If you are running a business in today’s digital era, you probably have already experienced some of the benefits of having positive online reviews.
Unfortunately, if you have received any customer feedback that has been less than spectacular, you may be worried about how your brand needs to respond and adapt.
Whether you are running a startup, turnaround, accelerated growth, realignment, or sustaining success operation, generating positive online reviews is fundamental to acquiring new customers or patients, sustaining your business, and building brand awareness. Period.
This post will be most useful for business owners and constituents who want to improve or maintain a positive online reputation to attract new business and foster client loyalty.
First, understanding why you need to manage your online reputation on a regular basis will help you hone in on the specific strategies and reputation solutions your company needs to help get you there.
Why You Need to Develop a Positive Reputation Online
There are 6 fundamental truths about why you need to develop a positive reputation online.
- People trust existing customer reviews
- Your competitors are finding your customers
- When you increase your digital real estate, more customers find you
- Lack of positive reviews diminishes trust
- Negative reviews will stand out without an overall positive reputation
- Your online reputation influences how your brand is recognized and regarded
1. People Trust Existing Customer Reviews
As you probably already know, nothing quite compares to the lifetime value of A-list referrals from satisfied customers or patients. They speak for themselves.
But what about reviews from one-time customers? What do your potential customers/patients think about their feedback?
Statistics show, quite a lot!
According to a Local Consumer Review Survey by BrightLocal, “88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.”
If users haven’t heard about your business, what else do they have to decide whether to place their trust in your business?
Your online shadow (what others say about you) will form your impression with users that are genuinely interested in the products or services you offer. Especially when the people leaving positive online reviews give authentic feedback about their experience that helps future customers/patients make more calculated decisions about where and to whom they do business with.
You cannot control what everyone says about your business, but you can yield a more positive response by encouraging happy customers/patients to share their experience online.
2. Your Competitors are Finding your Customers
Did you know that online reviews, especially on Google, can improve your SEO efforts by increasing your online presence via internet search?
In a 2018 article published by Shopify, online reviews are important for many reasons including their ability to affect:
- “Your rankings in local search engines
- Which search results actually get surfaced (and clicked on)
- Consumer purchasing decisions”
Generating Google reviews that mention your services combined with specific phrases your ideal users search on the internet can increase your digital real estate.
If your competitors, especially local competitors, are generating reviews on the same products or services you offer, they might show up higher in the search engines. You want to make sure you are generating enough positive reviews because this can directly influence whether your competition is in front of you or behind you in the rankings.
Stay in your lane and be unique, but don’t underestimate the value of watching how your competitors fare against your business online.
3. Increase Digital Real Estate To Be Found By More Customers
Yes, quality is important over quantity, but both matter for your online reputation.
Google reviews, Facebook reviews, and Yelp reviews all yield strong signals online that can influence how your business is positioned. Get positive reviews on these sites to have more impact than a review on a site that not as many people visit. No brainer!
Reviews displayed on your own website is another must if you want to showcase your reputation in a content management system that you control. Telio reviews software allows you to monitor and aggregate your reviews all in one place. The more you diversify your reviews and aggregate them on a regular basis, the better your business can be positioned online.
4. Lack of Positive Online Reviews Diminishes Trust
If you don’t have a lot of reviews, or enough good ones, people won’t feel that they have enough information to build an impression of you and take a chance with their money on your business. Unless they heard about you personally from a previous customer/patient they trust, they may look elsewhere. Getting customer/patients to a point where you can influence their consideration is key for those who don’t know you.
Increasing positive reviews online is fundamental in increasing trust, loyalty, and getting users to see your business in a more positive light.
5. Negative Reviews Will Stand Out Without a Positive Reputation
If you don’t have enough positive online reviews, one bad review could really stand out and negatively affect your online reputation. Unfortunately, people have a tendency to take the time to share their negative experiences more than their positive ones. To defend your business against this, it’s important to increase your positive reviews and maintain recent reviews.
6. Your Reputation Influences How Your Brand is Recognized and Regarded
Many businesses and individual entrepreneurs think that building their brand is just about having a logo and name without accounting for the work that goes into building customer trust.
Brand development is a never-ending process that serves to authentically influence how your business is regarded, what you stand for, and your core values. Most importantly, it should indicate clearly who you serve and the needs you fulfill.
Using your own language and that of your loyal customers or patients is one crucial facet that influences how your brand is regarded and recognized. Style, messaging, and intent is a constantly evolving layer to your business model that should be guided by your consumers’ goals and needs.
From increasing trust and digital real estate, to outweighing your competition and building your brand, leave no stone unturned when it comes your business’ online reputation! Take control online by showcasing the positive experiences of your customers/patients. It’s that important!
Sources: BrightLocal, Shopify