Your online reputation is your reviews and reviews are a customer's first impression of your business, so make it a great one!
First impressions can make or break your relationship with potential customer; 86% of them will not buy products or services from you if your online listings have negative reviews. On the flip side, customers will spend 31% more when businesses have excellent reviews.
Brick and mortar businesses, big and small. rely on word-of-mouth to drive customers into their business as it is the single most influential factor influencing which stores consumers visit. In the digital age, word-of-mouth has taken the form of online reviews with 84% of people trusting online reviews just as much as personal recommendations.
The reason online reviews have become so influential on the consumer decision making process is because they are so easily accessible, they provide the social proof consumers desire, and consumers can easily compare reviews for multiple businesses enabling them to make more confident decisions.
Reviews aren’t just good for your customers, they are good for your local search rankings
Reviews have had a growing impact on search engine results and the most recent industry study has weighed review signals to be twice as important as they were in 2016; increasing to over 13% of what search engines consider when ranking businesses. Review signals that search engines are looking for and that you should focus on include: review quantity, review quality and review response rates.
4 ways to improve your online reputation right now!
1. Remove the barriers keeping customers from leaving reviews
Improving your reputation and reviews starts with generating more reviews. It may seem pretty intuitive, but it is harder than you may think considering only 6% of people actually write them.
Considering that number increases to 70% when businesses ask their customers to leave a review, using an automated review generation tool will immediately bring in more reviews and improve your brand reputation within the online community! Review generation tools like Chatmeter’s Review Builder are a proactive tool that sends review requests directly to your customers email or phone and then enables customers who leave positive reviews to easily post them on sites like Google and Yelp. These tools streamline the review process and make it as easy as possible for customers to leave a review!
2. Capture negative reviews
While negative reviews can have some pretty severe consequences on a business, they are also some of the most valuable and important feedback that companies receive. Using these negative reviews to your advantage will help improve your business as a whole. Negative reviews show your business where it needs to improve and help you create the best possible customer experience.
However, no one wants to see negative reviews on their public business listings which makes capturing negative reviews before they go public a unique advantage; capturing negative reviews is another instance where the right tool will come in handy. Review Builder allows you to capture, address, and utilize all negative feedback all while keeping these comments internal; the negative reviews are only shared with your business and employees rather than on public review sites and can be used to improve your business.
3. Respond to ALL of your reviews
Responding to every review, both positive and negative, has a couple of important positive influences on how search engines and people see your reputation. First, it shows search engines that your brand is constantly active and engaging with customers which shows search engines your business is trustworthy and worth recommending to searchers. Additionally, responding to reviews shows both the reviewer and searchers looking at your reviews that your brand cares about customer feedback and is listening to what they have to say. Responding to reviews goes a long way towards improving your online reputation, building trust with consumers and search engines, and ultimately increasing your local search rankings.
4. Treat reviews like the valuable asset they are; Software helps, but you need to put in the effort
Reviews are one of the most valuable assets companies have in today’s marketplace. A Brand with a powerful online reputation and an abundance of positive reviews is not an easy goal to achieve, but those who do will reap the benefits. It is crucial that your business doesn’t see your reputation and reviews as something that will take care of itself, but rather something you should be actively involved in and constantly trying to improve. A company’s reviews can be the difference between a business that thrives and a business that dies.
Not only are reviews valuable for how customers view your brands reputation, but they are a powerful asset that should be used to improve your operations by everyone in your business, from upper management down to individual store managers and employees. Upper management can utilize review data to analyze industry trends and improve company wide business practices. At the same time individual store managers and employees should use their store reviews to make specific changes relevant to their location.
There are all sorts of tools out there that can help you aggregate, respond and analyze your reviews making it easy to manage your reputation, but at the end of the day your online reputation comes down to you. It is up to you and your business to use the powerful tools available to improve your reputation. Generating and responding to reviews takes time and it is a process that must be sustained over the life of your business, but those companies who commit to doing so will see their businesses flourish.
Many companies want to improve their reputation and reviews online but don’t know where to start. Employing these 4 tips will help you start to reach that goal today. If you would like to learn more about how improving your reputation can increase customer traffic, schedule a FREE demo with one of Chatmeter’s representatives and we can walk you through some of the most innovative and user friendly tools that will streamline your reputation management process!