Managing your online reputation in this era is a necessity. It’s your online marketing’s PR, and one bad review has the potential to make or break your company, especially if you can’t control the damage.
Your online reputation is what sets you apart from your competition, and this is true for both large, public-listed companies and the small businesses being set up in people’s dorm rooms. Thankfully with digital advancements, there is software that can do the managing part for you. For example, take a look at the reputation management software from Broadly.
Throughout time, many companies and small business have gone through bad patches (and some even went down under) from bad reviews. A classic example would be SeaWorld that fared horribly after CNN’s “Blackfish” was released.
This was exacerbated with the power of social media that allows users to spread information and awareness campaigns with just a tap of the screen.
The numbers don’t lie
When everything is just a search away, people are inclined to read through reviews about any company before using their services or products. In fact, a study showed that before being able to trust a local business, consumers would read an average of 10 reviews.
Furthermore, 57% of these consumers will only use a business that has 4 or more stars.
We can see that the millennials play a big part in skimming through online reviews. Out of the 86% of consumers who read reviews for local business, 95% of them are between 18-34 years old.
Second chances from bad reviews
If you’ve just googled your business and found some disheartening comments, that’s normal. This is your chance to take responsibility for your mistakes, even if it seems like you weren’t at fault.
Being able to acknowledge your mistakes, apologize, and offer to make it right to the customer shows that your business revolves around them and is usually enough for them to give your business a second chance.
If you’re asking, “why would it matter if there are only one or two bad reviews?”
As it turns out, 89% of consumers read your responses to these reviews. I, for one, would like to do business with a responsible and empathetic company. Take advantage of that.
Bad reviews can be intended to hurt your business
If you feel like someone out there is claiming something that isn’t true just to hurt you, you have the rights to take legal action.
But you will need to understand the fine line between an opinion and a claim. You can’t do much if someone says the décor of your restaurant is ugly, but “Eating here made me sick” can really harm your business, and keep in mind that some people are willing to lie and cheat so that you sink. Pay extra attention to these serious claims.
A story the broke the news was when a wedding photographer, Andrea Polito won a $1M defamation lawsuit against an unhappy couple that launched a social media campaign against her.