Businesses that want to influence consumers should focus on building a solid online reputation management (ORM) strategy. While an excellent business reputation is one of a company’s core success elements, consistent negative customer feedback can be its downfall.
What Is ORM?
Negative reviews are unavoidable since you can’t please everybody, but they are manageable. Online reputation management (ORM) refers to your company’s strategy to manage negative customer feedback, control negative publicity, build a positive brand image and portray your brand in the best possible light. Online reputation management companies can help your business get back on track if you’re having trouble with negative word of mouth online.
Why Focus on ORM?
An effective online reputation management strategy offers several benefits:
- Creates new opportunities for your business
- Improves brand awareness
- Boosts conversion rates
- Improves site ranking
- Builds relationships of trust with your clients
ORM also has a powerful impact on your revenue growth. Every Yelp star rating your business gains can increase your revenue by as much as 9% (Harvard Business School, 2016).
Your Business May Already Be Suffering From ORM Problems
Unfortunately, some businesses take ORM for granted and suffer from loss of business. In some cases, companies may already have a business crisis and may not even be aware of it.
In the discussion below, you will learn:
- What is ORM and its impact on your business
- The impact of negative customer feedback on sales
- The signs you need help with your online reputation
- The value of online reputation analysis
- How reputation management agencies can help you repair reputational damage
10 Signs Your Brand Needs Help With Online Reputation Management
Earlier, we answered the question “what is ORM” and its value to your business. However, it is important to note that some signs of reputational damage go unnoticed. If your company lacks the tools for online reputation management, your brand may experience negative publicity and experience a loss of sales.
You can overcome this type of business crisis with an effective reputation management strategy and boost your brand image. Here are some crucial signs that your company is already experiencing a loss of business due to issues with poor ORM strategy:
1. Poor Sales Performance and a Loss of Business Revenue
One of the signs of reputational damage is loss of business. It requires careful online reputation analysis before you can determine if bad reviews are impacting your business and possibly causing loss of sales. Statistics show that 92% of consumers are less likely to do business with a company that has many negative reviews and thus reduce sales.
To help you establish the correlation between a loss of sales and bad reviews, you will need the help of reliable reputation management companies. They can equip your business with review monitoring tools and determine if poor ORM has triggered a business crisis and lost revenue.
2. Difficulty Hiring or Retaining Talented Professionals
Negative publicity can also cause problems when trying to attract a talented workforce. Professionals looking to forge a career will give it their due diligence and research your business before responding to job ads. If applicants discover too many negative reviews about your company, they may reject job offers.
3. Too Many Bad Reviews
Getting a lot of negative reviews on social media, online review sites and other platforms indicates that your company requires help from online reputation management companies. Expect that 12.8% of your customers with a negative experience will post a review about your business and your products. Since 85% of consumers choose a company based on trust factors, the increased negative feedback will have a powerful impact on conversion.
4. Not Getting Enough Reviews
Not getting enough reviews can mean your customers aren’t satisfied with your products or services. When you don’t generate enough reviews, it will be difficult for your brand to build customer trust. Furthermore, it’s not enough to encourage customers to leave you a review.
“A small to medium enterprise needs an average of 40 reviews to help with online reputation analysis and management,” said Tim Clarke, Rize Reviews’ Senior Reputation Manager. However, at least 10 of those reviews must be recent to help build a solid brand reputation. This makes a solid review generation strategy crucial to businesses.
5. Having Lower Star Ratings
Businesses should consider their star ratings as their social credit score. Getting a low star rating on any review platform can directly impact your sales. When a business gets a one-star rating, expect sales to drop by 22%. In addition, 57% of consumers won’t buy from companies with a rating of fewer than four stars. Companies should work on their online reputation management strategy in these situations to improve their overall star ratings.
6. Inability To Respond to Customers Online
If your team feels overwhelmed by the number of online customer feedback, it can be a sign that your business needs help with ORM. Clarke said further that responding to at least one out of every four reviews can significantly impact your annual revenue. With that increase in response rates, your business can boost revenues by 35% each year. Reputation management agencies can help you boost response rates and increase returns.
When a business responds to customer reviews, other consumers will see that you are more responsive to feedback. Further, it can also boost your Google ratings. This activity can also increase review generation by 12% (TripAdvisor, 2018).
It is also important to note that businesses should respond promptly to customer reviews. An appropriate response time would be around 24 hours, especially if it is a negative review. Over 53% of consumers expect companies to respond to customer reviews. Furthermore, 45% of customers do business with more responsive companies.
7. Lower Search Engine Ranking
Negative word of mouth can have an impact on your search ranking. Two ranking factors that Google uses are quality content and link building. Reviews are considered crucial local search ranking factors (Moz, 2017). They provide a valuable and original source of information and can be linked to your product or service page. In addition, statistics show that 79% of consumers’ purchasing decisions are highly impacted by user-generated content (Oberlo, 2022).
It is important to note that negative feedback may also reflect other facets of a customer’s experience. For instance, customers can include these factors in their reviews if your site is challenging to navigate or not optimized for mobile devices. In addition, poor site performance also contributes to higher bounce rates, which can also bring down your search rankings.
8. Social Media Engagement Is Lacking
Social media today is essential if your brand wants to reach out to your target audience, grow your brand, increase brand awareness and gain valuable market insights.
Statistics show that 83% of Instagram users discover new brands through the platform. Increased engagement on social media can also establish your thought leadership and increase consumer trust by as much as 61% (Edelman Trust Barometer, 2021). If your brand lacks social media engagement, you’re missing out on these benefits, and it may be a sign that you need help with your online reputation.
9. Inconsistent Branding
Inconsistent brand messaging across various online platforms can confuse and frustrate potential customers. Customers will notice that your brand message needs to be consistent with your business goals and values. Search engines can also interpret inconsistent branding messages as unreliable content, impacting rankings.
10. Competitors Are Succeeding and Outranking You
When competitors are getting more positive ratings than you, it indicates that you need help formulating an effective ORM strategy. A seasoned online reputation management company can help you better monitor and respond to online reviews.
These agencies can also provide the following benefits:
- Review Monitoring: They can equip your business with the latest review monitoring software to improve your response rate.
- Review Generation: Reputation management agencies can help you formulate a practical approach to encourage your best customers to leave reviews online.
- Online Reputation Repair: Specialists can provide much-needed guidance, helping you overcome a reputation crisis and rebuild your brand authority.
Work With Seasoned Online Reputation Experts
Rize Reviews is a seasoned reputation management agency with a proven track record of helping businesses boost their online reputation. We use state-of-the-art tools and strategies to help you resolve and manage a business reputation crisis. Contact our specialists today for a consultation.