04 Aug Why reputation management should be your #1 marketing priority
Why is reputation management important?
Whether you have one location or thousands, you cannot afford to ignore your online reputation. Reviews and ratings can give the smallest local business an advantage over a multinational enterprise. Why? Because customers want information that gives them confidence that they’re making the best decision: 92% of customers use reviews to make purchasing decisions, and 84% of them trust reviews as much as personal recommendations (BrightLocal).
Why should you work on improving your online reputation?
All of your other marketing initiatives like SEM, social media ads, PPC, and email, will ultimately drive your customers to research your company further online. Without a great online reputation, you won’t win their trust, and without their trust, you won’t get their business.
What are some best practices of reputation management?
Monitor customer feedback in real-time
Customer conversations move at light-speed, and if you miss one critical word, you risk damaging your online reputation. Monitoring your brand in real-time lets you respond instantly to any customer complaints and stay on top of sentiment trends.
Monitor all channels
Your online reputation is not limited to review sites. Consumers also share experiences on social media, discussion forums, blogs, and news articles. BirdEye’s Social Listening tool lets you hear every brand mention from all these sources in one place, and respond to comments directly in real-time.
Collect reviews on a variety of sites
Having reviews on a wide variety of sites helps you reach a wider audience of customers at various stages of the path to purchase. For example, some customers might browse through Google reviews of healthcare practices to narrow down their search before perusing Healthgrades or Vitals. Other customers might start directly on one of these healthcare-specific sites. A practice with lots of great reviews on all these sites has the obvious advantage.
Collecting reviews on multiple sites also boosts your search engine ranking. Google recognizes incoming reviews as a steady stream of fresh, organic content on sites with high authority, moving your business’ profiles up in search results. As you might expect, high ratings boost SEO even further.
Close the loop on feedback
Monitoring customer feedback is just the first step. You should also respond to all your reviews, both positive and negative, to create a personable, transparent brand image and prove to your customers that you care what they have to say. BirdEye lets you flag negative reviews and social media comments as they’re posted, convert them into tickets, assign them to support reps, and track their progress — all in one place. This way no issue slips through the cracks.
Promote positive testimonials
Happy customer voices makes for the most powerful advertisement because they are unbiased, authentic, and descriptive. Take advantage of the rich content provided to you by your customers: promote great customer feedback on your company website, social channels, and any other company-owned pages. BirdEye lets you promote your best reviews in a real-time feed on your company website, share them as posts to your social channels, and display them as star ratings beside your business in search results — automatically.
What’s involved in a comprehensive reputation management strategy?
Customer feedback management is perhaps the most important online marketing component for today’s businesses, but to beat your competition, you have to go even further.
Since the modern customer journey begins with an online search, you need a pristine online presence so you show up on page 1. This means constantly maintaining a consistent NAP (name, address, phone) for all your business locations across review sites, social channels, and business directories. Consistent local listings boost your search engine ranking and make it easier for customers to contact or visit you, leading to higher conversions, traffic, and sales.
Competitive benchmarking is also an extremely good way to discover your strengths and weaknesses. BirdEye’s Competitor Analysis tool gives you access to the same level of insights for your competitors’ customer feedback that you have for your own. This way, you can compare performance at an industry, enterprise, regional, and store level and use findings to gain the advantage.
The secret to a great online reputation
It’s not much of a secret. The best way to ensure a positive reputation is to consistently surprise and delight your customers with great experiences, both online and offline. Your customers should know what to expect whether they visit your London location or your Denver location, and they should leave feeling satisfied and appreciated, regardless of any issues that may have occurred during the experience.
The takeaway: great customer experience drives positive word-of-mouth, and positive word-of-mouth drives customer acquisition. Implement a comprehensive reputation management strategy to make this process constant and seamless, and before you know it, your customers will be doing your marketing for you.