How important is a modern business's online reputation?
How important is online reputation for the modern business? What are some negative impacts of a bad online reputation? I have heard many times that having a strong online reputation is necessary for every business.
Wonderful answers with everyone making a good point or more. Adding to those comments. Walmart is an interesting example of their customers and their suppliers giving them high marks and close to top in the retail trade. Noncustomers such as those that consider themselves above shopping at Walmart, various media such as the New York Times, and union based people are down on them. Walmart does well because they focus on those they need, customers and suppliers. I admit I am happily in both categories and my companies and I personally have always been treated very well by Walmart. As the old saw goes, you can't please everyone. So Walmart focuses on those that can help them, not the others. Pretty brave for such a visible organization. My companies have followed their example as best we could. Walmart is a great example of what the very best companies do and well worth following.
The dictionary says ‘Reputation’ is beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something’. And ‘Media’ is the channel not only to learn about but even influence the Public Opinion about a Product, Service, Activity or Offering. In the ‘Modern’ world, as you put it, ‘Media’ has expanded to ‘Social Media’ which has a strong hold of your web-presence. It is obvious that your reputation will be build by your interactions with society at large through your web-presence and you will develop a public opinion through your web-activities ultimately. I think this responds to your concern appropriately and I need not write much as answer to your question… do I?
All the best and mind your web-presence!
Reputation has always been important for any business. Reputation is what credentials people assign in their minds to the business. For this information about has to travel to the people in a way that it reaches their minds. So the mode of flow of information is very important. In the modern era, online mode is an exponentially growing mode. It also is the fastest mode in time and space. With click of a button information can be made to reach inbox of many and made accessible to hundreds and thousands of a group.
Online being a convenient mode the interested look for reputation online. Therefore, a strong online reputation is extremely important.
Negative impacts of bad online reputation are:
~ Confidence of all stake holders (investors, suppliers, employees, distributors, customers, society) reduces in the business
~ It is a de-motivator for even investor
~ It negatively affects potential customers
~ Importantly, a negative online posts about reputation remain there to stay even if business gains positive online reputation in times to come.
Online is a double edged weapon, reputation if positive - favours fast and well, and if negative - impacts negatively now and always
Please take special care of online reputation of your businesss. You may even have a department assigned this job.
Best Wishes for your business
- Dr. DS Narban
Ph.D. (Psychology), MBA
It's absolutely vital - nearly every age group now looks at you online or via mobile as their principal source of information, so if your presentation or customer service isn't web/mobile friendly you are immediately limiting your prospective sales. Even more importantly, your customers and employees can report on you and share that information fast with potentially disastrous impact on your reputation and bottom line. Take a look at Glass Door in terms of company employees reporting on their experience as staff.
Well, if I talk about importance then you yourself can get an idea why companies are tweeting about their business over the twitter,Facebook and other social media site ?? They are hiring various firms to make sure that their online reputation doesn't gets worn off ! I have seen a number of firmware are taking loss in terms of potential clients. Let us say you have a clients which has gone mad upon you and he has reviewed you bad over some sources, and say I am looking forward to hire some firms which offer some services and by time I have started to find that you can provide some help with my need. But when I started searching about you I have hit a page where one your clients has review you bad means everything is messed up now. After reading the review what I am going to do is hit the close button and you have lost another potential client. But think this in an opposite manner if you're having positive reviews and having good online reputation means it will add up the chances that.... So, I guess this short example is enough to let you understand "Importance of online reputation for business","Negative Impacts of having bad online reputation" and "why strong online reputation is necessary".
In this digital age, online reputation is everything. Corporates are quickly punting policies in place to curb employees not to place company in disrepute mostly online, and it is even a deal breaker between employee and employer. it goes even further to you as an individual, online reputation can brake or make your career. Recruiters are scouting suitable candidates on social media and employers scan through their potential employees online.
Lots of great answers here. But let's step back a little. What are you doing every day to ensure both online and offline reputation is rock solid?
Jim, that's a pretty broad question and as the nature of the business is important to the answer, it would have helped if you could have provided some background.
For instance, if you are in the service industry (hotel, restaurant, catering, car repair etc) then it is absolutely vital. One really bad review can cost you a huge amount in lost potential business. Often people will go online to find and shortlist a list of suppliers / venues, before making a purchase / booking, and your bad online reputation will definitely cost you business in this instance.
However, if you are a much larger and well known company, and yet still in the service industry, but with a strong brand, let's say an airline, or a large hotel chain, then aspects of a bad online reputation will not be as costly. For instance, I think we can all agree that a large number of reviews for a ccertain low cost airline are everywhere. But does it stop them from filling their planes with travellers? No, of course not. But then that is down to their business model which is all about getting you from A to B (although sometimes they put you in C!) as cheaply as possible, so customers will accept the negative reviews and make their judgement based on price value alone, but they will be armed in advance from the bad online rep as to what to expect. So I guess their strategy of dealing with a bad online rep turns the negative into a positive.
So in summary, how important is online reputation for the modern business - well that depends on the business, the industry it is in, and the buying triggers for its customers.
The negative impacts of bad online rep. are mainly found through the loss of potential business. It's hard to quantify how much a bad review or rep will cost you though. Again, it very much depends on your business and the value of the product / service you sell to your clients and customers. Is a bad online rep. better or worse than NO online reputation, that's maybe a good question for us to ponder. You see at least with a bad rep you will still be found online, and there may be strategies that you can deploy to still win business despite this bad rep (as the example above). But if you have NO online presence, then how will prospective customers and clients find you? Unless you are a big brand / market leader, having NO online presence is a huge disadvantage in most types of business.
