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Reputation Management: You Snooze, You Lose


As incredible as it may sound, in many ways, a company’s online reputation has become part of its product.  Thus, in today’s marketplace, just as resources are put into product quality control, so, too, do resources need to be put into the company’s online reputation management.


Finding ways to create positive feedback and handle negative feedback, as well as monitoring the general “presence” of the company on the Internet, is what we mean when we say “reputation management”.


What do we mean by “feedback”?

The freedom of the Internet is a mixed blessing for businesses. On the one hand, businesses can use the web to advertise their products and services. Their customers can post supportive comments, leading to further sales. On the other hand, dissatisfied customers and rival businesses (posing as dissatisfied customers) can post negative comments. Some of the comments may be justified, giving the business an opportunity for improvement. Some of the comments may be false, giving the business a headache.


How important is this “reputation management”?
Short answer – pretty important. Longer answer – Here are some of the latest statistics from a recent survey:

  • A 10% increase in the number of people using the Internet to find a local business (2011: slightly over 20% of those surveyed never used the Internet to find a local business; 2013: just 5% never used the Internet)
  • An increasing number of potential customers read online reviews as part of their decision-making process (2012: 76%; 2013: 85%)
  • Fewer reviews are being read before forming an opinion (2012: 35% of potential customers read more than 10 reviews and 52% read 6 reviews or less; 2013: 22% read more than 10 reviews and 67% read 6 reviews or less)
  • Most are reading a few reviews and looking at the overall rating them making their decission.
  • Positive reviews make potential customers trust a business more (2012: 58%; 2013: 73%) and influence them to choose that business over others (2012: 52%; 2013: 65%)


These results indicate that consumers are increasingly turning to the Internet to shop for goods and services; that they are more frequently using online reviews to help them choose between similar goods or services; that they are making their decisions based on less information (reading fewer reviews); and that these reviews have the power to create business-customer trust and are a big factor in which business the consumer will finally choose.


There it is in a nutshell.

What are YOU and your company doing to attend to this critical aspect of modern business?

What are your potential customers reading about you online before they contact you?

Or is it keeping them from being potential customers all together?

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