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Reputation management is a crucial part of any business. In this digital world, buyers in all industries use digital content to make purchasing decisions. Having a good online business reputation shows value and trust, and sustains repeat customers. When customers decide to trust your business, they are choosing you as a reliable brand. To win over a new customer, your brand needs to offer a great customer experience. The customer’s overall experience will influence their emotion, leaving your company with a review which will then influence the next person. 

The word of mouth recommendations still remain popular in today’s world with the help of online reviews. Your online reputation is important and says a lot about your business. When looking to buy a new product or service, the number one component customers look for is trust. Online reviews are a quick way to get new customers to trust you. 

It is understandable to fear the risk of having reviews online, as the feedback left is not fully controllable. With that being said, it’s important to acknowledge that online equivalent to word-of-mouth advertising is an online review. Online reviews help customers to make quicker decisions having the accessibility to decide if you have a trusted brand.

Reviews can be intimidating, but in reality, customer feedback is essential to maintaining businesses growth. Realizing what online reviews can do for your company can help replace fear, drive growth and increase sales. Everyone wants positive feedback as it reflects efficiency and credibility. Not all reviews will be positive, and that can really scare you. Every company gets a bad review, but these can actually be used for the positive. 

When you display the bad reviews and properly respond to these reviews, there’s a much better chance people will believe the positive reviews, building trust. This leaves the potential customer knowing bad reviews aren’t being hidden. Some negative reviews may help a customer looking for an unbiased view. Negative reviews help you learn from your mistakes, as well as highlight your customer service in how you respond to the review. 

The scary fact about a negative review is that if you don’t act on it, they are left to haunt your business’s reputation. They can leave customers with the sense that you don’t care to fix a problem. Acting on a bad review is the best showcase to indicate how important your customers are to your business, you want to listen and engage, and show that you care about your customers and you want to leave a good impact. Online reviews are helpful because they are measures of the whole customer experience, leaving your business with a searchable, digital footprint. 

There are 3 easy steps for reputation management: monitor, listen and respond. There are many ways you can monitor reviews or any online interactions mentioning your brand such as Google, Yelp, Angie’s List or even Facebook. No matter what you use to manage your reviews or interactions, always take the time to monitor, listen and respond. 

In managing your online reputation you will need to monitor what is being said, listen to the concern, or recommendation (using a customer service approach), and respond to say thank you for helping resolve the issue. If you’re monitoring what is being said about your business and are actively trying to fix a negative customer experience, this will help your brand stand out from the competition, showing great customer service follow through. The customer journey from start to finish is a long process, and the best retention remains through end to end customer experience.

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