Have you ever sat on the telephone talking to your significant other trying to decide what to do and where to go on a Friday night? Once you decide on one particular idea the next step is to do a search online, either to find a venue or to look for Reviews. Once you’re settled on a spot to dine, you look to reviews to give you the inside scoop on what people think about the food, atmosphere, service etc. What happens when the Reviews are poor, say 2 out of 5, the chances are you are not going to visit that restaurant and you will continue your search in the same manner. Now I recognize that all entrepreneurs aren’t involved in the restaurant or food industry, however don’t for a second believe that there aren’t reviews online that can’t affect you. Today, reviews can affect all walks of business and can in fact affect your company’s revenue directly or indirectly. From Realtors and Insurance Agents to Repair shops and Doctors to name only a few. To understand that Consumers make purchase decisions based on reviews today is to understand Reputation Management. Reputation Management or as it is now call ORM, Online Reputation Management is the practice of shaping or in some cases re-shaping the public’s perception of a business. Let’s say your business is 10 years old and has had some great successes with sales and your employees all love you. That’s great and a testament to your successes and hard work.
Let’s add however, that unfortunately your customer service is not great and a handful of your past customers have voiced their unhappy opinion of your business online, how would you deal with it? Believe me when I say, you need to deal with it. Long gone are the days when you could rely on current clients to make up for lost business, every single client, large or small is important to your continued success and here’s why, everyone can see how they feel about you. You next potential client doesn’t know about your great work or how you go the extra mile for your clients. They don’t know how great you are to your staff and how happy they are you’re they’re boss. Frankly and as harsh as this may sound, they don’t care, you’re reviews say otherwise. Reputation Management is an ongoing process of meeting with your clients online and developing your relationship in the view of the public. Good or bad, you need to face up to it. You also need to ensure that you monitor and are active on Social Media platforms where your clients may post reviews of your business. Be there and have a voice and let it be heard, your client’s expect it.
Article by: C. Thompson, VP Sales and Business Development, DigiHype Media Inc.