Using Reputation Management to Strengthen Customer Relationships
“Your brand name is only as good as your reputation.” - Richard Branson
Want to buy a new phone, looking at what customers are saying? Planning to join a new company, checking their employee reviews? Reading a new novel, appreciating the writer through social shoutout?
Customer reviews are a major part of making or breaking a brand. A tarnished online reputation can severely adversely impact your business.
Did you know, 93% of customers make a buying decision after checking online reviews?
From healthcare to SaaS businesses, every industry finds maintenance of online reputation a major obstacle when it comes to staying in the business. It’s the one territory where a single bad review can tar and feather everything you have worked on.
Today, reviews uphold almost every digital marketing strategy. Thus, it’s important for businesses to invest rightly in making their brands reputable to generate improved revenue and build better customer relationships.
What is Reputation Management?
Reputation management encompasses a set of strategic activities aimed at overseeing and influencing how a brand or business is perceived by others. It involves monitoring and maintaining a positive online presence, responding to feedback, and proactively managing any potential reputation issues.
Importance of Reputation Management for Businesses
With consumers relying heavily on online reviews and recommendations, a strong reputation can make or break a company's success. A positive reputation not only attracts new customers but also builds trust and credibility among existing ones. Effective reputation management strategies play a vital role in enhancing brand image, fostering customer loyalty, and ultimately, achieving business growth.
How Reputation Management Affects Customers
Reputation directly impacts customers in numerous ways. Positive reviews and testimonials instill confidence and contribute to their decision-making process. Conversely, negative feedback and damaging content can deter potential customers and harm existing relationships. By actively managing your reputation, businesses can ensure customer satisfaction, protect their brand's image, and create a positive and trustworthy environment for consumers.
Ready to take control of your online reputation? Read on to discover effective reputation management techniques and practical tips to elevate your business's standing in the digital realm.
Understanding Different Aspects of Reputation Management
A. Types of Reputation Management
Reputation management is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Depending on the specific needs of a business or individual, there are various types of reputation management strategies that can be employed:
- Online Reputation Management: This type focuses on managing and monitoring an entity's reputation on the internet, including search engine results, review platforms, and social media.
- Brand Reputation Management: Brand reputation management is concerned with maintaining and enhancing the reputation of a specific brand, ensuring positive associations and perceptions among target audiences.
- Social Media Reputation Management: Social media has become a powerful platform for individuals and businesses to build and maintain their reputation. This type of reputation management involves monitoring and responding to social media mentions and interactions.
- Personal Reputation Management: Personal reputation management is focused on managing an individual's online and offline reputation, which can be crucial for professionals, public figures, or anyone concerned about their personal brand.
- Corporate Reputation Management: Corporate reputation management involves shaping and safeguarding a company's overall reputation, often through strategic communication and stakeholder engagement.
- Crisis Reputation Management: When a crisis or negative event occurs, crisis reputation management aims to mitigate the damage and restore trust and confidence in the entity involved.
B. Key Components of Reputation Management
Effective reputation management encompasses several key components that work together to build, monitor, and repair a reputation:
- Review Management: Managing online reviews and responding to customer feedback can greatly influence a brand's reputation. Addressing negative reviews and amplifying positive ones is crucial for maintaining a positive image.
- SEO Reputation Management: Optimizing online content and search engine results can help shape the perception of an entity. By ensuring positive and accurate information ranks highly, reputation can be positively impacted.
- Reputation Monitoring: Regularly monitoring online platforms and social media channels allows for timely responses to mentions, reviews, and comments, helping to address any emerging reputation issues swiftly.
Reputation Repair: When reputation damage occurs, reputation repair methods are deployed to mend the negative perception and restore trust. This can involve public apologies, corrective actions, or other strategies tailored to the specific situation.
How to Use Reputation Management to Build Strong Relations with Customers
Making an outstanding product is the first step in building your customers’ trust. It is a great influence for customers who then post good reviews, recommend your business to their friends and acquaintances, and become your repeat customers, which results in building a strong reputation for your brand.
Developing a Strategy
Considering customer service reputation management, you need to create a strategy tailored to the needs and requirements of your customers. This can be done by evaluating your online image. Your customers have a lot to say about your products and services, based on which you can optimize your ongoing campaigns.
In this competitive digital world, having a positive reputation is important. So, monitoring your online reputation is the first step. And it is a practice that you need to continue throughout, even after your initial goals of reputation management are accomplished.
