Reputation Management: Why You Need to Keep a More Proactive Watch Over Your Most Valuable Asset
As a business person you maybe have an idea about the importance of working on your brand. So you do the odd check here and there, or the barest minimum to ensure that people don’t think the worst of your business.
But according to these stats, your brand reputation demands a lot more attention than you may have thought:
The Importance of Reputation Management: Facts and Figures
According to a study, a whopping 74% of people now consult Yelp or a similar service when looking for a business or service provider—even if they plan on doing business exclusively offline.
Another study revealed that 97% of consumers report checking for online reviews about local businesses on a regular basis before deciding whether or not they want to do business.
Another study by the World Economic Forum showed that, generally, more than 25% of a company’s market share value could be tied back directly to its reputation and popular perception of the company.
An incredible 86% of people say that are willing to pay more for services if they were guaranteed they to be coming from a company with higher ratings and a larger number of positive reviews.
These statistics show that reputation management can no longer be considered an afterthought aimed at controlling word-of-mouth. These studies show that even if people get to discover your business on their own, they are likely to shy away from doing business with you if they discover that you have a poor reputation.
The most arresting statistic of all is the fact that 50% of business owners report having found incorrect information in their business listings. This is not only has the potential of harming your reputation and consequently your bottom line, but is also completely avoidable
Getting a Grip on Your Reputation
By this point you should understand that reputation management is not a one-off you can be done with and never have to think about again. You will need to regularly check in online to learn what people are saying about your business, what information is getting posted about your business, and quickly correcting course whenever there is need.
Other steps you can take in brand reputation management include sending follow up surveys to see what you did properly and, more importantly, what mistakes you made. If someone sends you an email with a legitimate issue, be sure to follow-up on that issue within 24 hours.
Avoid the temptation to resort to fake reviews for you or against your competitor; the cons far outweigh any gains. And this includes, offering gifts for good reviews. If you end up being caught, as will likely be the case, there is no telling what level of damage your brand will sustain.
Because reputation management is ongoing, many brands hire employees exclusively for this end. And this is a necessary expense given that your reputation is arguably the most important asset your business has.