customer-centered.
Providing top-notch customer service for quality products and services is the foundation for a good business reputation. Actively gathering and promoting five-star reviews is what separates your business from competitors when customers are searching for new providers for their needs.
For a small business to thrive in a competitive local marketplace, it has to place a priority on creating a business reputation that attracts new customers and inspires referrals. Growing your business reputation online has a direct relationship to increasing revenue, increases your credibility, and demonstrates the value of your products and services. Ensure your business has a system in place to improve your online reputation and create a shorter path to purchase by creating confidence in your consumers.
Building and Monitoring Your Business Reputation
Reputation Management and Reputation Marketing can seem a little overwhelming when added to all the other things you have to do for your business. Luckily automation makes managing your online reputation one of the easiest business marketing processes you can add to grow your business.
Once you have a reputation management process, proactively managing your business reputation involves a few crucial steps:
1. Build Your Business Reputation
To build a stellar business reputation, you need to know what your customers think. You do this by proactively seeking feedback, which you can do in a variety of ways. When you know what your customers have to say about your business you can resolve issues quickly with dissatisfied customers before they post online. At the same time, you can persuasively encourage happy customers to post their positive reviews on the review sites that matter the most to your business.
2. Monitor Your Business Reputation
There are online reputation monitoring services and tools that will let you know what customers see online. You can opt to manually do this yourself, but you MUST monitor the online comments and conversations about your business, so you always know what customers see online. Starting with that knowledge, you can work to correct or handle any negative information in the form of negative reviews, complaints, or inaccurate business information such as wrong phone numbers or addresses.
For small businesses that automate their reputation management, the only time-consuming part of monitoring your business reputation is responding to the best and worst reviews in a way that prospective customers reading reviews know you value the customer. Care has to be taken with review responses because negative reviews are trusted more read thoroughly giving you an opportunity to win over customers.
3. Promote Your Business Reputation
Create and promote your business’ profile on the third-party review sites important to your industry as search engines pull ratings to feed their results pages. Also, ensure that you promote your business’ pages on social media networks where consumers are increasingly turning for reviews and suggestions on businesses before buying.
Automation and Managing Your Business Reputation
What customers think about your business has never been more important to small business success. Advancements in technology have made it easier for customers to share their experiences and luckily there have been even bigger advancements that make managing your business reputation more simple than it was in the past.
Reputation management ensures you are controlling much of what is being said about your business online and lets you influence those conversations towards positive messaging. Your online reputation serves as 24/7 advertising, getting the word out about your company to customers in your community searching on the internet.
With a reputation management system like the one I recommend, you can set up an almost hands-free system that contacts your customers via email soon after purchase to get their feedback. Positive feedback is routed to the most impactful review sites for posting and less than stellar feedback is routed back to the business for special handling to resolve issues.
Automated reputation management can also help you spread the word about your business by socially sharing your recent positive feedback and new reviews with your Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ followers. You control what’s being shared with our manual or automatic settings.