Building a business means building a reputation; you are offering your customers a solution to their problems. But at the same time, you need to make sure your prospects trust you enough to buy from you. How do you do that? By building up a solid online reputation through ORM.
What Is Online Reputation Management (ORM)?
ORM, also known as Online Reputation Management, is a set of strategies used to influence and shape the public perception of your brand online. Your brand reputation is what makes your audience trust you.
With a good reputation, you can make a good impression on your prospects, leading them to test out your services or products. This is crucial in today’s market with so many brands to compete with; your best chance at making it to the top is focusing on your reputation management.
Why Does It Matter?
Reputation management will help in your digital success. Most customers tend to Google a brand before making an investment, and 9 out of 10 customers will look up online reviews before purchasing. Customers visiting your brick-and-mortar business location will also generally look for your ratings and reviews beforehand. These are walk-in customers you don’t want to miss!
If such customers run into one bad review, they may discontinue interacting with your brand; they may also share the negative review with their connections, tarnishing your brand reputation, among others too. Most customers will also only purchase from brands that have authentic reviews in place, so completely hiding reviews altogether will do more harm than good.
ORM will also help you with customer retention; satisfying existing customers is a hassle, and you want to make sure you hang on to every lead. If your brand commits to handling customer service effectively, you will have much higher customer retention.
How Does It Work?
Your ORM strategy will generally consist of the following tactics:
Review Sites Monitoring
First off, you need to be actively monitoring your reviews to detect and handle any negative reviews and promote positive ones. If you host an eCommerce platform like Amazon, eBay, Alibaba or have a GMB profile, you can easily monitor reviews. Moreover, these reviews will help you analyze your brand reputation and areas for improvement.
ORM Strategy Building
The next step will have you developing a strategy to uphold a positive brand reputation. Start with the root of the problem, study why you got a bad review, and how you can fix it.
Your ORM Strategy should also deal with promoting positive reviews, sharing content that showcases your expertise, actively engaging with your customers, and managing customer service.
SEO Reputation Management
People will look for you on search engines before they buy from you or invest in your business; this is why you need to manage your SEO along with your ORM. For this, you need to use keyword-friendly content on your web pages and promote content that showcases you as a market leader, so when people tend to search you up, their first impression is positive!
Positive Review Generation
Always have your customers leave you a review, be it positive or negative. People will always prefer a company with some reviews to none. When getting positive reviews, try not to use paid reviews. Instead, opt for gathering authentic positive customer reviews for your business. Review generation also has ties with your SEO strategies as Google tends to promote more highly rated locations at the top of search results.
Handling Negative Reviews
This is probably the most crucial step. One thing you need to accept as a business owner and as a service provider is that not everyone will be happy with your services, even if your services aren’t bad.
So then, how do you handle negative reviews?
You need to react as fast as possible. It’s best to reach out and respond to such reviewers immediately. Analyze the complaint and apologize, ensure the client you will be solving the issue. The customer may agree to negotiate till you both are on the same page and may even replace their negative review with a positive one!
For larger businesses, that might not be enough. You can instead manage the situation through a press release, have the review flagged if you feel it is biased and unfair; you may even consult with legal offices in this regard. And once again, reach out to the customer and see if you can give them a better experience.