Who doesn’t want a successful business with a loyal customer base?
Attracting and retaining customers is the most important marketing goal for small businesses in 2019. Reputation management is an excellent skill small business should work on to achieve these marketing goals.
After the fraudulent practices of corporations like Enron surfaced, businesses of all sorts and sizes have become enlightened about the importance of maintaining a good reputation.
After the penetration of the internet and the prevalence of smart devices, most of the people have shifted towards digital channels to begin a buying cycle. They visit a company’s website, read online reviews, and engage on social media platforms which shape their perception about a business. Hence, it becomes important for businesses to invest in reputation management.
Small businesses particularly need to focus on how the general public perceive them because they are more prone to lose customers even with a single defamatory remark or a bad review posted by an unknown person across a platform.
If you own a small business and want to take it forward, we have compiled a few reputation management tips that will help you generate more revenue and take the lead in the current competitive landscape.
1. Create a corporate blog that rocks
The existence of a corporate blog can do wonders for the reputation of a business. Small businesses that pay attention to blogging see about 126% more growth in leads. Customers also rely on corporate blogs to form their opinions about brands.
An effective blogging strategy will help businesses rank higher in search engine results. With a corporate blog, there are significant opportunities to communicate their expertise and connect with the audience.
2. Create engaging content
Quality content is a vital ingredient for any reputation management strategy. The online behavior of a business needs to communicate a commitment to potential customers. Fresh and engaging content reflects positively on a brand’s reputation while ill content reflects poorly.
Not only is rich content received more positively by the audience, but it is also useful for search engine optimization. A business that curates effective content can establish itself as an authoritative brand in the market. The bottom line is that for a company to grow reputable, it needs to invest in quality content production.
3. Enhance your digital marketing skills
Today, customers mostly rely on their technologies to make their buying decisions. According to the online market research portal Statista, there are around 2.77 billion social media users globally, and these numbers will soar up to 3.02 billion by 2021.
Digital marketing aims to get your brand in front of these billions of users in a positive light. Create content and post it on the platforms where your potential customers are hanging out. Blogs, podcasts, newsletters, and magazines help engage the thousands and millions of prospects that are wandering around social media platforms every day.
Personalized email marketing is also an effective way to grab the attention of prospects. You get to inform users of the latest news and updates, announce offers, and share tips through personalized communication. Moreover, it projects you as someone who takes business seriously and shows care for customers. This makes email marketing one of the most versatile and important tools for the growth of small businesses.
4. Get positive online reviews
A recent study suggests that online reviews influence 67 percent of consumers’ purchasing decisions. The stats are valid for all businesses, regardless of the industry.
So, whether it is a law firm, digital marketing agency or an online coaching system, positive reviews can help them garner more traffic and increase conversions. A healthcare organization can also benefit significantly from positive online reviews. Research shows that 80 percent of patients choose a new healthcare provider based on online reviews.
Make sure you have a review section on your website where users can provide feedback and review your services. Carefully follow this section and address the issues raised by the customers.
Encourage them to leave suggestions and thank those who leave positive reviews. This can be an effective way to turn a consumer into a loyal customer.
Here is a very useful article on how a digital agency can utilize some simple tips to ensure they’re not on the wrong spectrum of customer reviews.
5. Keep track of online comments and reviews
A business that isn’t keeping track of online comments and reviews is losing out on many helpful insights. Monitoring the feedback that your business receives from customers is essential. While positive reviews will add to your reputability, negative reviews will help you improve your services.
Being aware of the comments and reviews is essential at many different levels. Businesses can productively use negative feedback to increase customer satisfaction. A small business should be mindful of its online reputation.
6. Be responsive
A small business must be responsive online. No company wants to be forgotten, but a company that doesn’t respond deserves it. Negative comments that are left unaddressed impact the brand’s reputation. No matter what the circumstances are, understanding the customer and showing positive regard is essential.
If you want to increase customer loyalty, you need to make the customers feel important. Responding to positive reviews and comments is a great way to show appreciation to customers. Thank them wherever recognition is due. After all, replying to customers depict how much you care for them.
Google confirms that responding to reviews about your business improves your local SEO:
7. Refrain from arguments
Never get into arguments with customers. Respond nevertheless. The public eye scrutinizes businesses, and therefore, an argument would prove to be detrimental for your business. About one in twelve businesses end up failing for one reason or the other, so every small business should be vigilant.
If you ever come across an absurd review or comment, do not respond aggressively. Being reasonable is of utmost importance in these situations.
Pleasing every customer is impossible but being level-headed isn’t. Professional responses are the way to go when you face a provoking comment. Try to diffuse the situation and reconcile with the customer even if they seem unreasonable. Being professional is necessary to maintain an excellent reputation.
8. Take ownership and apologize when needed
Businesses do make mistakes. If you messed up with your service, don’t be afraid to own up for the error and apologize. Being authentic and transparent is useful in such situations.
Try to appease the customer by giving a free product or service to make up for the mistake. If a business genuinely responds to problems, they may end up creating more loyal customers.
The way a business composes itself online is crucial for its reputation. Owning mistakes and making amends thereof is an easy tip any company can follow.
9. Revise the customer service policies
Improving customer services prove to be beneficial for small businesses. Making an effort to improve customer satisfaction by offering better facilities is excellent.
The aim here is to reduce the complaints of the clients by working on the performance of the business. Revising customer service policies by incorporating feedback is a good idea.
Increasing awareness in employees about reputation management will help to enhance customer satisfaction.
In general, every employee should know how to respond professionally to any crisis that is faced online. The more a business strives to improve its reputation, the more likely it is that they will succeed.