Reputational Marketing, Part 1: Introduction

Updated: Mar 28, 2019

There are couple of basic methods to win virtually any client. Whether you want to retain an old customer or would like to gain a new one, you can follow these simple instructions to monitor your reputation and make steps for improvement.

Let's first of all look into the mechanism of the process and imagine how we all write reviews on such platforms like Yelp or Google. In most situations the trigger for such an action is either a very positive or an utterly negative experience: when you are so furious about the unfair treatment and unhappy to the extent that entire universe should know about it and avoid the place at all costs (so that maybe.. hopefully.. they go bankrupt). Did you recognize yourself? Most likely, I bet, you said "yes".

So, how would you work with a person who received a 5-star experience and how to make up for someone's disappointment?

1. Constant Reviews Monitoring

We live in a world where online reputation can be strongest asset or a massive liability. Negative reviews and lack of stars can be costly for your business as 50-70% of potential clients would instantly go elsewhere.

Key Statistics

  • 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses (including 95% of people aged 18-34)

  • Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business

  • 40% of consumers only take into account reviews written within the past 2 weeks – up from 18% last year

  • 57% of consumers will only use a business if it has 4 or more stars

  • 80% of 18-34 year olds have written online reviews – compared to just 41% of consumers over 55

  • 91% of 18-34 year old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations

  • 89% of consumers read businesses' responses to reviews

What you should do:

- Monitor and analyze your online footprint

You should stay in the know of what people are talking about you on social media, review platforms, blog posts, etc. Not only that would allow you to correct the issues your business might be having, but to demonstrate others you taking their opinion seriously.

2. Address issues in a timely manner

First of all, users view most recent reviews and majority don't go past the first page, keep that in mind and use it to your advantage.

Second, you don't want to show up as a business that does not care, hence you should address issues in a timely manner, demonstrating people how much you value them and their business and prioritize customer service.

Third, let's face it, when someone is posting something on any of these platforms most likely they are ready for a dialogue and here you have a chance to turn the situation around: by offering better service, discount, apologizing or, surprisingly, simply addressing the issue. The best practice is to respond within 24 hours. According to Yelp’s Data Science team, Yelp users are 33% more likely to upgrade their review if the business responds with a personalized message within a day.

3. Respond to both positive and negative feedback

Bottom line: every review is important.

Positive reviews are something to be celebrated, acknowledged and appreciated. It is also a great instrument to become closer with your customers and build loyalty.

4. Respond to the reviews with positive attitude

This is not the place to start fighting (because you will never win) and try to downplay customer's experience. Ideally, you should accept comments, apologize / or sympathize and offer a solution or take the conversation offline.

If you feel like doing so, provide your arguments. However, do not lose your cool and do not try to defend your business. You have to remain positive, professional and open-minded. Remember: other people will see your review and this might damage your reputation and sink you even further. If you feel like arguing, first of all take a minute to breathe and then take the conversation offline.

5. Follow-ups

Ask your customers how they enjoy their purchase or if they liked a visit to your restaurant and what could be done better. This way you are gathering very important insights about your business and will see how others perceive you. Also, that would allow you to solve any issues in-house without taking them online!

More to read: 20 Online Reputation Statistics That Every Business Owner Needs To Know.

Copyright © 2019 Happy Marketing America

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