Every business owner wants to have the kind of online reputation that help them get noticed and attract new customers because, in this day and age, the kind of online reputation you have can make or break your business. But it’s important that you don’t let the many myths about online reputation management hold you back from reaching your goals.
It’s time to stop believing the myths about reputation management.
Online reputation management seems straightforward enough, but it’s a topic that’s widely misunderstood, particularly by the people who need to understand it most — business owners! A great online reputation can make a world of difference for any small business, but in order to build that kind of online reputation, it’s vitally important that you know the facts about online reputation management.
That’s why, in our previous blog, we separated the myths from the facts by going over five of the most common myths about online reputation management. Keep reading to learn about five more.
Five More Myths About Online Reputation Management.
Myth #6. You should never ask a client to write you a review.
Over the past year and a half, Top Rated Local has been recognizing the top 100 businesses in each state in the U.S., as well as the top five businesses across a variety of industries. We’ve reached out and interviewed the owners of many of these businesses so that we highlight their victories and learn about their path to success.
One of the first questions we ask these business owners is, “What is your secret to such a strong online reputation?” Around half of the business owners we interview proudly tell us that they aren’t afraid to ask for reviews; while, the other half seems to think that asking for a review means that it’s somehow illegitimate. Well, we’re here to tell you that there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for reviews, and it’s actually one of the best ways to ensure that people actually take the time to write you one.
Why there’s nothing wrong with asking for a review.
When you’re asking for a review, you’re not asking for a five-star review or for your client to say certain things in your review. You’re simply asking for feedback so that you can continue to serve your clients to the best of your ability. You’re also asking for your client to share their experience with others so that they can make more informed decisions about what they need.
Myth #7. If you have good customer service, your online reputation will take care of itself.
In this day and age, good customer service goes a long way, and that’s true regardless of the size of your business and regardless of what industry you’re in. However, when it comes to your online reputation, good customer service often falls short.
People expect great service, and oftentimes, it takes a whole lot of time and energy to really wow someone. And even if you are able to make them stop and take notice based on your customer service alone, a lot of people just don’t think about going online to write a review — unless it’s negative of course.
Did you know?
Customers who are unhappy or have had a bad experience are up to three times more likely to write a review on their own than customers who are satisfied or happy. It’s simply in human nature to want to air our grievances.
The bottom line is that you can’t rely on your customer service chops alone if you want a great online reputation. Whether it’s responding to reviews, making sure your information is up to date on review sites or managing your website’s search engine optimization, there are lots of things you can do to make sure you have the kind of online reputation you want.
Myth #8. You can quickly boost your online reputation by posting fake reviews.
If you’re just starting out or you haven’t worked up the courage to ask your customers for reviews, you may be operating under the misconception that you can simply write your own to at least make it look like you have a decent reputation. However, posting fake reviews can do a lot more harm than good, and not only is it a deceitful practice, but believe it or not, it’s also illegal.
In order to help you understand the potential consequences, here’s a quick story:
A few years ago, an undercover operation found that 19 businesses were posting fake reviews on Yelp and Google. These businesses had to pay a $350,000, and if any one of them was caught posting fake reviews again, they’d be permanently banned from registering their business on the site or posting any reviews on it.
As you can see, you risk more than just losing your customers’ trust when you post a bad review; you risk your business’ entire reputation!
Myth #9. People don’t trust online reviews.
It used to be that when you were looking for a plumber or an electrician to hire, your first course of action was probably to ask your friends and neighbors who they’ve worked with. It’s no secret that word of mouth is a very powerful thing, and people are willing to trust the advice of their friends and neighbors more often than not. However, what many people don’t realize is that so many consumers trust online reviews just as much as they trust a personal recommendation — 84 percent of consumers in fact.
If you’ve got a bad review or two, it’s easy to write it off and believe that no one will pay attention to it or put any stock in it, but that simply isn’t true. When someone is looking for a business to work with online, the only way for them to gain any insight into who they are and what kind of service they provide is by reading the reviews, and more and more, people are putting their trust into those reviews.
Don’t make the mistake of believing that your reviews don’t matter or that people don’t believe what is said in them.
Myth #10. The star rating matters more than anything else.
A good average star rating on top review sites can go a long way toward helping you maintain the kind of online reputation you want, but you should know that the star rating only gives you part of the picture. If you’re only looking at the star rating, you’ll miss a lot of valuable feedback that you can use to make your company better and more successful. The star rating can be deceiving.
There was recently a company that got inundated with five-star reviews. Not one of those reviews had a single comment in them. Yes, all of those reviews helped to push the average star rating for the business up, but since they were all added at the same time and contain no information, people who spot them automatically come to the conclusion that they are fake, which can seriously undermine any business’ online reputation.
Getting the facts straight about reputation management is just the first step in the process.
Would you like to build a stronger, more powerful online reputation for your business? If so, you’ve already taken the first step simply by reading this blog series. Now that you know the truth about online reputation management, you have a leg up on your competition, but in order to truly take advantage of that leg up, you need to learn how to manage your online reputation properly, and that’s where we come in.
Top Rated Local was designed to give businesses more control over the pitfalls that can harm their online reputation, like fake reviews and competitor’s reviews, while also giving consumers a clear, unaltered view of what it’s really like to work with the business in question. And while signing your business up with Top Rated Local won’t be the only thing you should do to take ownership of your online reputation, it’s certainly a good place to start. And the best part is that it’s absolutely free to get started.
What are you waiting for? Your online reputation can be in your control, and Top Rated Local can help. Get your business listed for free today to take the first step toward building the kind of online reputation any business owner would envy!