The internet has radically changed the way we spend our money. From doctor’s appointments to mobile phones, it’s rare to see someone blindly buying products or services without reading a couple of online reviews first.
According to a study carried out by Ipsos MORI and TripAdvisor, 97 percent of business owners state that online reputation management is important. What people say about your startup on various online platforms can be key to its success.
Ultimately, it’s all about your bottom line. Reviews help customers determine whether they want to use your products and services or not. People are far more likely to do business with you if your company comes highly recommended.
We’re more likely to hire someone’s services if people around us, including strangers, agree that it’s a good choice. Online reviews are social proof that directly drives sales.
Understanding Your Customers
Internet feedback allows you to get to know your customers better. It allows you to see what they actually think.
A lot of people might feel uncomfortable expressing dissatisfaction in person, even when you ask them to do so. Also, unless you’re eavesdropping on your clients, you don’t get to hear what they say about your business to each other.
The internet operates differently. Online reviewers are not afraid to express their opinions in a candid manner. You will probably read a couple of unpleasant things about your business. Even if some feedback is hard to take, it will help you grow.
By learning what your customers think and the thought process behind their opinions, you will be able to improve your business. Moreover, online reviews give you a chance to resolve any issues much faster.
You will leave a good impression on dissatisfied customers, as well as prospects when you demonstrate efficiency. People prefer pleasant, quick, and easy transactions.
Everyone likes to be seen and treated as an individual, and not just a source of money. Online feedback can help business owners come to terms with the importance of their clients’ opinions and can inspire them to take bigger action.
That might involve offering refunds, exchanges, and free services or products. It might incur bigger expenses, but a single bad review can cost you even more.
If a customer complains on a certain web platform, make sure to resolve the problem on that exact platform, or at least to start resolving it there. For instance, Yelp allows businesses to respond to critics.
Offer to rectify the situation then and there, just as you would in person. Prospects will see that you are attentive and that you care.
That will also show them your side of the story. If someone is spreading false and bad rumors about your business, your responses may stop people from believing in them.
Trust and Credibility
The positive feedback from loyal customers can help you build your startup’s integrity. It’s common knowledge that word of mouth carries a lot of power. Some businesses depend on trust more than others.
For example, if you like to play games of chance, you are likely to read casino reviews before you start using a particular platform. Such platforms even allow users to communicate with each other while they are using them.
Your advertisements might be impressive, but people won’t just take your word for it. They’ll want to know that you’re genuine.
Encourage satisfied customers to spread the good word about your company. They can help you solidify your reputation. Businesses that have a rating below 4 stars, on a scale from 1 to 5, are often distrusted by prospects.
Websites like Facebook, Bing, Google, and YouTube, help people make up their mind about lots of things. Each platform has its own way of surfacing content, and each one is valuable.
User feedback definitely feeds the content machine. You’d want your enterprise to be favored by their mysterious algorithms. Online reviews help your SEO.
Google gathers feedback from many websites when determining the performance of a business in terms of search results. What people say about your company on the internet influences your search rankings.
Ignoring feedback won’t make it disappear. Make sure you are taking proper action.
There’s plenty you can do to build a good online reputation. Conduct brand searches, create a Google Alert, utilize the best PPC tools, and, most importantly, make sure you leave a good impression.
Jessie Connor is a passionate writer and researcher from Brisbane, contributor at several business and lifestyle blogs, hooked on yoga and healthy living. She loves to spend her free time travelling, reading and of course – shopping!