Online reputation. Why it is important and how to take care of it
In recent years, the way and the channels in which consumers relate to brands has evolved significantly due to digitalisation. The fact that we have immediate access to a large number of third-party opinions has changed the so-called customer journey and knowing the opinions of our peers has become a decisive factor in the purchasing decision.
This gives rise to what is known as online reputation and is a vital element of digital marketing. Do you want to know more about it? Read on!
What is online reputation?
Basically, it could be said that online reputation is the prestige or esteem that a personal or corporate brand has on the internet. This perception on the part of the user or consumer is created through the expression of various opinions about the brand.
All actions, comments, products and everything related to a brand will influence the reputation and, consequently, the brand image generated in users.
But is online reputation the same as brand image? It should be noted that these two terms are closely linked, but they are not strictly the same thing. Brand image is the perception that consumers have of the brand's identity. Therefore, all actions taken to benefit, or not, our online reputation will have a direct impact on our brand image.
Why is online reputation so important?
According to statistics from Statuslab, 94% of consumers say that positive online reviews they read about a company make them more likely to want to buy its products or services. Therefore, having an online presence and creating and enhancing a good reputation is essential for our business to function properly.
In this context, we can say that a good reputation equals good publicity. In other words, if our customers have a positive perception of our services or products, this perception will influence the communication they have with other potential customers about our company or business.
We should also highlight the importance of online reputation in SEO strategies. It is clear to search engines that if your company's online reputation is good, they will reward you.
How to avoid a reputation crisis?
An online reputation crisis can appear at the least expected moment. It can be caused by an unfortunate comment, a bad decision or any other circumstance in which content is generated and disseminated about our company that damages the image that customers have of us.
One of the main problems caused by a reputation crisis is that we usually have very little time to react and act. This is because the speed with which a message or comment is disseminated is often extraordinary.
It is therefore important to know what to do when we receive a bad review that could lead to a crisis. Above all, it is advisable to design an action plan that anticipates different scenarios (negative comments, false news, misinterpreted messages).
It is also important to take preventive action. One of the best ways to avoid a potential reputation crisis is by constantly monitoring comments and news about your company.
6 elements for building a good online reputation:
Monitoring. It is necessary to constantly monitor all interactions and opinions about your company, which will allow you to listen and attend to your customers' needs and discover the most valued aspects of your product, service or brand.
Honesty and transparency. It is important to accept the mistakes that are made and to use the comments and feedback we receive to continue to improve..
Customer service. For better or worse, customer service should be effective and personalised, because good customer service is a must. It is not only important to address negative reviews or comments, but also opinions that express doubts about your brand or product. In this way, more people will feel connected to the brand, as they can trust that there will always be someone willing to solve their doubts and help them.
Response time and channels. It is important to provide direct communication channels. In addition, we must be quick to respond to customers and resolve their queries.
Negative comments. Dealing with negative feedback in an empathetic way will help you to keep improving every day and will build the trust that can exist between your customers and your company.
Customer outreach. It is advisable, if not essential, to provide direct communication channels to our customers. For this, social networks or some Google tools are very useful, such as Google My Business, where users can ask questions and leave reviews, or Google Forms, a tool through which dynamic forms can be created for users to leave their feedback. Of course, it is also very useful for the e-commerce itself to have a section where users can fill in forms with their doubts and questions.