So in summary re negative impacts, you could (and could is the key word here) lose some business from some prospects, but I would expect your current customers / clients to stay as they would be more influenced by the service / quality that you are actually delivering to them, as a current customer. The biggest risk or harm could well come from having NO online rep at all.
I hope this helps Bill and wish you well in your ventures.
Just as offline, your reputation will determine how well you do in business online as well, even more so.
The world is easily accessible on line now, unlike your corner store in the neighborhood, your reputation is known globally and if negative feedback is recorded online, it becomes extreamly difficult to reverse that.
On one hand you have to be careful with the type of reputation, both good and bad, the company believes is really happening. Positive and negative reputation can be manufactured by groups who's interest may be counter to the company they wish to degrade (Yelp is a prime example of this practice at this time). However, if a company takes that information and analyzes it properly they can gain valuable insight into how their company is currently being viewed by the public. A company must understand that there's only so much good publicity that a company can accept, but there's also so much bad publicity that can be believed too. Think out of the box and take all that information and marinate on it longer and ask more questions and your company will begin to understand what information to accept and reject.
Online reputation is like spoken reputation. Like the latter it makes or mars a person. The quality of promotions, posts, the number of likes you get is important. So strategise your online presence with care
As your question starts with How imporant is a modern business on line reputation , I can say its very imporant now a days , In order to know How important we shall ask our self simple question ,If you want to have a look at any business , first of all we expect to find it on line ,if it is not available , First impression will be not so good , then using online to all details of any type of business , I can say its one of its identifications , reflects the size & credibility of any businesss , so its very important in any case .at least the business can give strong impression .
Jim, You have lot of answers to your question. It is so important to have a strong reputation. People hear of you, they typically go straight to your sight. so it's impact has to be professional and exciting. You then have to continually keep up with changes build traffic and work your way to the top and stay there. t is a lot of work and could cost a lot of money but it s well worth it.
An on-line presence is the "virtual" window into a businesses soul. If it is poorly contrived with little more than bragging about the owners capabilities then it will never be found and a complete waste of time and money.
How one presents themselves on the ground by how they act, what they do and who for must be replicated on-line; the only difference being that on-line is international where the majority of businesses are not. Thus we are better to market to our own country in that countries way. So many SEO type facilities are USA or India based and have no idea of how to deliver rankings for the "home country" website.
lt is so easy to create a wonderland of visually exciting images on-line that do not truly represent what that business does on the ground.
So yes it is necessary to have a strong on-line "assumed reputation" but it should represent what that business actually does on the ground and who for and where.
When I am about to close a "deal" I Google everyone I do business with, I routinely Google myself, thanks for the reminder think I'll do it right now.
Hello Jim, it really depends on who the audience is.
If your an online business or most people will be looking for you online then yes use reputation.com or yelp or bbb.org.
Its not necessary for all business' in my opinion. A cement company may not need nor care. If your a Restaurant, Bar, Cafe, DJ Services then yes.
Online reputation is now among the most important factors in consumer engagement with a business. These days, 90+ percent of buying decisions are based on personal recommendations and/or reviews, and when a consumer looks for information about a business online, they will either find reviews (good or bad) or no reviews.
This happens automatically on Google searches... and businesses which advertise on Google will even have their reviews show up alongside their ads.
If you have no reviews, and your business is showing up in the results alongside businesses which do have reviews, who do you think will get the business?
Ultimately, it's best to do as good a job as possible addressing bad reviews (everyone gets them from time to time) publicly, so that prospective customers will see that you care enough about a complaint to address it.
But better yet, engage someone to ensure that you reputation is positive and clean online.
This is a company that I trust for this sort of service (owned by one of the most knowledgeable and seasoned online consultants I know... and I'm in that business): http://columbiaseoconsulting.com/our-services/reputation-management-get-your-local-business-booming/
A reputation is something that takes time and trust to build, and only takes one misstep for your reputation to be tarnished....
AS Tom peters stated in a lecture he gave, "when in doubt be completely honest"
Online reputations are made by the same qualities always try to over deliver and under promise.... Remember, "Elephants don't bite...it's the flies and gnats that will kill you....."
It is a digital day and age and having a strong online presence and a stellar reputation is imperative to being successful. More people check online for reviews, recommendations, prices, services, and other facts about a business- the phone book and in store visits are not the way people search for new businesses anymore. you have to be strong online so customers can find you and so they want to work with you,
Negative online reputations can haunt you and your business because they last and are so easily spread and seen by everyone. You want people to say good things about your business and to feel confident in your abilities and reputation. A poor online reputation and track record can cause people to look for help with your competitors because it will do little to make them feel safe, comfortable and secure with your business.
The best way to maintain a strong and positive online reputation is to engage customers, answer questions, meet needs, and address concerns quickly and professionally. Take care of your customer and they will take care of you and help you maintain a positive online reputation.
A 5-Star online reputation is VITAL to the success of all businesses! Today's consumers are smart and perform extensive online research prior to making any purchasing decision. Recent studies have shown that over 85% of consumers research a company online, even after they have been referred to the business by someone whose opinion they trust. Of those 85%, over half of them turn to the internet specifically to look for online reviews and ratings. If your company doesn't have several positive reviews and a good reputation, chances are that potential client will not trust your business and choose instead to take their business to your competitor!
An even bigger concern to businesses today is the fact that with the merging of G+ & company websites, google now displays your reputation, front & center, for everyone to see. This means that traditional forms of internet marketing (like SEO & PPC), are not only NOT helping you, but may actually be hurting you since it essentially advertises that you are a company with bad reviews. If ROI is a concern for you, as it relates to your marketing spend, then take heed; chances are your marketing spend is going to waste if your company has a mediocre or bad reputation. My advice to my clients and all business owners, be proactive and take control of your reputation TODAY! Taking action now is better than taking action AFTER you have a reputation problem!