My Business Doesn’t Operate or Sell Online: Why Do I Need Reputation Management?

Written on:January 15, 2014
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Unfortunately, this view is common amongst many traditional business-owners…

QuestionSphere…Since they don’t see themselves as existing in the online-world, they see no reason to worry about online reputation and commentary.

However, this is a completely inaccurate view of selling a product or service in today’s internet-access economy.

Customers today are intimately connected through multiple online and social avenues, and they have fast & easy access to a vast array of information (both correct and incorrect!) that they’ll use to make their purchasing decision. Consider these astonishing statistics:

  • 55% of internet users look at other people’s reviews.
  • 82% of internet users trust customer reviews over ‘expert’ reviews
  • 50% of ALL internet users over the age of 18 have left a review online
  • 78% of internet users believe reviews are the most credible form of advertising
  • Customers are actually willing to pay more to companies that have excellent reviews

Most business owners are totally amazed to see how often they’re searched for on Google – purely for basic details like address, telephone number, directions, opening hours, access, facilities, parking, services provided etc.

When the customer looks for you by name or business type (e.g. ‘Flower Power Southampton’ or ‘southampton florists’,) Google will display what it thinks are the most useful results. These are often their own ‘Google Places for Business’ listings, or other social commentary/review sites. (As the owner you can claim your Google Places listing for free, and exercise considerable control over it. In addition they have their own reviews section in pride of place.)

What does it say about your business if the front-page of Google contains negative commentary; true or otherwise?

  • How would that now affect your potential customer’s thought-process?
  • Will they still consider you as a viable option?
  • Or will they now look for other alternatives…
    ones which they hadn’t even thought to consider until they saw that ‘bad’ press?

And if there’s no bad press at present (which is the ideal situation to start with,) then we can start collecting good-press and positive commentary from your current customer-base. This will; 1) shield you against any future issues; 2) raise your profile so you steal customers from other businesses that aren’t looking after their reputation!; 3) over time, increase your positive search results in Google’s organic listings – so that your ‘rankings’ may improve as a side-effect.

The Dramatically Changing Business Landscape…

Understand that your ‘reputation’ no longer functions in isolation, as it used to. That traditional view has been completely turned on its head, (as indeed has the world-stage of journalism, news and topical culture,) by the presence of an inclusive and socially-sharing internet revolution. Your online reputation IS your offline reputation now; they are one and the same. Everyone has fast, free and easy access to a mountain of information, and you can guarantee that they’ll use it to make any purchasing decision now; whether it’s correct or not! Think about that for a second; a completely incorrect and biased comment can affect the long-term success of your business – and certainly will, if it exists in isolation without other positive commentary to balance it out.

All marketing has now become a ‘two-way exchange’; reviews & online commentary are exploding in popularity and usage every single day – whether we like it or not. Just look at Amazon, eBay, Facebook & Twitter as world-class examples. Customer ranking & reviews, along with social commentary and ratings, are at an all-time high – and growing consistently… And it’ll never, ever go back to the way it was.

Consider honestly: When was the last time you bought a service or product (big or small) before ‘researching’ online? And when was the last time you bought something that had a low rating/review? We’re all massively influenced by social commentary, customer feedback and reviews now; it’s basic human nature.

This has already happened; it’s not something to start planning for the future… It’s here now. The only real question is: How prepared is YOUR business to deal with it.

Check-out our powerful (and affordable) Reputation Management service : feedback.zone/info

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