Reputation Management: How Reviews Can Make or Break Your Business

On the surface, reputation management seems simple: ask for reviews, get reviews, respond to reviews. In reality, reputation management is an art form.  Staying on top of all of the review sights is a full-time job and responding to difficult reviews and accusations from upset customers is not such an easy task. While responding to a negative review, it is a fine line to walk between defending your business and decisions and making a customer even angrier.

Why Maintaining The Integrity Of Your Business Is Important

Reviews are powerful because consumers are looking for validation that they are getting the best service for the best price.  “What people say about your company online has become the single most important reflection of your company’s quality, reliability, and skill.”

A 2014 survey from BrightLocal found that:

  • 88% of Internet users read online reviews to determine the quality of a local business.
  • 72% said positive reviews make them trust a local business more.
  • 88% said they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
  • 57% of consumers visit a local business website after reading online reviews and another 15% call the business.

Why Do You Need Reputation Management?

Reputation Management can get overwhelming very easily; while Google and Yelp have the highest volume or reviews, many industries have their own review platforms that can easily become overwhelming to manage on top of your other daily responsibilities. The automotive industry alone has Cars.com, DealerRater, Edmunds, and many other platforms that carry a lot of weight when potential buyers are looking for a new car and dealership.

Not All Reviews Are Created Equal

Receiving consistent, detailed reviews are the best indicator that your business is worth the consumer’s time. You also want reviews that mention specific people and events rather than just a 5 star rating with no description. An easy way to build trust with potential customers is by responding to all reviews, both negative and positive.

Getting a negative review online is never a fun experience, but it offers you the opportunity to improve your business and learn what your customers are looking for. By leaving a review, customers want to know that they are being heard and that their concerns are being addressed; they are also giving you the opportunity to turn their bad experience into a good one.

Ideally, a customer would reach out to you directly with a complaint or to report unbecoming behavior of one of your employees. Stream Companies has created an automated system to help filter out negative reviews before they happen. FeedbackFinder sends an email to customers once they leave your store simply asking if they had a good or bad experience. If they click “Good,” they are directed to one of your reputation sites to leave a review. If they click “No,” they are taken to a screen to leave you a private message showcasing their complaints. This gives you the opportunity to right their wrongs before they leave their review on a public platform for the whole world to see.

How To Get More, Better Reviews

Not having any online reviews can be just as harmful as having negative reviews. So, how do you get more reviews? Believe it or not, it’s pretty simple: ASK FOR THEM. Other than utilizing an automated responder, such as FeedbackFinder, a great option is to incentivize your salespeople to ask for reviews at the end of a transaction and reward the employee who received the most positive reviews.

Emarketer reported, “Half of social network users respond to retailer prompts to provide feedback. Organically, though, they are more likely to comment on a social network (44%) than post a review on a site (38%).” 

To learn how Stream can help you manage your online reputation, check out our Reputation Management information page and speak to one of our team members today.