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Managing Your Online Reputation:

Managing Your Online Reputation:

Consumers have the ability to blog, review, and leave valuable opinions online regarding your product and/or service. Each and every review and/or customer experience may be found on the internet with a few clicks – directly advertising your business, name, and product/service. This type of exposure is invaluable and in many cases it's free!

Consumers generally trust and rely on reviews or recommendations as a factor when determining whether or not to purchase a product or service. According to Google's Think Auto study; 85 percent of car shoppers will read an online review while researching their purchase. Another stat published by Cone Communications revealed that a staggering 80 percent of consumers have been influenced and changed their purchasing decision based on a negative online review. This makes it easy to understand why a positive online review is invaluable – but also raises concerns with negative reviews and experiences, which alternatively can be toxic to a business.

So what do you do if you receive a negative review? How do you handle it properly? The first thing is to not remove it. In many cases, you won't be able to anyways. Think of a negative review as an opportunity to showcase your superior customer service skills. You have the ability to respond, address, and rectify the situation publicly. This is a valuable advantage because it demonstrates to your customers that you are genuinely interested and want to improve their experience. By responding a negative comment or review, it proves your reliability as a customer-oriented professional.

You can also be proactive with your online reviews by sending out satisfaction surveys. This approach can rectify any negative situations and fix them before they arrive online. Satisfaction surveys can also increase the amount of positive reviews your business has online. You can customize the survey to prompt customers to leave a review on a number of outlets/channels. This can help your reputation management and can be completely automated.

A business with several online reviews will appear in online search results more often than a business with few to none. Start asking for online reviews from your customers. They are a free, invaluable form of advertising!

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