Reputation management means building, and maintaining, a positive image in the eyes of your customers. Many companies improve their reputation by accruing referrals, reviews, or testimonials from customers. Customer feedback can be a powerful tool to grow your business, and many potential customers trust reviews more than other forms of advertising or promotion.
Why Is Reputation Management Important?
Reputation management is important for both businesses and their customers. It helps shape public perception in ways that impact trust between companies and buyers. By proactively managing their reputation, businesses can build and maintain a positive image.
Here are some of the specific benefits of reputation management:
- Improved credibility with potential customers and clients;
- Increased customer loyalty to brands that deliver a positive experience;
- Mitigated negative feedback and a demonstrated commitment to improving on a customer’s poor experience;
- Enhanced brand value in the eyes of stakeholders or potential investors.
Reputation management helps companies improve their brand image. It also helps customers understand why a specific company might be a good fit for their needs. Businesses use reputation management to demonstrate their commitment to customers and achieve growth over time.
Customer referrals are when a current customer recommends your business to their friends or family members. Referrals can be a powerful tool for building and managing a positive reputation. A referral is often more powerful than traditional marketing, particularly when customers receive referrals from people they trust.
You can use many different types of referrals as part of your reputation management strategy. Word-of-mouth referrals are perhaps the most common referral form. This occurs whenever a satisfied customer tells someone they know about your business. This form of referral is based on personal experience and trust and often helps companies generate new business.
Email referrals occur when companies email customers and ask them to refer people to their business. This can be a great way to reach many new customers.
A social media referral occurs any time a customer recommends your business to others on social media. Customers often use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to discuss the positive, or negative, experiences they had with a business.
Referrals can help companies of all sizes accomplish their goals. Often, companies will set goals to build trust or credibility with new customers. Many referred customers already have a positive impression of the company, because of a positive referral from a friend. This makes referrals a powerful tool for companies looking to improve trust with new consumers.
Referrals can also help businesses improve customer loyalty and keep customers on a regular schedule for services. They help to create a positive feedback loop, where satisfied customers refer new customers who then refer other customers. They also help make marketing easier and provide strong content for any social media or website assets.
Tips and Strategies
Customers are more likely to participate in referrals if they are satisfied with your product. Your business has the best chance to earn referred customers simply by providing a high-quality customer experience.
Here are some strategies to increase customer satisfaction:
- Implement new brand reputation technology;
- Personalize the customer experience with product recommendations and customized promotions;
- Maintain high-quality products and services;
- Offer flexible payment options;
- Provide educational resources to customers not ready to purchase.
Starting a referral program is another effective way to earn referrals. This is a type of program that incentivizes customers to refer other customers. For example, a lawn care service management system might offer customers a discount every time they refer a new customer, recording these discounts and referrals as part of their profile or invoice.
Reviews represent another major reputation management strategy. Companies can collect reviews through social media, email surveys, and even in person. In other cases, customers can leave reviews through review sites like Yelp or Google, or even directly on a business’s website.
There are many different types of customer reviews. Some customers may leave reviews on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. These reviews are typically public and visible to a wide audience. Other customers will leave reviews as direct customer feedback.
Customers often leave reviews through review aggregation websites. Some review websites are generic and allow customers to leave a review for any business. Other review websites, like TripAdvisor, only accept reviews for travel-related vendors or experiences.
Blog posts can be another type of review. This review form is particularly popular in industries like food, travel, and beauty. Bloggers and influencers often write reviews of products or services and share them with their audiences.
Businesses typically have a few goals when requesting customer reviews. They want to identify any brand aspects that customers enjoy. They also want to identify any opportunities to improve their products or services.
Companies that request reviews have a long-term goal of improving their reputation. Over time, positive reviews can help build a positive image and attract new customers. Positive customer reviews can also enhance your company’s online presence. For example, some search engines consider reviews when ranking one company’s website over another.
Tips and Strategies
Customers who have an average experience with a company typically will not leave a review. Most customers who leave a review have a strong positive, or negative, experience with a company. To generate consistently high reviews, it’s important to make your brand memorable for customers.
Customers who have a memorable experience are more likely to leave a review. Consider different strategies to remind customers of your great services. Many companies send appointment reminders before customers are scheduled for a visit. You might choose to send thank-you notes or follow-up emails after a customer purchases from you.
The same technology that improves operations can also help you generate new reviews. For example, technology that optimizes driving routes can result in faster delivery times. This satisfies more customers and creates new opportunities for positive reviews.
Companies will also collect customer testimonials to improve reputation management. A testimonial is a written or recorded statement from a particular customer. The statement explains an experience, usually a positive one, that the customer had with your company. Companies commonly collect testimonials through social media, follow-up phone calls, or from peers.
Your company might choose to collect several different types of testimonials. Many customers leave testimonials on social media to tell others about their experience with a brand. In other cases, companies might collect a particular quote from a customer. They can use this quote in marketing materials, advertising, or on their website.
Peer review testimonials help companies further improve customer awareness and loyalty. These testimonials are left by businesses or industry professionals who have personally interacted with a company. A peer testimonial explains a positive experience that a person or company had with another company. This review is meant to convince other customers to purchase from that company.
Many companies use testimonials and reviews in the same way. Testimonials help build trust among an existing customer base while convincing new customers to give their services a try. They help to enhance your company’s reputation by describing one customer’s positive experience.
Testimonials allow companies to accomplish an additional goal: build a convincing website. Many companies use testimonials on their websites to attract new customers. They highlight past customers’ positive experiences to attract new business.
Tips and Strategies
Testimonials represent powerful tools companies can use to improve their reputation. They help create an internal culture of excellence and support a foundation for future business success.
Here are a few strategies companies should consider when collecting and using customer testimonials:
- Actively solicit feedback from customers who had a positive experience with your company;
- Use testimonials that highlight specific aspects of the customer experience;
- Share testimonials on your website;
- Implement testimonials in flyers, brochures, and other marketing materials;
- Use testimonials to identify areas for improvement.
It’s important to respond quickly to any negative testimonials, particularly if they are left in a public place. Respond to any negative testimonials in a professional, courteous manner. This demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction and shows potential customers that you will improve your operations.