A good product review is harder to get than a negative one. Unsatisfied customers are not reluctant to provide negative internet reviews that adversely influence the overall business reputation. It can affect your customer acquisition goals and revenue. But satisfied customers may hesitate to share their reviews after looking at your bad reviews.
Positive customer testimonials have the ability to improve the company’s leads and conversions, and increase profits. Therefore, planning an effective customer review management campaign strategy will aid in building a long-term relationship with customers.
Today, consumers have different ways to express their opinions about brands or the products or services they are using. So if you see your customers are talking about you, it’s time to start responding.
But, which reviews should you be responding to? Well, as long as the goal is to build customer relationships, you can reply to all the reviews.
You can first begin with the negative ones - start by first apologizing for the inconvenience caused, followed by the desired solution. Whether it is a positive or negative review, always thank them for being a part of your company. Remember, engaging with your consumers will not only help in building a relationship but will also generate revenue and bring more customers.
Asking Customers for Feedback
“If you are in a competitive industry, great online reviews are not just nice to have, they are a requirement!” – Tom Kenemore
Even if you have a single negative review it will outweigh a handful of positives or a swarm of critics amid hundreds of reviews. The trick here is always the same: start asking more of your consumers for feedback.
3.3 is considered as the minimum star rating for any reputable business. If you are rated below this, there is a minimum to no chance of customer acquisition or engagement. Any criticism not handled timely and effectively can result in increased churn rate, severely affecting the overall business reputation.
On the other hand, gathering additional evaluations will assist you in identifying the issue area and determining how to solve it. More reviews, in any case, will be beneficial for your reputation management strategy.
Being Transparent with Customers
Transparency is a great way to ensure your customers trust you. To do so, you can use social media or your website’s testimonial page to share the customers' reviews. Be a customer-centric business that not only provides the best to the customers but also makes sure to address their concerns in real-time.
If someone compliments your brand, you should recognize it and reiterate its worth without turning it into a sales pitch. For example, if you come across a negative review, then it's important to remain solution-oriented and action-oriented. Recognize the issue and take steps to make it right as quickly as possible. And make sure to tell the customers you are working to resolve the issue.
A successful company is one that is confident in offering high-quality products and excellent customer service from the consumer's perspective.
Providing Great Customer Service
Customer loyalty is enhanced through excellent customer service. If you want to build strong relations with your customers, then seamless customer service is the key. Moreover, it enhances loyalty and retention. It is said that the best things in life cannot be purchased, and certainly, loyalty is one of those things.
Paid tactics can accomplish a lot, but most customers can see straight through them. You're far better off establishing an online reputation management approach that fosters good feedback while promptly responding to negative feedback.
Satisfied customers who are provided with excellent service throughout their journey are more likely to write honest feedback. Moreover, it will make your customers your genuine brand ambassadors. Simply put, pleased consumers will tell others about you and return to you.
How to Ask Customers to Leave a Positive Feedback?
When it comes to requesting consumers to submit a review, you have a few options:
- As part of the payment process, train your employees to ask consumers for a review after one week of purchasing the product or service. The reason behind one week gap is, your consumer will have an idea whether or not your service/product benefits them, and it is not a huge gap to build a void between you and them.
- Customer service reputation management can be accomplished through automated processes also. If you want to ask customers for a review, integrate internet reviews or a comparable product into your POS system.
- You can add a product review survey, where you can minimize and keep the questions straight to get the feedback. Ask them questions like:
- “Did you find what you were searching for today?”
- “How would you rank our customer service?”
- “What sort of experience did you have with our brand/product/service during your visit?”
Things to Keep in Mind - One key thing to learn for anybody involved in reputation management is that resolving an issue is preferable to allowing it to foster. You can handle a poor review if you reply appropriately. If you leave it alone, it will continue to express its disapproval, overall affecting your brand's reputation and your business.
Knowing how and when to respond is crucial.
Implementing the aforementioned strategies will help you reclaim your reputation and begin attracting new consumers. However, as previously said, many organizations and professionals struggle to devote the time and resources necessary for online reputation management.
At some point, no matter how good your products or services are, all businesses must deal with dissatisfied consumers. You must have had a terrible customer service encounter before, it’s time to hop on to these strategies to turn it into your favor.
Nothing is infallible, but there is a proper and improper approach to handling consumers. Unhappy consumers may become repeat customers if managed correctly. Otherwise, you run the risk of exacerbating the problem and losing consumers to your competition.
Need help with managing your online reputation? Our ORM experts will work closely with you to resolve your problem and address your customers’ negative feedback. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or learn more about us here.