You need street cred during the coronavirus outbreak. How can you get it? By improving your online star ratings and getting more positive reviews.
- 97% of consumers read online reviews before making a buying decision.
- 86% of people would pay more for services from a company with higher ratings and reviews, according to Nusani.
- RevLocal found that 42% of consumers will not use a business with less than a 3-star rating.
Uncertainty is running rampant at the moment due to the virus and economic crisis. Captain Obvious: People are dealing with a tremendous amount of stress. In times like these, when people feel like the ground beneath them keeps shifting, demonstrating that your business can help them find stable ground - even in a small way - is paramount.
Customers crave security during uncertain, challenging times. This inclination extends to the brands they choose for their services or products, even if they cannot afford them right now. Regardless, consumers will recognize, and remember, a brand they deem trustworthy.
When you improve your business’s reputation, you will win your target audience’s trust, greatly increasing the likelihood they will choose your products or services over those of your competitors. It will also secure customer loyalty because consumers will remember that your brand helped them during a trying time.
The trick is figuring out which reputation tactics are effective at establishing and maintaining a positive brand.
Take Control Of Your Owned Online Properties
Your website and social media profiles provide you with a fantastic opportunity to proactively manage your online reputation. Remember, the vast majority of your target audience will learn about your business online. With this in mind, it is important to make sure the following is in order:
Make sure your website fully showcases your products or services and makes the value they offer crystal clear to visitors.
- Dedicate a separate page to include your company's reviews and testimonials.
- Make sure that page allows customers to provide feedback in order to address negative experiences before they go public.
- Put product and service reviews on its specific page, especially if you are an eCommerce site because those reviews will show up in search results and increase your click-through rate.
Write thought leadership posts that reinforce your brand’s expertise. Keep your blog active and updated. You should at the very least be posting to your blog once per month, but the more frequent the better.
You can also blog about product reviews that compare you to your competitors in a positive light, or case studies about your services that show off the features and benefits you have offered others and can offer them as well.
There are many ways you can leverage your social media profiles to benefit your reputation. They include
- Posting about industry news to underscore your team’s knowledge.
- Responding to comments and questions in a positive, professional manner to demonstrate your desire to make customers happy.
- Many businesses are using messenger or direct messages (DMs) as their primary customer service tool online.
- Publish positive reviews 4-stars and up plus any testimonials and case studies you have.
- Show of your company culture and staff to make your business more personal, human and relatable.
Get More Great Reviews
Reviews are a vital part of any reputation management strategy - just like the ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend that you “used to” stalk on Facebook. Your potential customers will stalk you out on Google, LinkedIn or Facebook. Often, reading a review about a company is the first step people take in making a decision about whether or not to use a company's services.
Third-party reviews drive conversions regardless of how people come across your business online. This is particularly evident in an online shopping cart. Peer-to-peer reviews play a critical role in determining whether or not the shopper finally decides to make that purchase. If the product and/or company has too many negative reviews, they will likely pass.
Star-ratings also improve click-through rates and your ranking in search engines, making them a valuable SEO tool. Additionally, reviews are considered user-generated content. This is important because Google loves user-generated content. This further enhances search engine rankings.
Think about it, when was the last time you ordered food and ignored their rating or bought from a company with 1 star?
This means you should make getting positive reviews a priority. You can do so by emailing a survey to customers about their experience like Amazon does or send customers a text message asking them to write a review.
To increase your chances of a lot of success, you should offer your customers something worth their time. Think of all contests your cashier told you about, a quick survey that will automatically enter you for a chance to win big. It doesn't cost much and is always worth the investment.
Taking these steps prevents the review from going public on your website and allows you to correct the situation before the reviewer issues their complaints on third-party review websites.
Don't Be Afraid To Respond
Don't just collect reviews. Responding to existing reviews, both good and bad, is extremely important for improving your online rep. Keep responses to negative reviews thoughtful, professional and humbly apologetic. Avoid lines like “I am sorry you feel this way” or “I am sorry you took it the wrong way.” Statements such as these come across as insincere and do not qualify as an apology.
Instead, communicate remorse for the customer’s negative experience and offer to continue the conversation offline. You can do so by providing them with the name, phone number and email of one of your staff who is dedicated to customer service. This type of response demonstrates that your team cares and takes the conversation out of the public eye in case they are unpleasable. Continuing to discuss the matter in public is not recommended because doing so extends its life in the public eyes instead of just letting it get buried behind all your good reviews. It also helps because if you offer something free or at a discount, other people won't post bad reviews just to get something out of you. Never offer anything free publicly, it will spread faster than a virus and kill your business.
Take The Paper Bag Off Your Head. There Is No Need To Hide Now
These simple tips will save you from the embarrassment of a bad online reputation:
- Ensuring your website content truly gets your value across.
- Reinforcing your brand as the authority on a topic by publishing blogs often.
- Exhibit excellent customer service on your social media platforms by engaging in a positive way with followers.
- Show customers you care about their experience by responding courteously to their feedback regardless of whether it is positive or negative.
- Do not ignore the feedback that you hear over and over again; listen and implement it in your business.
When customers regard your business as trustworthy and dependable, you will see customer retention improve. In addition, consumers will be more inclined to choose your products or services over those of your competitors.
The Tag Marketing team is happy to help. Learn more about marketing strategies collected from the top agencies to help your business survive the coronavirus now and long after by downloading our FREE ebook.