Having a positive reputation is highly important in business. Companies that provide a reliable, quality service are often seen as trustworthy and tend to benefit from positive ‘word of mouth’ communication.
The way people perceive you can be the difference between making a sale and losing out to another firm. Indeed, what people say can impact your brand both positively and negatively, which is why managing reputation and being credible is key, especially online.
The Internet has opened up a whole new way for people to communicate. In this age of online reviews, ratings, social media comments, accreditations and the like, it is more easy than ever to fall foul of a negative reputation. Your online reputation is important whether you’re an individual or large company. What people view about your business will influence their purchase decision, and any negative material will often direct potential customers elsewhere.
Consider what happens when a customer is thinking about purchasing from your business. Firstly, it is common for a prospective customer to visit your website and social media pages. If they like what they find, they may decide to search out customer reviews to see if anyone else has experience with the product or service. At this point, the sales process may stall if the searcher encounters negative content. Positive ratings will no doubt entice the person to buy. Negative ratings won’t do the business any favours.
Here’s a typical example: A person is looking to book a restaurant table for dinner. They shortlist a number of potential restaurants in the local area, perhaps using an online map, then visit some websites to find menus. Before booking, they view reviews made by previous customers or head to a popular ratings site, such as TripAdvisor. In this example, the material found online will have a big influence on the searcher’s eventual decision. Reputation matters online no matter what the industry, largely due to the ease people can share opinions and compare providers.
Establishing a solid reputation goes much further than just managing reviews and comments. If a significant proportion of your leads are generated online, consider the importance of reputation management. Are you concerned about your online reputation? Get in touch with us to see how we can help your business.