What is online reputation? Is it really that important like it seems for the last few years, or is it just one of the new trends that will finish before it’s even started? Digital era is here, and we can say, it didn’t come yesterday. It has been here for a while. So, the only thing we can do is to follow it and to fit in it if we want to survive. No matter online or not, we need positive reputation if we are planning to find our place in the world of digital.
What do vent cleaning and positive reputation have in common?
Imagine a nice restaurant with tasty food in an excellent location, always full of guests. It seems nothing can’t go wrong, a good reputation is guaranteed. Well, a good reputation is something you have to fight for constantly. Nothing is guaranteed when it comes to reputation, especially online reputation. Some of the most common reasons for reputation damage are unpolite waiters, dirty dishes, bad food, untidy interior, etc. Those are just a few reasons that would cross everyone’s mind. But, what else can ruin a reputation? Some unexpected reason?
Now we are coming to the ventilation we mentioned before. The kitchen ventilation. Every professional kitchen has an obligation for regular kitchen hood cleaning, but not everyone does that. In that case, all dirt – grease, oil, dust just collect over the time, which causes clogging of kitchen hood, and all that dirt caps slowly in the food. The owners probably think:”who will know about that.” But, that is very toxic mass and can cause food poisoning. That means inspection, financial penalty, or even worse, restaurant closing. Now, restaurant owner doesn’t only fight with a bad reputation. He is facing crisis here.
All that because of some air vent. You have to admit, at first, it seemed like “what air vent has to do with online reputation.” You see now, it does. The point is that reputation can be ruined by some, unexpected reason we haven’t paid enough attention to.
What are the main elements of positive reputation?
There are several elements that present the base of your reputation. It is good to be aware of them, and give them the attention they deserve.
Quality of product or service
If you want to present yourself as a serious player on the market, and your goal is to build a strong reputation on a long run, the quality of your product or service should be your starting point. Otherwise, there is no sense to force all other elements to boost your reputation. Although it must be emphasized here – all your efforts on reputation boosting will give some results. They can even be excellent. But eventually, people will realize that the quality of the product doesn’t match the whole great story that was created around it. So, they will leave, or even worse, they will write some negative reviews or comments about their disappointment and share it with others. Often, the situation like that has the power to destroy reputation completely.
Let’s say you have a quality product or service. That is a great foundation for your further actions. Now, it is time to think about customers. They need to feel like they are important to you, that you appreciate their opinion. The product won’t sells itself without your effort no matter on high quality. You have to build a relationship with your customers based on trust.
Think about kind of loyalty program, but not just loyalty cards. Customer care is much more than that. It will depend on the type of product or service. Make sure you offer them a good service if a fault occurs in the product, or to give them a new one if the old one can’t be repaired. Also, it is recommendable to organize a quality after-sales service. That way you will get some useful feedback from your customers that you can implement in product improvement.
Make sure that you lead a transparent business. Don’t try to hide something from the public. That is even more important today when everything and everyone is online. People like to search for the information today because it is easy by using all the benefits of the Internet. All they want to know is just a few clicks away. If you try to lie about something or to hide some information, it could be a very expensive cost which can ruin your reputation permanent.
Besides transparency, you need to think about the way how to communicate and to share all interesting information you have with your public (customers, clients, future clients, etc.). Keep them posted. Also, don’t forget on internal communications. It is not less important. Your employees are your PR agents in everyday life. They can help you to create an image you want and to spread a good story about you and your products. The public will appreciate that.
Today we live in a world of a little bit distorted values. On every step, we can see corruption and affairs. Sometimes making money is more important than making a good reputation. But if you stop for a second and think, you would realize that it only works for a short time. For a long run, you need a good reputation to make some money, and to continue making it.
The most important channels for reputation boosting
If you want to build a good reputation and be recognizable, you have to adopt all the rules of modern communications. We mentioned below a few most relevant channels that will help you to boost your reputation.
Your website is your mirror – mirror of your company or brand. Make sure it look’s good, but also, make it user-friendly. It is often the first contact with your customers, so it has to be good. People should, not only be stunned with the design and functionality of your website, but they have to find the information they need and looking for, on your website. The content is very important. Also, allow them to find your contacts easily, and the map is a big plus.
Social Media are very powerful tool today. It give’s people a chance to find out everything about anyone or anything. Social media can be your ally if you use them smartly. They can boost your reputation, but they can also ruin it in a minute. Depends on your public, you will decide which Social Media suits you best for communication with your customers, but there are always Medias that presents constant like Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn. For business, they are must, but you have to stay active and update status with interesting and quality content regularly.
The blog is your chance to say more about your product or service, about some news related to it. Also, it gives you the opportunity to share with your public all relevant information, posts, to provide them with some recommendations. The blog will improve your online appearance, but it will also create a mass who will follow you because you gave them what they need – quality information about product or service or new trends in industry. That will make you an authority, and search engines will recognize that, and award it with better positioning.
One of the best ways to get information quickly is forums. They gather people with the same interests and problems and give them a chance to communicate, to set same questions, solve dilemmas. That is why forums are great opportunity to present yourself, company or brand to a wider mass of people, as an authority in your field of interest and business.
Good reviews are crucial for every business. People today have a habit to search on the internet for all available information about the product they are planning to buy or a service they want to use. Reviews are often crucial in decision-making. According to some studies, 88% of potential customers uses reviews as an important factor in making a decision on a purchase. Also, an interesting fact is that 4 of 5 people will change their buying decision after reading negative online reviews.
Neverending online story
Taking care of business reputation could become a very exhausting, especially in a digital era where Social Media become an important part of our lives. Many tools can help your reputation to stay on a high level. Those are tools for monitoring reviews, comments on social networks, as well as all other mentions on the Internet.
Now, imagine all those analysis, reports, numbers. It can become exhausting. So, instead of managing your business, searching for new opportunities, working on products improvement, you could easily find yourself spending most of your working hours on the technical part of reputation monitoring and taking measures to keep it at a high level like you used to. On one side you have to take care of business development and products improvement, while on the other, you have to take care of monitoring, maintenance and boosting reputation. So, you get yourself in a situation where you can’t handle any of those two essential business elements.
That is why your solution is to let the experts and professionals take care of your reputation. Choosing quality associates is important. Good communication is the key to success in this case. It is crucial to find people who will understand your point of view when it comes to business, who will respect your needs and requirement. Don’t forget, it is their primary job. They have enough time and experience as well as associates to cover all parts of the business so that they can give the best to every client reputation. Maybe the most precious thing here is the experience they have, that you are probably missing.
No matter online or not, we can say that taking care of reputation is a neverending story. You should think of reputation as one living organism of your business that needs constant care, 24/7, because, reputation is the most valuable thing that one company can have. It is very hard to get but easy to lose, so it is not much to say that reputation deserves all your attention. It deserves the best experts to take care of it.