Remember the days when online reputation management involved pacifying angry customers with a few phone calls, apologies and handing out new products in exchange?

As a business owner, while merely exchanging products no longer satisfies customers, there are other challenges to face, especially when your customers are watching your actions online whole time!

There’s a solution – ORM (Online Reputation Management). We’ll tell you why it is necessary and also share a few Online Reputation Management tips as well.

Title Image-Why every business needs online reputation management

[Source: Pixabay]

ORM is no longer restricted to only removing negative comments. Rather, it now focuses on developing an online strategy that influences the way customers perceive your brand which creates positive impact.

While some business owners might not invest in ORM, here’s why it’s critical for your business:

  • Easy for customers to post all kinds of messages, especially negativeDifficult to control the extent of damage
  • Difficult to control the extent of damage
  • Brands that ignored customer’s changing preferences have suffered
  • As per Nielsen, 68% of customers trust reviews posted online
  • 86% of buyers are influenced by negative online reviews

8 reasons why you can’t ignore online reputation management

  • There’s a lot riding on customer reviews

HelpScout states that about 24% of American adults have posted comments online about the product or service bought.

While positive reviews are always welcome and help gain maximum brand exposure, negative publicity is likely to result in five times more bad word of mouth publicity among friends and peers.

  • Word of mouth marketing (online) can make or break your brand

Like traditional marketing, word of mouth marketing is a growing phenomenon online, where experiences either about a product of service receive overwhelming support especially when there are unflattering reviews. 92% of customers say they believe in Word of mouth marketing if they come from family and friends.

Companies like Yelp and Angie’s List have grown in popularity purely on the basis of WOMM online.

  • It impacts your bottom-line

Negative reputation not only impacts customer perception towards your business, it can also erode your wealth, leading to overnight loss. Dave Carroll is one such example.

As part of a touring band, Dave Carroll’s $2500 guitar was broken by United Airlines baggage handlers which led to Dave releasing a song titled “United Breaks Guitars.” Its 2.5 million YouTube views in a week and $180 million erosion in United Airlines shareholder wealth indicate the power of the online media.

  • It has a global impact

Any effort to manage your online reputation should focus not only on its local but also global impact. Even if you have a small business that is yet to scale up, there are some key takeaways that large organizations demonstrate, especially on their social platforms.

One such case is of JetBlue Airways.

JetBlue Airways takes customer convenience and comfort to the forefront by providing the same service as other airways, but with the right environment and attitude to go along with it. It also does not shy away from feeling proud of the level of customer service provided.

Best part?

You can also replicate this if your business has created a unique customer delivery system or high customer value that can be showcased on your respective social network by engaging in high customer interactivity.

  • Little time to bounce back from bad reviews

Building a brand can take years, while, on the other hand, a negative review can shake the core existence of your brand.

To add to it, negative comments that go beyond constructive criticism and border on accusations can create a negative perception, especially among prospective customers who would be colored with that opinion. Here are a few other ways to get more reviews online.

  • Easy for a competitor to earn brownie points

If your business has already borne the brunt of negative reviews, you would know that the only ones to benefit from it are your competitors. In such cases, customers are more likely to search for a substitute product of high quality and value for money.

The best way out of such situations is to acknowledge the blunder and be respectful under whatever circumstances. Bouncing back with a better product or service will project your brand well and will help gain back customers. This will also prevent hurting your business in the future.

  • Employees/Partners can post negative comments

When multiple people in your company have access to corporate social accounts, there’s bound to be an occasional occurrence of interchanging and using personal and professional usernames and passwords.

Once such incidence was of @ChryslerAutos where the employee was supposed to address Detroit Drivers through the corporate account and instead, mistakenly logged in assuming his private account. This led to him expressing his own opinion in an unacceptable language.

  • Little control over what customers can/cannot say

Article 19 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

This clearly restricts your ability to control what can be said about your brand. However, as per Kissmetrics, if the following occurs, there are ways to take action.

  • If there is a defamatory language used
  • If there is an intent to damage the company’s reputation
  • If there is incorrect information on the company

These are some of the reasons why you need to invest in online reputation management for your business.

Have you taken charge of your online reputation? If so, how are you doing it? Let us know in the comments!