Importance of Online Reputation in Growing Your Local Business

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You might think just because you provide the best products and service, that is enough to maintain your reputation. However, we live in the digital era in which customers call the shots and play an integral role in making or breaking your reputation. Just a bit of discomfort and they take their frustration to social networks, leaving you a 1-star or a 2-star rating that will impact your growth negatively. A bad reputation can kill your business overnight and dilute all the hard work you put into building your brand. But this also means great exposure for businesses when happy customers post shining reviews and positive experiences with your brand on social networks. While positive reviews can help a company grow, negative ones can be quite dangerous. Online reputation management helps businesses monitor what people are saying online in order to build and monitor their brand’s online reputation.

Although reputation is an intangible concept, a healthy reputation has the power to increase your corporate worth and provide a competitive advantage. Your brand can easily achieve sustainable growth if it has a good reputation among its customers. Online reviews posted by your existing customers have the power to make or break your reputation.

Whether you agree or not, potential customers are searching the Internet to see what others are saying about your products and service, and what they find could determine whether or not they will do business with your brand.

According to BrightLocal’s 2017 Local Consumer Review Survey, nearly 97 percent of customers read online reviews; and of that, almost 85 percent trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. In addition, positive reviews have the power to persuade 73 percent of customers to trust a local business. However, 49 percent of customers need at least a 4-star rating before they choose to do business with a brand. Simply put, positive reviews will attract more customers, which means greater profit and growth for your business.

Here are some of the key reasons why online reputation is essential for the growth of your business:

1. Increased Sales: Earning revenue is the main priority for businesses. There is a direct relationship between having a positive brand reputation and experiencing higher sales. When the online reputation of a business is clean, it makes it easier for the team to close a deal with a potential customer. A positive reputation clears the path for customers to feel confident in deciding to purchase your products or services.

2. Increased Credibility: Having positive online reviews on a third-party site can add more credibility to your business than having reviews on your website. Google’s search algorithms include data from local directories and sites such as Google+ and TripAdvisor. Review sites have a significant impact on customer decision-making.

3. Impact on Bottom Line: In addition to increasing sales and enhancing credibility, a positive online reputation impacts your bottom line. Even the smartest customer will be willing to pay a premium price for a product or service with shining reviews. Considering what a revenue hike could do to the bottom line of your business, it makes total sense to focus on improving your online reputation.

4. Better Customers Insights: If you do not encourage reviews from your current customers, there is no way for your potential customers to learn about your brand and products. Through customer reviews, you get to know the good and bad aspects of your service, and this will help you improve customer experience. You will be able to understand the needs of your customers and serve them accordingly.

5. Understand Customer Complaints: You can use online reviews as a tool for identifying customer complaints and improvement areas. Online reviews can give insight into what your customers like and dislike about your products and how you can improve your service to better meet their demands.

It is a known fact that customers prefer to spend money on the brands they trust. One of the best ways to maintain a positive online reputation is to be proactive about customer service and respond quickly to online reviews. Word travels fast on the Internet, and monitoring your online reputation is essential to maintaining a positive brand image.


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