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.
It's very important. In my industry (online advertising), it is completely normal for a business to change their name after some bad press. Now, we've had some missteps along the way as well, but we've never changed our name, and we consistently communicate that. As a result, we leveraged the tagline "If you want to succeed, you have to change the game. Not your name." We had many positive accolades for it because of how true it is of our industry.
That being said, people who are familiar with our industry respect the transparency and ownership to any bad reviews. Concurrently, those just learning of us sometimes mention a few key reviews we know are out there. We know this is a hurdle for some customers, so we walk them through some of the negative comments and what we have done to address them. The answers are overwhelmingly satisfactory.
It hurts your reputation if you let it, or you can use it as a great teaching tool on how to do things better.
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.
While there are examples of businesses in most sectors without a strong online reputation these businesses are usually very strong in other forms of marketing or service. They may also be small enough with enough walk in work to not require a presence. Sometimes I am surprised when I see a large business without a strong online presence; this can be the business relying heavily on a strong brand following prior to the popularity of the internet - this will not last for ever though.
A strong and positive online reputation is a must for most if not all businesses these days. When comparing even two local businesses for my business I will always do a search to see any positive or negative results. And I'm not alone in doing this. In the absence of any online presence leads to the consumer questioning what the business has to hide.
It is so easy and cheap today to build an online presence I can't understand why any business would not have one.
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".
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.
I would go so far as to say that due to the tremendous increase in the number of reviews, review platforms and the growing trust factor with consumers, any business's online reputation can easily determine their future revenue and growth potential. A business with a bad reputation will almost always be discounted heavily if the owners want to sell the company. Ever heard of a good will factor in business valuations?
No matter how someone finds your business, by word of mouth, advertising or search, 82% of them will jump online for more information. Of those, more than half will look for previous customer reviews and make decisions based on those reviews.
After 20 years of working with small and medium businesses, and 10 years working with Fortune 100's, I now focus exclusively on coaching and servicing SMB's based on developing and managing their reputation SO THAT they can leverage that reputation to get more customers in the door.
We live in a very connected world and word of mouth is now measured in visitor engagement and REVIEWS! Here's a series of articles on Building a Solid Reputation Foundation - https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20140629204837-504850-bulding-a-solid-reputation-foundation-part-1
Online reputation management helps shield your business from negative reviews, posts and web content on web. In my opinion, online reputation is necessary for every business. If any bad result appears in search results of your business name, then, it affects your business directly. I recently read an interesting blog post about protecting online reputation. Here is the link; http://www.fatbit.com/fab/online-reputation-management-corporate-challenges-expert-solutions.
It is important. But what is more important is your business integrity, if that is ok, then you can fight ill intention of persons and business competition. In sales and marketing there is an old saying - every marketing good or bad - is good marketing if you know how to turn it into sales.
When someone is writing against your business, the people reading it will check also what you have to say online. You just need to be aware of what is going on. so good thing is to keep track of google searches, specialized forums/sites where people are talking bad about you. And act upon that. Never fight, be polite and constructive.
Also you can always take legal actions if the person talking bad has no background fact as this is a sure win on any court.
Remove the word 'modern'. For any business, reputation is hard to build, easy to break and most difficult to re-build. Bad reputation has killed businesses.
With internet, where your users have access to give their opinion about your service in online forums, you will need to be extremely proactive to manage it well. Last thing you should do is, knowingly let go an unhappy customer without adequate response. Having said this, bad feedback is possible - and what you need to do is: respond to any bad feedback promptly. Acknowledging the issue is half battle won. Back it up with personalised action plan to either compensate or resolve the problem. Or clarify it.
What a prospective customer want to see is what you did when someone complained about your service. Most new customers understand that problems can happen but they look forward to what supplier or service provider did.
Hope this gives you the perspective!
Having a strong online reputation is vital to any successful business. Because Social Media has now become the voice of the customer it is vital to monitor it 24/7. All you need is a negative review or response from a customer can do major damage.
I tell my ecommerce clients that it is so vital to respond to a customer complaint proactively and make the customer happy because the customer experience is so vital. Simply put turn a negative review into a positive review
Online reputation is critical in today's world. It is the support mechanism to personal referrals. It's the first step in a client, patient, or guest's decision on who to do business with.
It's also a great tool for you, as a business owner, to really listen. A surgeon, for instance, can have the best medical outcomes around, but if reviews come in that say they have a dark, dingy or dirty office, they won't get the business no matter how skilled they are. And if that surgeon truly listens, it's an easy fix. The obstacles can be readily removed.
You answered part of your own question. A modern business exists in a modern world which includes its on line persona. You need to have a visible presence that compliments your business and its activities. If someone goes after your name with inaccurate complaints and comments, you are obligated to respond.
If you have a bad online reputation, you lose some customers that put credence in the source. You also lose others who are weighing your services against a competitor. While price and quality may be similar, the bad reputation may sway them away.
Statistics are growing that show more us researching purchases on line, even if we eventually buy in person.
Do what you need to to build or clean up a bad reputation. If you have errors and issues in the past, then show how you solved them.
It is so easy to look up your business on line, so people do it. If you haven't looked as well and responded to every criticism, it looks like you are lazy or out of touch.
There are so many scams and businesses that aren't real out there; people need to look you up to make sure you are legit. For that reason, the more they see of you out there, the better.
Your online reputation doesn't necessarily need to be perfect. A little honest feedback from previous customers is appreciated and makes you seem more real.
The thing to remember is that people are not necessarily Googling you anymore; they look you up in the place they most hangout, so you need to be everywhere: Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Yelp at the very least. And it is best if you are not just out there but are interacting out there.
There are also sites people go to like glassdoor and ripoffreport that you will want to check regularly to monitor and improve your reputation.
Your company is YOU whether online or in person! You are what you say online...be very careful of what you are writing and always think about the reader and how will this message go to them, that includes your clients. Organisations today before they hire or make a decision to bring the person on board, they first check their online presence. If you want to have a good reputation in your business, think about the people out there that are currently your customers and those that will be your future customers - its tough out there! Hope this helps
Have an honest, reputable, reliable reputation is essential for any business on or off line. If your neighbors or community can't trust you than why should the world. Think of it this way, your reputation is what clothes your business. If you smelly, torn, dirty clothing you are not going to attract the type of people you really want to do business with. Therefore guard your reputation closely. Be a good listener, good at customer service, honest and provide a reliable product and you will attract the right people.
This is something my company works with every day to help companies with their total online presence. Not only is your online rep important but it is also important to be proactive with your online marketing and reputation. One bad review or website that is not user friendly or secure can cause all sorts of problems. Once the bad reviews get out there it is very difficult to regain that good 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!
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.
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/
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.