When there are so many competing brands out there, reputation becomes one of the key factors that can give your business a competitive edge. Whereas if the reputation of your business is inclined more towards the negative side, then there could be some serious consequences in profitability and brand value of the company. This is because, in an eCommerce business, online reputation can make or break a deal. As the company or business starts growing and more people get connected to it, it is extremely important for online merchants or businessmen to make sure that the company enjoys a solid reputation. Online reputation management has become so important in our times, that a few negative reviews can ruin your business irrespective of the quality of service you offer.
Online Reputation Management
The most effective way of dealing with negative customer reviews is to seek online reputation management. Online Reputation Management is an effective business strategy that ensures a brand makes a positive impact across the internet. It keeps a tab on the impression, opinions and feedback the brand is generating across the web and how to regulate it in a favourable manner. When you go for online reputation management, it ensures that you have some role to play in making sure how your customers are reacting to your product and services.
Online reputation management can be performed by you, provided you have the time and skills to do so. And if you think you would need an expert for this task or someone who can fully focus on this aspect, then you should go for digital marketing specialists who will give you an idea about the kind of person you are looking for.
Why Are There Negative Reviews in the First Place?
You might be wondering that despite giving your best, there are still negative reviews on your products. What could have possibly gone wrong from your end? There could be numerous reasons that prompted your customer to leave negative feedback about your brand. Be it some error in the transaction, an error while going through the payment gateway, packaging issue while in transit, or even late shipping, the reasons are countless. You will just have to make peace with the fact that no business can be 100% perfect. There is always room for improvement and unfortunately, it is human psychology that most people leave feedback when they have a bad experience with the product or service. So there is little you can do about it in terms of products and services. Here, you can take the help of other tools such as shipping management software to easily ship customer orders, and other applications like that. But in the meanwhile, online reputation is something you will have to look after.
There is definitely something you can do about improving this negative status of your brand. And this is where online reputation management steps in.
Managing Online Reputation
Now that you have learnt about online reputation management, it is important to figure out the ways in which you can execute it in your business. Managing the reputation of a business is an ongoing process, so there has to be someone in your business who can keep a tab on the impression of the brand all across the internet. So, without further ado, let us take a look at the strategies that you can employ to improve the reputation of your business:
The most important thing to know about online reputation management is monitoring the places where your brand is mentioned the most. This could be on social media platforms, on-site reviews, blogs, and platforms like Quora or Reddit. It is important to keep an eye on these platforms to have knowledge about how well your brand is performing. You can also set Google Alerts so that you get the notification every time your brand is mentioned at some place. Only by monitoring the reputation of your brand across different platforms will you be able to take the right action on them.
Be Quick to Respond
Once you have detected negative feedback against your brand, it is important to respond to it. A negative review that goes unanswered signals that the brand is not interested in resolving the issues the customer faced. This can seriously tarnish the reputation of the company. The important thing to do here is to send a reply to the person who posted the review. It often happens that customers give negative reviews without talking to the customer support team. So, you will have to take all these human factors into consideration. Your approach here should be to give them a way out of their problem if there are any. This will encourage them to think positively about your brand as you showed concern to solve their issues. Who knows this might even inspire them to update their review and leave with better feedback this time?
Be Honest with Negative Reviews
Customers know that a brand can never be 100% efficient in everything it does. So mistakes and errors are part and parcel of every business. But a firm that tries to cover up for its mistakes instead of acknowledging them directly is the approach you should never follow. It is always better to accept your mistakes and to resolve to do better in the future. If a customer leaves a negative review about your product, you should let the post remain among the positive reviews from other customers. A company that has 5-star reviews raises suspicion among the mind of the people.
There could be cases where you feel the negative feedback makes no sense or has been made out of a pure grudge. Even in such a situation, you should do your best to resolve the issue. Respond politely to the customer, even if he is clearly not the one for conversations. The important thing to keep in mind here is that he is the not only one concerned over here. There are other customers who might take a look at your conversation and how you respond to someone impolite can be really important here. Maintaining professionalism in these cases is extremely important.
Compensate with Positive Reviews
It goes without saying that negative reviews cannot be eliminated altogether. But what you can do is overcome the gap by bringing in more positive reviews about your brand. You might have seen many online applications that frequently ask their customers about giving the review or raise a complaint if there is an issue. This is a smart way to solve the customer’s issue and at the same time brings more positive reviews about your brand across the internet.
An important thing to note here is that when you are asking for reviews do not give the impression that it is about you. Your appeal should start off with resolving the query of the customer and only when they are happy with the service can they leave feedback to help the company grow.
Online Reputation Management Tools
Internet is quite diverse and it is not possible for a single individual to keep a tab on different platforms all the time. What they would need is a big team that can look after different platforms and track down the inputs. The other and more feasible option would be to take the assistance of online reputation management tools. They are designed in such a manner that they effectively and efficiently do the laborious side of the task and bring back the results to you pretty quickly. Let us take a look at some of these tools:
● Reputology: For industry-specific review sites, Reputology is quite a valuable tool. With the help of this tool, you will be able to monitor and manage the reviews of your brand that are posted across different platforms. A great feature of Reputology is that it marks the negative reviews as tickets and this gives you a better idea about managing these reviews.
● Social Mention: Social Mention is a great free tool where any mention of your brand across different social media platforms will be notified to you. The app integrates more than 80 social media platforms and is a great tool for you to keep an eye on the reputation of your brand across different platforms, even the ones you do not follow much.
● Review Push: Review Push is one of the best ways to keep track of all the reviews of your brand in one place. What Review Push does is that it collects the reviews from all the major review sites and organizes them in one single place. So, with the help of this application, you will be able to get a review of all the different platforms under the same head. This way, you will not have to visit different review platforms to get an analysis of the user feedback. All of that can be managed from a single place.
● Google Alert: Google Alert is a pretty simple tool that you can use for online reputation management. What this application does is send you a notification every time a mention of your brand is made. Google Alert is just the tool to keep you updated with the latest review someone posts about your brand.
Benefits of Online Reputation Management
Online reputation management might seem like an expense but in the long run, it can benefit your brand a great deal. Here are some of the benefits of going for online reputation management:
When a new customer looks for your brand, his decision can be greatly influenced by the reputation your brand holds in the market. Apple products can be an ideal example of this. Even people who have not used iPhones before generally rely on their performance. This is the brand reputation of Apple that ensures that the product is enjoying great demand among people. With online reputation management, you can achieve the same with your brand.
To build a brand image, customer feedback is very important. If a brand is highly popular among customers, it can work wonders on its own. With online reputation management, you can monitor and manage the image your brand is making across the platform and work towards making it better.
A Source of Improvement
There is a lot to take from the negative feedback. They give you insight regarding what is lacking in your brand which you should immediately work upon. Take them as constructive criticism and try to address the issue as early as you can. Once your customer starts to get satisfied with the products and services, there is nothing that can stop your business from reaching its full potential.
With all said and done about online reputation management, it is important that businesses start seeing it as one of the most important aspects of a brand. A brand can outshine others simply because its reputation in the market is top-notch. Hence, online reputation management is something you as an online merchant should always keep in mind to improve your sales in the future.
Also Read: 7 Best Brand Management Software In 2021