Online reputation is important in any industry. Without a good online reputation, you are going to struggle to gain any traction among your customers. The chances are you are going to lose out to your competitors if you don’t have the reputation to back up your product or service.
But doing this effectively is not about solving problems when they happen. One of the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs is that they know this is an ongoing process that you need to be constantly working on. This guide is going to demonstrate how you can build up your reputation proactively.
No Voodoo Magic
Talk about something like online reputation and people will think that protecting your online reputation this year is about lots of tips and tricks that nobody else knows about. And this is where so many people go wrong. They believe that there are secrets that only certain companies are party to.
The best way and the only way to truly build up your online reputation is to deliver on your promises and present a better customer experience than anyone else, as 65% of consumers say they make buying decisions on positive reviews. It’s that simple.
Why Experience Means More than the Deal
A generational shift has occurred. The majority of the workforce is now made up of millennials. They are not overly concerned with getting the best deal financially. They want an experience that enriches them. They want something that they are going to remember and that is going to give them real value. The emphasis is on experience over goods.
Your customer experience begins from the moment you engage a potential customer in conversation. Think about what they are getting out of it and where you can do better.
It’s no coincidence that all the huge corporations have focus groups providing constant feedback on the customer experience. A company with a great online reputation for customer experiences is well-placed to make a lot of money in the short-term and the long-term.
Products are Secondary
There are two areas crucial to your online reputation that you have control over. These are the customer relationship and the product. It’s true that you need to deliver a great product, but as shown in the previous section the experience is even more important.
And you can start building your online reputation through a focus on relationships with your customers from the beginning. Don’t treat them like customers treat them like friends. Put one personality at the head of each social media platform and give them a name. Have them speak in a casual tone that endears them to the average person.
Don’t be afraid to provide unsolicited recommendations to build trust, and focus on solving customer problems without any expectation of making a sale. Things like this ultimately enable customers to trust you.
How a Reputation Spreads
You may be wondering why there’s so much focus on building relationships this way. It’s a longer route to the actual goal of making a sale. Organizations taking full advantage of online reputation building are spending their time concentrating on word of mouth marketing.
Word of mouth marketing remains the most effective form of marketing around. It’s how a reputation quickly spreads. This works both ways. Poor companies tend to get famous quickly, and then people flock to their competitors. You always need to think about what people are saying about you.
It’s relatively easy to do this. Set up a Google Alerts signal for your company and regularly ask your customers how you can improve and what they would like to see from your organization.
Last Word – The Cure is Necessary
Sometimes disgruntled employees and bad customers will impact your online reputation. There’s little you can do about this because it happens to every single company in the world. This is where professional online reputation management services come in.
Once someone says something, the only way to actually remove it from the public gaze is to grind it down with positive comments. The best way to cure a problem like this is to not let it happen in the first place, though.
Thankfully, protecting your online reputation is easier than you think. It’s all about building relationships with the people who are going to talk about you. A company with a quality product and customers who are spreading the word has a bright future ahead of it.
How will you build up your online reputation today?