Why You Need to Manage Your Online Reputation

By Signpost

Rockers Joan Jett and Avril Lavigne are known for singing “I don’t give a damn about my reputation…”

While it may work for them, it might spell disaster for you as a flooring professional. You have to care because your online reputation can make or break your business.

It’s no longer enough for a business to just have happy customers and provide a positive customer experience. Businesses also need to manage their online reputation by learning how to create positive content, engage with customers on review sites, and promote their brand on social media.

For local flooring businesses, building a good reputation both offline and online is critical to long-term success. If you think this doesn’t apply to your particular business, have you considered how the rapidly changing digital landscape is changing the way that homeowners do business? Here’s a few reasons why you need to consider managing your business reputation:

Impact of a bad review
A single negative review can be incredibly damaging to a business’s sales if not handled well. In fact, 96% of consumers claim they wouldn’t patronize a business because of negative reviews.

Online reviews set the tone
87% of customers read reviews and do research online before buying products and services. Despite the quality of your actual service, potential customers who read negative comments about your business could be turned off and decide against working with you.

Reputation Management is part of a solid marketing plan
A solid reputation management plan often covers the various facets of a business’s online existence. This includes social media, social networks, email marketing, website management, and more! Marketing and reputation management go hand in hand and can directly influence sales and customer engagement.

Customers value authenticity
Your customers want to trust you. They want to engage with a business that is transparent, honest, and owns up to its mistakes – both online and offline. Businesses often partner with reputation management companies to build that rapport and drive customer loyalty.

Where do you start working on your online reputation?

To improve your business’s online presence (and even its search engine optimization—SEO), you need to monitor the key platforms that your customers are using. By diving into these spaces, you can collect customer feedback, respond to customer reviews, or even partner with another local business to share positive word-of-mouth.

To get started, decide which social media platforms and online review sites are important for your business. Here’s a few:

  • Google My Business (GMB): Google is the most powerful search engine and offers GMB as a tool for businesses to manage their listing and Businesses collect ratings, respond to positive and negative feedback, and even get Google Guaranteed to earn a better online perception.
  • Yelp: Yelp is a community-based review platform that allows businesses to promote their services to new and existing customers in their local areas. Customers can leave ratings and share negative or positive reviews of businesses, helping other “Yelpers” out when they’re looking for a service.
  • Facebook: The biggest social media network in the world, Facebook offers businesses the opportunity to set up their own Facebook Business Page. Businesses often use Facebook to engage in conversations with customers directly and promote their services. Customers can “recommend” a business and even share that they’ve visited your location(s).
  • HomeAdvisor: HomeAdvisor enables service-based businesses to gain exposure. Customers post reviews based on their experiences with home-service professionals and can also leave ratings based on quality, value for money, and customer service.
  • Nextdoor: Nextdoor allows local businesses to connect with residents in the vicinity. The community posts updates about the businesses in their neighborhood and also exchanges recommendations. Nextdoor reviews are considered more legitimate, due to the vetting process for each member on the site.
  • Better Business Bureau: The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is both a business review site and a consumer advocacy group for B2C and B2B businesses in North America. BBB operates as an objective database for customers to read about a business. The bureau supplies information on any complaints registered against the business, customer reviews, and the assigned BBB rating.

Keep in mind that customers’ social media posts can also influence your business’s online image. Today, customers flock to their Instagram or Facebook accounts, or even record YouTube videos retelling their amazing or negative experiences. These posts can have a viral effect that’s sometimes even more impactful than a Yelp review.

Reputation Management with Signpost

If you own a flooring business that often deals with finicky homeowners, you’ve probably experienced the challenges of managing your online reputation.  As an NWFA industry partner, Signpost is committed to helping wood flooring providers make the best of their online reviews and reputation today. Learn how to improve your star ratings, grow positive word-of-mouth, and boost your profits.

This article was provided by Signpost. For more information, visit http://signup.signpost.com/partner/nwfa/.

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