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Online Reputation Management 101

Updated: Jun 24, 2021

As consumers, we want to make sure that we are getting the best product at the best price with the best quality. 

Thanks to the rapid evolution of technology, information like this are at our fingertips through online ratings and reviews. These can be found everywhere, from Yelp to Google and Facebook. This is where managing your online reputation becomes crucial.

What does this all mean for your business? It shows that now, it’s more important than ever to make sure your business has a good reputation. You want to ensure customers have the best experience with your product or service because others will be able to see what they thought of your business easily online. Here is a quick guide on how to manage your business’s online reputation.

How Important Are Online Reviews?

Before we dive into maintaining an excellent online reputation, just how important are online reviews? Research shows that 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews. That is a significant number of people who walk through the virtual front door of your business before they decide to commit to a visit, and a lot of potentials to immediately attract or deter a prospective customer.

Good reviews inspire a sense of trust, loyalty, and reliability, while bad reviews can tarnish your reputation. In general, reviews are powerful because a customer would take time to review a business, be it good or bad, says a lot about their experience with your business.

Building Your Reputation With Good Reviews

If you want to get good reviews, the first step is to start tracking your reviews. Use an automated review tool to help you track and manage your online reputation. Ensure you’re also encouraging customers to review your business by giving them an incentive to do so. And once they leave a good review, don’t forget to thank them! According to SearchReputation.Net, “Sincerely thanking a customer who has left a positive review can go a long way in boosting a business’ reputation, making them seem humble and appreciative for their relationships with their customers.” This back and forth communication serves as a way to boost online reputation.

Tracking all your reviews using an automated tool is essential, even with bad reviews. You can use these as a way to improve your customer service and marketing strategy. Also, don’t be afraid to engage with these types of reviews. According to Womply, “ a study by Cornell University professors found evidence that sales go up each time you respond to a review and a one-star improvement in online rating increases revenue by 39%!”

How To Handle Online Criticism

None of us are perfect, so some criticism is to be expected. When responding to negative reviews, do not blame the reviewer. Instead, admit fault and offer a solution. Solution-based answers will help you seem more personable and professional, focused on customer satisfaction. Womply also reports that “negative reviews are a big deal for small businesses and need to be addressed. In fact, one negative review could cost you 30 customers!”