“Why are people saying bad things about my business online?”
“Why should I respond to a negative review?”
“I don’t have the time to deal with online reviews. My customers will see why we are so great in person.”

If you have found yourself saying something along these lines recently, you are not alone. As a business owner, the last thing you want to deal with is a negative review from a disgruntled customer, whom you know has gotten it all wrong. We already know that Yelp ratings can have a huge affect on your potential customers, but how can you ease the hassle of dealing with that dreaded reviewer?

The answer: Reputation Management

As surprising as it may seem, even the most successful businesses get some of the worst reviews. It comes with the territory! If you need some reassurance, here are 3 reasons why you need reputation management as part of your business’s online marketing strategy.

1. Your Brand’s Power Has Shifted

When it comes to your business’s marketing message, the voice that truly represents your brand is sounding less like yours and more like your active (and very vocal) customers. This can be frustrating to a lot of business owners.

You may be accustomed to a more traditional and physical marketing approach. Business owners, like yourself, had more control and had the ability to carefully craft the way your customers would visualize your brand. Now, there are hundreds of different avenues for your customers to express their opinions freely. It is important to keep this in mind when considering your reputation online. Without the proper setup and management of your business’s online profiles, you could be missing out on potential business.

2. Effective Responses Build Trust  

Responding to a negative review can be even more valuable than receiving a positive review. Whether your business is review-heavy or not, a single negative comment can make a huge impact on potential customers opinion of you.

You may be asking yourself: What makes a response powerful enough to change the reviewer’s mind? Well, if you had a subpar experience at a business, what would make you change your mind?

Imagine this scenario: You’re hungry and on your way home from work. As you’re driving you happen to pass by a nice, local restaurant that you haven’t noticed before. Steakhouse? Looks great. You get home and decide to do what 95% of Americans do nowadays and look them up online. Their Yelp profile pops up as the first result and you notice that they have a recent 2-star review stating that their service was slow and the food was average. There are 2 ways this could go.

  1. There is no response. You see another review below it that is 3 stars. You decide it’s not worth it, and quickly move on and find a different place to eat.
  2. Right beneath that 2-star review, you notice a response from Ken, the manager. Not only does he genuinely apologize for the less-than-spectacular experience, but he also invites them back and offers to treat the reviewer to an entree of their choice that will “cater more to their taste”. You think: Wow! They really care about their customers. You continue to look at some of the other reviews on their profile and notice that every review (positive and negative) has been responded to in an empathetic and timely manner. Immediately impressed, you call and make a reservation for 8:00PM.

Even though this particular situation is hypothetical, both of these outcomes occur every day! Can you visualize how much of an impact a simple response can have? Reputation management allows you a great opportunity to not only convey a positive image of your company, but also regain trust with your customers and maintain your credibility.

3. Your Time And Effort Should Be Spent Elsewhere

As a business owner, your time is valuable. You have a plethora of tasks to manage on a daily basis to make sure your business runs smoothly. To receive the best SEO results for your business, it is important to keep your profiles optimized. Keeping up with that can be quite a task on it’s own.  Wouldn’t you rather spend your time on your business directly? With the help of a digital marketing agency, you can make sure your brand is always protected and use your time and effort to do what you love to do: make a positive impact on your company.

No matter what industry you are in, you have a reputation online – and people are looking! With the help of reputation management, you can rest assured that your brand’s name will always be protected.

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