Did you know that nine out of ten consumers read online reviews to determine the quality level of a local business’s product or service? In addition to this, Search Engine Land conducted a survey in 2014 that found 85 percent of consumers will read up to ten reviews, with 72 percent admitting that they are more likely to trust local businesses that have more positive reviews.
The biggest eye-opening find in this survey is that 88 percent of consumers will actually trust these reviews, whether positive or negative, as much as they would trust real recommendations from friends or family.
Everything from unsatisfied customers using social media to voice their complaints to biased online reviews from competitors, taking control of your company’s online reputation management can seem like an impossible obstacle to overcome. As a brand, you know you can’t please everyone, but it’s still vital to the health of your company to keep an eye out for what people are saying about you online.
These online reviews, whether legitimate or fake, can have a lasting impact on a consumers purchase decision, as well as a potential customer’s view of you and your company. Here are a few quick starting points to help manage your company’s online reputation.
Keep Tabs On Review Sites
Even if most customers tell you they’re satisfied, there will always be a percentage of customers who, even if they say they’re happy with your service, will turn around and vent their frustrations online. Never assume all online reviews about your product or service are positive.
Start searching for review sites that lead the most web traffic to your company site. Make a list of these websites and rank them in order of most to least amount of traffic. If a review site ranked third suddenly falls to fifteen, there’s a strong possibility that a bad review is the culprit.
Reply But Avoid Confrontation
There is no doubt most companies out there will get a few negative reviews, but it’s how these bad reviews are handled that can really make the difference. This is especially true for some reviews where a consumer can revise their reviews based on how the company responded.
One of the best ways to douse the flame on a bad review is to quickly respond and ask the reviewer to contact you when convenient, with the goal of taking the conversation offline and then fixing the problem. When replying to a negative review, remember that timing and tone used during the exchange is just as important as the actual end response to the problem.
These tips are especially helpful for repairing not just a company, but also individuals. Digital Crises Expert Darius Fisher has made it his career and goal to help give individuals, politicians, executives, and public figures second chances at a clean online presence.
Darius Fisher is the President of one of the world’s most proficient online reputation management firms, Status Labs. Status Labs doesn’t just use social media and the major search engines to clean up the damage that has already been done, but the company even makes it a goal to help their client in advance, so as not to even gain a negative online reputation at all.