5 Ways Online Reputation Management Builds Brand
Without question, online reputation is more important to business success than it has ever been. With people routinely researching via review sites, search engines and social media before committing to buy, how your customers perceive your brand via digital channels can make or break your business.
Hence, this reliance on online word-of-mouth means that any company which still operates without a robust online reputation management strategy is leaving themselves wide open to losing potential customers to the competition.
Accommodating the contemporary consumer
While there is no watertight method of preventing negative reviews, as indeed there are factors that it is impossible to have an influence over, a solid online reputation management strategy gives you the tools to not only pre-empt and act on emerging issues before they escalate, but also turn existing criticisms into opportunities for improvement and growth.
Online reputation analysis involves carefully (and vigilantly) monitoring online mentions of your brand across all platforms, picking up the prevailing sentiment, and engaging with initiative. The aim is to actually understand the experience of your customer, quickly address developing issues transparently, and make your strengths visible to potential customers seeking the product or service that you offer.
The key to showcasing these strengths is the provision of excellent customer service, a public record of which will show the curious consumer that your brand prioritises building long-term trust and loyalty by putting customers first, rather than relying on pushy marketing and ‘take the money and run’ tactics.
Now I’ll go into a little more detail on how effective online reputation management can boost your brand and look at its five key advantages:
1. The reputation audit
While it may necessitate swallowing your pride and facing some hard truths about your current operational setup and strategy, a third-party brand reputation audit can provide the foundation that ensures any improvements you make are based on sound logic.
With the benefit of experience and the freedom to give objective, unbiased commentary, a reputation management expert can pick out your company’s strengths and weaknesses that an internal team may overlook. An online reputation report that surveys all available public feedback channels can capture the prevailing sentiment towards your business, spot common indicators of performance that may not be so visible to the untrained eye, and access a large pool of analytical data that can be applied to your situation.
2. Gather insight on the customer perspective
By tracking reviews and social media mentions using specialist monitoring tools, an online reputation management company provides clean data on what people really feel about your business. From blunt frustration to clear, constructive feedback on process hitches, end-user testimonies are an excellent way to identify your weaknesses and even get productive input on how improvements can be made.
3. Swift, immediate action
Utilising monitoring tools to keep an ear to the ground for new complaints and issues as they emerge, review management services will give your customer service team the jump on any problems before they escalate.
Engaging right away with an empathetic ear and a positive, respectful, solution-oriented attitude will often be enough to generate good will from a troubled customer, particularly if they have lacked such consideration in their previous dealings with other companies. This way, opportunities to forge stronger bonds with dissatisfied customers can blossom.
4. Build customer loyalty
While prompt and effective customer service does leave a great impression, identifying what attributes most excite existing customers through data and feedback assessment will also extend the longevity of the customer relationship. Understanding such factors, reputation management services help a company concentrate on delivering these top drivers of repeat business and brand advocacy.
5. Establish your brand and enhance visibility
A pillar of effective brand reputation management is ensuring credibility. This is achieved by creating a positive image through establishing authority and engaging with the current trends and talk of your industry.
Strong reputation management will incorporate a strategy of regularly publishing fresh, expertise-based content that engages with common questions and contemporary trends and events. Marking your territory through thought leadership that expertly addresses these topics and provides value positively impacts search engine visibility and improves organic ranking.
Reassessing the basics
It’s not a controversial statement to say that online presence defines brands. Those that curate and cultivate their public image through genuine customer service-led achievements will reap the rewards of lifelong customers and organic growth. Effective online reputation management is the key to unlocking what it takes to achieve this.
Michael Podolsky is the CEO and Co-Founder of PissedConsumer, a review and reputation management platform. Entrepreneur, Forbes Business Council influencer, an expert in customer service and leadership, and active advocate of consumer rights and freedom of speech.