Before the Internet, people relied on words of mouth to know more about a product or service. Today, customers can post their thoughts about their experience with a business on forums and social media platforms, and these comments can reach larger audiences quickly and effortlessly.
The speed of customer feedback online can also harm a business’ reputation. A couple of bad reviews or a thread of damaging tweets can undo a brand that took many years to build. If a business fails to act, it could lose its customers and credibility.
This is where online reputation management (ORM) comes in. This strategy helps identify how others see your business when they search it online. Then, ORM proactively influences what information users will find about the brand. When implemented effectively, current and potential customers will discover only positive posts about a business, strengthening its credibility.
Here are factors of ORM that improve your business’ reputation:
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
You have limited control over how a discontented customer reacts, so focus on improving your online presence and authority. This is where search engine optimisation (SEO) comes in. With effective SEO strategies, you can create more positive content associated with your brand and push negative results further down the rankings.
Bear in mind that while SEO is a worthwhile investment, it is a challenging task for many businesses. Consider hiring someone in-house or appointing an agency to improve your online presence. You’ll find several agents and companies that perform SEO services for businesses in major cities like Melbourne and Sydney.
The first thing customers do before visiting a store is to search for it online. Google collects information from review sites and online directories to provide the store address, website, email and phone number.
Businesses with the wrong or missing information have a low chance of appearing in the listings. This leads to missed opportunities in terms of physical and digital traffic. If your business isn’t listed yet, it’s free to set up a business profile on Google. On the other hand, if your brand is already listed in directories, check if the information is updated.
Social Media Engagement
Social media use is always increasing. By 2021, it’s estimated that there’ll be around 3.02 billion social media users around the world. It’s important to dedicate resources to stay active on platforms where your customers are active.
Building your online reputation doesn’t just rely on reacting to negative comments. It’s also about nurturing the customers who have left positive feedback. Take the time to respond to their comments and show that you appreciate them. When you surround your online profile with encouraging interactions, customers are more likely to engage with your company. Users will also pay less attention to the bad reviews you’ll occasionally receive.
Collecting Customer Feedback
Several businesses hesitate asking for customer feedback because they don’t know how to do it or they’re afraid of what people might say. However, it’s important that you regularly collect feedback. Doing so will help you identify your strengths, areas of improvement, and insights on brand trust and buyer intent.
Gathering customer feedback can be as simple as e-mailing people to ask them to leave a review. You can also opt to add a customer satisfaction survey to your website or talking to clients through messaging platforms. Make feedback gathering a regular habit to ensure that your business improves and stays on track with its goals.
Managing your online reputation means proactively influencing the impression that your business leaves on users. Several digital marketing tools are available to help shape your reputation, but coupling them with a sound strategy ensures that your business’ status develops.