The advent of the internet age has made competition for all businesses a bigger challenge than it ever was before. As customers are no longer constricted by time or distance, they’re able to purchase goods from around the world.
Since it is difficult to compete by offering unique products or lower than average prices, business owners should strive to provide the best customer service, which goes a long way in keeping current customers loyal and attracting new clients.
It’s important to monitor your online reputation to see what is being said about your brand online because 74% of shoppers base their purchasing decisions on positive online reviews. That means that if you have poor reviews about your products or services, you may be losing out on ¾ of your potential sales! Read on to see how you can get started with monitoring your online reputation to help your business succeed!
Set Up Google Alerts
Google offers an incredibly useful tool that all business owners should become familiar with; and the best part is that it is completely free! Instead of dedicating hours of your time on a weekly basis to scouring the web, Google Alerts will email you when your business is mentioned online on websites, blogs, etc.
Setting this up is easy; simply log into or create a Google account and set up words or phrases that you want Google to track. This can include your company’s name or the names of products or services you offer.
Know Where Your Audience “Hangs Out”
Although Google Alerts is a great resource, you can’t rely on it to report 100% of what goes on online. This is why it’s important to know your audience—customers, employees, investors, etc., and learn where they hang out online.
If you have a physical location, such as a restaurant, body shop or hair salon, it’s likely that your customers tend to frequent review sites, such as Yelp.
If you target a younger demographic and/ or offer products or services that are presented well in photos and videos, such as a travel agency or a clothing boutique, your target audience may be found on Instagram.
On the other hand, if you offer professional services, such as bookkeeping or accounting, you may find your company being mentioned on professional sites, such as LinkedIn or Glassdoor. Remember that your employees may also leave reviews about the experience of working at your company, which can influence shoppers!
Verify Your Information is Correct
While the internet offers a multitude of benefits, it also often takes the control out of business owner’s hands. You can’t regulate what a person or a company posts online, and that may lead to wrong information about your business being posted.
Yext is a helpful tool that can help you manage listings on review and location sites, such as Yellow Pages. It automatically reviews these sites and alerts you when a mistake is found or there is no information at all.
This will help you keep your contact information, address, business hours and link to your website current so your customers can always find you.
Monitoring your online reputation is the first step; however, the most important step is the second one. If you notice a bad review or wrong information about your business posted online, do something about it! If a customer had a negative experience shopping on your site or visiting your brick-and-mortar location, reach out to them and attempt to make it right. Showing your online audience that you are invested in your brand’s reputation and committed to providing the best customer service will go a long way in setting you apart from the competition!
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