It’s about lunch time and you feel a little lazy to cook your own food, so you look up on the internet to search for the best local restaurant to suit your cravings. You’re presented with a list of restaurants… what’s the first thing you do to make sure you order from the best local restaurant in terms of food, service, and overall quality?
RATINGS? REVIEWS? It all boils down to REPUTATION.
A business reputation is one of the most–if not, the most–crucial factor in terms of marketing your business. What makes it very powerful is that even if you have the best services and products, when you’ve got a bad reputation, then you’re might as well considered the worst.
What’s a Business Reputation?
According to ReputationManagement.com,
Reputation is a culmination of how society, including customers, stakeholders, employees, and the general public, views a business or individual.
Because it’s fairly abstract, we tend to measure company reputation on a qualitative scale that ranges from “good” to “bad” rather than with a numeric score. And, since it’s based on opinion, there are many factors that influence reputation, including statements, actions, associations, third-party commentary, social media, and especially Google search results.
Simply put, a business’ reputation is a business’ quality, the face of the company.
Why is reputation such a big deal?
Business reputation highlights the reviews of the people, whether if it’s through Google reviews or a comment from a friend. A business’ reputation highly influences a customer’s purchase deicisions. Not just that, but it also influences decisions of potential investors and future employees as well. You wouldn’t want to work at a company who had its reputation ruined, right? You want to buy from a reliable company, you want to work at a company with quality, and you want to invest in a trusted company.
But here’s the other side of the story, that even with just one negative comment, feedback or review from someone, that small negativity can greatly affect your business’ reputation.
Then what? What if that happens? How am I going to control it?
This is where Reputation Managament takes the spotlight.
What does a Reputation Management do?
Reputation Management deals with a business’ 4R’s–Respresentation, Ranking, Reliability, and Rumor.
1. Representation or Image
A company with a professional image has higher chances to attract customers than businesses who have a muddled image. Think of it as one’s first impressions on you.
Since there are some potential customers that don’t have any idea about your business at all, and if these people find negative reputation in your company, they won’t do business with you. Hence, as much as impossible, your company should get rid of the negative reputation before a situation like that arises.
On the bright side, reputation management shouldn’t be underestimated. Proper management of the reputation can help a business to get improved sales, and improved sales can greatly improve the brand image of the business.
2. Ranking in Search Engines
Online reviews can create a huge impact on SEO. It’s because search engine algorithms know it very well that customers highly depend on the online reviews of the company when making a decision.
Remember that negative reputation invisibility increases SEO visibility.
3. Rumor and Misleading Information
There’s a saying that goes “People will still judge you in all that you do.”
In this generation, it is common to see businesses having social media profiles, business listings, and websites. Even if you are a company of quality, some people–most especially the netizens– will try to ruin your reputation by posting rumors and incorrect information. And if these wrong and misleading posts are not corrected immediately, your company’s reputation can be destroyed to the point of beyond repair.
Managing an online reputation is not simple, but having good reputation management can clear out misleading information and rumors about your company.
4. Reliability and Customer Trust
Gaining a customer’s trust isn’t just about persuading them to buy from you, but to return to you for more. One of the most powerful and most effective ways to gain the confidence of customers is through online reviews and personal, verbal recommendations. With customers trusting online reviews, gaining the trust of customers is essential. Customers who find your company reliable and credible are more likely to share this information with people they know, which helps generate more leads and revenue, and of course improve the overall reputation of your company.
Positive reviews can lead potential customers to trust your business even more. A good reputation means that the business is more credible than your competitors.
Here’s a tip though: while negative and unfavorable comments can influence the purchasing decision of a potential client, being unresponsive to that review as a business can make the situation even worse. If they see that a company has a bunch of unanswered complaints, it will be a red flag and they will be hesitant to do business with you.
As a business, let’s not compete with their pride, shall we? Being able to recover from an unfavorable review helps restore lost confidence in your company and helps regain trust with your clients and customers. Show your customers and potential business partners that you value their feedback as how you would value their presence by acknowledging that you have seen it and by letting them know that you will take it into consideration or mediate the issue through business protocol.
DO NOT BE AFRAID OF NEGATIVE REVIEWS!
They will eventually come. Businesses are like people, too. There’s insecurity, there’s competition, there are challenges, but despite all of that, a company with good business management overcomes all these things.
Your reputation isn’t all about the business, but how you handle the business.
If you found this information useful and would like some help, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org