In years gone by a reputation was made or lost by customers telling their friends, neighbors and colleagues about your business – also called word-of-mouth. Today that is a totally different story. Your reputation is online and searchable in seconds to anyone that cares to look. We call these reviews and we have all seen them on Amazon, Yelp, Tripadvisor and many other websites.
If you get a bad review this can dramatically affect your business, this is where a corporate reputation management consultant needs to step in.
As the new economy takes hold, business practices need to change, modify and morph. When once you had a customer telling their friends about you, now a customer tells the world. Are you prepared to process both good and bad reviews in the correct manner? Responding to a negative review the wrong way will hurt your business far more than leaving the review alone. If you honestly think a general PR person can solve your problem today you are still thinking like its the 1980’s. Bad reviews require the expertise of a reputation management consultant with knowledge of online reputation repair and mitigation.
The goals in online reputation management is to constantly monitor reviews, social signal and take action fast when a negative or non flattering review or comment is made. Find out what prompted this negative review, maybe it was poor customer service, defective product or a grumpy member of staff what ever it was find out and fix the problem fast. If you honestly try to fix the customers problem many neutral or negative reviews can become a positive review.
We use many specialist online reputation management tools that monitor your corporate reputation on a daily basis. We look at review sites, social media indicators on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and also look at sentiment – how was the review or comment made, many a time it can be a false positive. Regardless of what we see each and every review, comment and indication is looked at by an analyst to determine the proper course of action.
Social media keeps growing each day but should a company participate in social media or not… that is the question. The nature of social media communication is fast and unrelenting so companies must have a strong communication strategy to respond when things go wrong. Not if they go wrong but when they go wrong and it will.
This includes understanding why your company participates on a specific social network, identifying who and where your customers are online, and tailoring an action plan for when things go wrong.
Does your reputation affect your bottom line financially? According to Cornell University a hotel with too few reviews or low ratings in the reviews can dramatically affect income.
With regard to online reviews, TripAdvisor continues to play an increasing role in the eyes of consumers, and with its marketing options this site has the potential to affect hotel performance as it acts as a portal to brand sites. More generally, OTA reviews, their quality and numbers, lead to increased conversion rates and improved pricing power…
The general consensus is even a poor review against a large quantity of positive reviews will have a lesser effect. Also in the study it found that the more reviews the more business in hotel room booking the hotel received. This would also hold true for local businesses, the more reviews the better.
We think we are pretty darn good at protecting your corporate reputation. Give us a call and let’s discuss the problem you’re having, we can discuss a how are are going to fix your online reputation, look at pro-active reputation solutions and how together we can repair your reputation online. Our reputation management pricing does vary from a monthly monitoring service through to a CODE 3 just do it and make it better.
Source: “The Impact of Social Media on Lodging Performance.” Chris K. Anderson, The Center for Hospitality Research. Cornell University. November 2012.