As much as 82% of internet users come across fake negative business reviews online.
Seeing as almost 34% of the total market value of the world’s biggest companies depends on their reputation, you can begin to realize the importance of online reputation damage control.
Improving and maintaining your digital prestige boils down to a strategic and proactive approach consisting of these five best practices.
Develop and Nurture a Distinctive Brand Identity
Everyone connected with your business — from employees to stakeholders and target audience —should clearly understand your brand, its core values, mission and identity.
If your online customers have a clear picture of what makes your brand unique and if your values and proclamations align with their own values and with what you do in practice, they will have a more positive experience with your business.
By making sure that your business has an identifiable image, you are showing your customers that you care about them as well as your reputation. A positive perception of your business online will prompt potential and existing customers to choose you over your competitors.
Provide Outstanding Customer Experience to Foster Loyalty and Advocacy
A customer service that helps your audience solve any issues and pain points they may have with your products or services is a solid way of improving your online reputation.
Timely, professional and well-executed communication aimed at their concerns will often prompt them to champion the success they had with your customer service through customer loyalty and brand advocacy.
Superior customer service gives rise to free marketing by the satisfied clientele, therefore improving your overall reputation online (as well as offline).
Keep Track of and Respond to Every Online Review
Online review platforms are where your existing customers post their impressions of your services and where your prospective customers read them in order to make informed purchase decisions.
Coming up with a strategy that involves monitoring all these platforms and responding to all reviews is crucial to an immaculate online reputation.
While a response to a positive review should consist of a simple, kind sentiment of gratitude, it is much more important to address negative reviews in a proactive, polite manner that acknowledges the reviewer’s complaint and aims to solve their issue immediately.
One important thing to note is that the speed of your response matters — over half of all customers expect businesses to tend to their online reviews in 7 days or less.
Engage With Your Audience Online
Your relationship with customers and prospects should not be limited to reviews. Make sure to converse with them regularly and strategically on your social media pages by responding to comments and taking part in a dialogue.
Social media, blogs and newsletters also provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and provide value to your customers, potentially positioning you as a thought authority in your niche.
Be Transparent and Honest About Your Mistakes
In communicating with the audience, it is vital to be consistent, transparent and honest. Younger demographics, Gen-Z in particular, value honesty and sincerity in B2C relations much more than previous generations and are more likely to give their trust to companies that share their values.
You should not be afraid of publicly acknowledging your mistakes.
In the long run, your audience will appreciate openness and bravery, which reflects positively on your online reputation.
Author by: Andrej Vidović is a content manager and writer for a B2B marketplace website DesignRush, specializing in topics ranging from digital marketing, branding and business growth to website development, eCommerce and design best practices.