What Is Reputation Management? And Why Does It Matter for Small Businesses?
Reputation is everything in business. Having a positive one provides many benefits. It can help you acquire new customers and retain existing ones. The bottom line is that with a strong reputation, you have credibility, and it demonstrates that you deliver on your brand promise. However, building and maintaining one isn’t easy! So, in this post, we’re going to define what is reputation management and why it’s crucial for your small business.
What Is Reputation Management?
Reputation management includes tactics to influence what and how people think of your brand. In the digital age, most of this occurs online through review platforms, including Google, Yelp, Facebook, and others.
If you have reputation “issues” in the form of bad reviews or don’t have them at all, you could lose business. Today’s consumers put a lot of stock into online reviews, with 90% viewing them before they make a purchase. They are savvy and are actively seeking out the feedback of others. They’re more likely to believe the words of a customer than a brand’s marketing.
In reputation management, you can fall into two categories of needing support. Either you need more reviews because you have so few, or you need to counter negative reviews.
Reputation Management: You Need More Reviews
It can be challenging to acquire local business reviews. Simply asking after you deliver the product or service isn’t enough. Having a large volume of reviews is something consumers want to see, as 87% of them read local business reviews.
When putting together a reputation management strategy, a steady stream of new reviews is necessary. By working with a reputation management provider, you can turn this once time-intensive process into one that’s automated. Using a third-party review generation and management system is your best chance to do so.
In addition to this, businesses can also:
- Send email reminders to customers.
- Request reviews on social media profiles.
- Promote it on your website with one click to leave a review.
- Leave behind “how to review us” documentation for service calls if applicable.
Acquiring reviews is the first step, but you need to know they won’t all be five-star. So, what do you do when you get negative reviews?
Reputation Management: Responding to Negative Reviews
It’s inevitable that you’ll receive negative reviews, no matter how great your product or service is. There are best practices to follow in responding to negative reviews. You’ll want to do so quickly and take an objective approach. Regardless of the circumstances, you should take responsibility and offer an explanation, not justification. Following up offline is also key to turning something negative into a learning experience.
By following a set of actions to take, you can reframe the situation and actually earn a customer for life. Further, you may identify some gaps in how you work with customers. You can then turn those learnings into new practices.
Negative reviews on websites will decrease your overall score. As a result, you’ll want to ramp up efforts as discussed above to boost your score.
Get Reputation Management Support from AQ Marketing
We’ve been helping small, local businesses protect and grow their reputation for nearly two decades. Our Reputation Management Program can help you obtain more reviews and provide strategies to navigate negative reviews. Learn more about our solution today.
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