Reputation Management Case Study
THE VALUE OF YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION
Your online reputation can be the catalyst to bring customers to your website, or it can be the reason customers take their business elsewhere. Think of your online reputation as the face your customers see when they look at your company.
Presenting your business as a positive, highly recommended entity will attract clientele and boost your earnings. On the opposite side of the coin, having negative reviews or complaints associated with your business may cause potential customers to choose not to visit your website, which results in lost revenue.
WHAT CAUSES DAMAGE TO YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION?
In the age of technology, consumer discontent can be instantly dispersed worldwide. Customers are free to share their dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, with anyone who has internet access. Unsatisfied or irate customers contribute greatly to damaging your online presence. Just as one negative action by an individual can bruise a person's reputation, so can customer dissatisfaction that is shared online change the virtual image of a business.
Other potential sources of reputation damage are competitors and former employees. Competitors sometimes use underhanded tactics such as damaging, fake reviews to turn internet customers in their direction. Disgruntled ex-employees could also be the source behind using detrimental reviews as a method of revenge.
In a 2017 study released by BrightLocal, researchers discovered that 49% of potential customers will not consider doing business with a company that does not have at least a four-star rating. A dismal 13% of consumers will consider using a company with a one- or two-star rating. This emphasizes the importance of how unfavorable reviews or ratings affects the amount of internet traffic your business receives.
REPAIRING DAMAGE TO YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION
How do you repair the damage that has been done to your company online?
- Address the situation head-on by contacting the reviewer. See if you can resolve the issue and then ask if they will remove the review.
- If the information provided in the review is false, contact the website where the wrong information was posted to provide evidence to disprove the review. Ask for the removal of the review.
- Bury the review in search results. Have enough focus on keywords on different web pages and social media sites to push the negative reviews off of the first page.
- Have lots of 5-star reviews. When you have lots of good reviews, they will make the few negative reviews seem less relevant.
- Work towards getting more customers to review your company by providing incentives or direct requests. This can boost your ratings.
- Respond to all reviews. Post rebuttals where they are needed and thank the customers for positive comments.
- Monitor your online reputation, either in-house or by hiring a company specializing in this service.
If the steps above seem overwhelming, hire a professional with the advanced knowledge and training necessary to undo the blemish on your company name.
Remember, if you don’t have a review strategy, the only people that will leave reviews are those that are dissatisfied.
The BrightLocal study also found that 68% of US consumers are more likely to patronize a business that has positive reviews. Keep in mind that every review is important and can influence the choices that consumers make.