The reputation of your business is something that you shouldn’t take lightly. Understanding exactly what your customers are saying about you online, what your competitors are spreading behind your back, and what comes up when people search for your business – is crucial to your success.

Owning and improving your company’s online reputation can be a challenging concept. With employee and customer review sites growing more popular by the minute, not to mention social media and news articles to contend with, there’s a lot of different elements to think about. It’s no wonder it’s so easy to end up with a negative presence online before you even know what’s going wrong.

So, why is your reputation so important?

Customers Trust Companies with a Good Reputation

First of all, with the whole of the internet at their fingertips, your customers are likely to research exactly what they need from your brand before they decide whether they’re going to do business with you. During that research phase, your clients will be looking at your online reputation, and your reviews online. In fact, 74% of customers say that positive reviews are what help them to trust a local business before making a purchase.

Ultimately, what your customers see when they search for you on google goes a long way towards earning their loyalty and maintaining your clients for the long term. If you know how to establish a trustworthy brand online, then your business will be more likely to appear positively in the eyes of your customers, and the search engine result pages. This will give you an essential edge over your competitors.

Consumers Search for Positive Experiences

Most customers are searching for businesses that can provide them with a great customer service experience. That means, if someone is searching for your business and they see a comment or review that makes it seem as though your business isn’t providing good customer service, they might avoid working with you. Instead of just ignoring the negative reviews you see online, you should do something about your reputation.

Address the negative reviews you get in a calm and careful manner, being sure to demonstrate your commitment to your clients every step of the way.

How to Manage your Online Reputation

Managing your online reputation is essential to ensuring that you can take advantage of all the opportunities that might come your way. Here are just some of the ways that you can stay ahead of negative reviews, and keep your reputation under control:

  • Manage local listings: Take the time to ensure that your business information is accurate whenever you add a local listing to your portfolio. Remember that review sites like Google and Yelp reveal information about your business, and you should be giving your customers access to a number and email where they can voice their concerns to you.
  • Reputation management: Ensure that someone is always continuously monitoring your social media accounts and respond to your reviews as soon as they emerge. Whether you’re saying thank you for a positive review, or trying to fix a problem in a negative review, it’s crucial to be active online.
  • Consider using live-chat: Adding live chat facilities to your website means that your customers have constant access to a representative of your business. This reduces the risk that frustrated customers will vent their anguish on review sites, rather than coming to you for a solution to their problem.

Reputation is more important than you think – make sure you know how to manage yours.