Business is about more than just a product. Chances are if you have a small business, your business is not the only option for your customers. When promoting a competitive business, the brand and reputation of your business depend on customer loyalty. The importance of reviews cannot be undersold. With so many people relying on social media for referrals, one bad review can cost your valuable business customers.
Our experts understand the importance of getting business reviews that promote your business at Outside The Box Design.
When researching a product or business, one of the first things a consumer will do is check online reviews. It is simple to look through the star ratings and determine, based on the reviews of total strangers, whether to buy a product or solicit a business. With the internet just one click away, how does a company manage the credibility of reviews and the impact reviews have on a business’s reputation?
Some reviewers might have never tried your product or ever visited your establishment. Some reviewers may even be competitors seeking to discredit your company for their gain. According to the Journal of Consumer Research, consumers use reviews to follow business branding. A brand is a driving factor for consumers that outweighs the price. This means that consumers are willing to pay more for a product if the business brand is worthwhile to the consumer.
Building a Brand
A business brand is more than your logo. Your company’s brand is the image that the company portrays to consumers and investors. Kevin Lane Keller, a professor at Dartmouth College, published a book called Strategic Brand Management. In his book, Professor Keller states that brand images are composed of four questions:
- Who are you?
- What are you?
- What about you?
- What about you and me?
These questions define your company’s image to its consumers and go deeper to establish communication with the consumer. This communication occurs through listening to your consumers and applying feedback and experiences. This is accomplished through listening to reviews posted by customers.
Online complacency may lead to a damaged company reputation. This may be due to dishonest reviews online, but it may also be due to an unsatisfied customer who took to the internet to vent about a bad experience. Maintaining a good reputation is easier than repairing a lousy reputation, and having a market strategy to watch your online reviews through social media and public review sites will help. Be proactive with the searches and address any negative reviews timely and politely. Consumers look for a company that is trustworthy and reputable.
According to a study done by Reportlinker.com, up to 78% of American consumers believe that online reviews are somewhat credible. Up to 56% of American consumers believe that online reviews are just as credible as friends’ referrals. Consumers are most likely to use a search engine such as Google to check a company’s review. Consumers also reported a 50% likelihood of writing a review.
Managing reviews includes the need to get good reviews. Reportlinker.com also showed that consumers believe that a generic number of reviews is necessary for business brand assurance. If less than thirty people provide a review, the consumer may pass on the business due to the lack of review.
Tips for proactive review management include:
- Proactively searching social media sources and search engines
- Promoting and soliciting reviews from consumers
- Responding to every review
- Maintaining a polite and professional online tone
- Monitoring Yelp for reviews
Online reviews are essential to the reputation and image of your business. Managing your online reviews will save your company from a poor reputation due to unaddressed or incorrect online reviews. It will also help you keep your company’s good name and loyal customer base.
To learn more about managing online reviews, call the experts at Outside the Box Design at (860) 375-0297, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Our professionals are available to help you meet your digital marketing needs.