To meet the demands of the modern consumer, companies must build a brand reputation that encourages preference and inspires loyalty. As the world economy continues to fluctuate, companies need to lean on their online reputation to better retain consumers, stay ahead of the competition, and remain visible online. According to Salesforce, 78% of consumers see current crises as a way for brands to improve, and working on reputation management can bring about many benefits for your teams.
At the Center of Customer Experience and Technology, A Reputation Management Strategy is Paramount
Many companies are already aware of the value of investing in reputation management, with data from Reviews.io showing that 57% of brands see it as more important to impacting revenue streams than paid advertising. A strong, positive reputation can bring about multiple benefits for any company including:
- Better customer acquisition and retention
- Increased perception in “providing more value” for every product/service
- Fostering goodwill and having better brand equity
A crucial part of that reputation management process is delivering on a digital-first strategy, which is already an expectation from 88% of business leaders, according to Zendesk. Investing in digital transformation for your business — whether it’s deploying cloud-based platforms, investing in local listings management, or leveraging customer experience analytics and NLP to understand customer experiences — reflects a customer-centric approach that enhances brand reputation and exerts bottom line impact through reduced costs, increased operational efficiencies, and improved processes.
However, customers also expect a diverse and agile approach when it comes to engagement and the overall experience. Salesforce data shows 54% of consumers want companies to expand engagement methods, and brands are trying to meet that expectation, with Zendesk data showing 61% of brands calling agility and adaptability “increasingly important attributes for companies to possess.” Failing to meet these expectations can mean massive losses in both customer and revenue streams. Specifically, customer experience management findings show 59% of consumers will switch brands due a poor experience.
In short, to deliver on consumer expectations and provide a solid foundation for long-term success, companies need to train and enable their teams to utilize a digital-first reputation management strategy that can retain customers, meet consumer expectations, and outperform competitors.
Nurture Digital Channels with Local Listings Management
Local listings management is one of the pillars of transforming digitally. Creating effective listings that accurately reflect your brand helps make the customer journey pain-free, drives customers to your locations and builds trust. Brands should already have a strong presence where many consumers begin their research such as Google, Facebook, Tripadvisor, and Yelp. However, it’s also important to expand the company’s digital footprint and stake claim in other sources to gain an even larger audience. These can be sites like Feefo, Review.io, Trustpilot, The Fork, True Local, Menulog, or Seek.
Historically, monitoring consumer feedback and ensuring that listings across each site contain accurate and updated information has always been an arduous, time-consuming process that required teams to manually check each site. However, employing powerful reputation management software can streamline that process – saving your teams significant bandwidth and overhead. Tracking review platforms from a central platform allows teams to use that freed-up bandwidth for more valuable tasks such as managing brand reputation, addressing customer experience issues, and tackling reputational threats and bad press.
Having one eye on all your listings also allows your teams to improve trust signals towards customers. Specifically, local listing management at this level allows for one-time mass changes to listing details, which ensures consistent and updated information across every single entry. While guiding your team to keep phone numbers, location details, or holiday hours accurate across every listing might seem tedious, the practice has a lasting impact on the consumer. Consistent information reduces friction, making a conversion more likely and also helps build brand trust.
These listing changes can also impact your business’s ongoing search engine optimization (SEO) efforts as search engines prioritize listings with updated and accurate information more prominently on results pages. Furthermore, the ability to monitor all listings from one place allows for better engagement. Some listings allow consumers to ask questions, and you can employ your teams to easily respond and influence the buyer journey before people even walk in the door.
With a robust local listing management solution in place, your organization presents a consistent brand presence online, making it easier for consumers to find your locations and chart a path towards a higher, more consistent revenue stream for your business.
A checklist for better local listing management
- Claim listings on prominent and appropriate review sites
- Ensure accurate and updated information for each listing
- Closely monitor each entry for any changes or consumer engagement
Elevate the Customer Experience With Review Management
Having one place to house all of your brand listings also enables your teams to effectively manage customer feedback from those sources, allowing for better customer engagement and valuable business insights that can influence operational decisions. However, it’s important to be aware that review management is actually composed of 3 smaller principles that feed off one another: asking for reviews, responding to feedback, and gaining customer and competitive intelligence.
Taking time to incorporate your teams into each of these practices opens the door for a powerful review management strategy that values each customer, improves operations, and keeps the company ahead of the competition.
An Accurate Picture of the Customer Experience Through Review Acquisition and Management
The key to long-term brand success is through customer feedback. Rave reviews and criticisms alike from customers can tell your business if ongoing strategies are working or if drastic changes are needed in order to prevent losses. Having your teams employ a review request strategy ensures that your company’s view of the customer experience is accurate and up to date.
The Cornerstone of Any Reputation Management Strategy: Asking for Reviews
Specifically, asking for reviews in the right manner and tone shows that you value each person’s business and their feedback is crucial to the success of the brand in the long run. Those reviews also serve as valuable pieces of social proof, which is more valuable to a consumer than any piece of marketing material as the words of a genuine customer are more authentic and indicative of the experience.
Teams can easily roll out review requests with the help of pre-built templates in the Ask Tool and with a few clicks, send those requests via email, in-person, or even through SMS (though it’s important to get consent to send messages via SMS first). You can also have your reputation team create specific review requests that not only allow for customers to leave general feedback but also to gain perspective on new initiatives. In some cases, you can even use tools like Amplify to show off your best reviews to encourage more feedback and to show people that the current experience convinced satisfied customers to leave valuable feedback.
Bolster Brand Reputation By Responding to Feedback
Each review your company gets also has a chance to change one-time visitors into loyal customers or even resolve issues that would otherwise prevent someone from returning for a repeat purchase. Data from Nation’s Restaurant News show that responding to a 1- or 2-star review within 24 hours has a 33% higher probability of the consumer coming back for a visit and potentially updating their existing review by as much as 3 stars. This alone should be convincing enough of the power of responding to reviews, and the need to create a tactical and swift review response strategy.
Responding in a professional and timely manner shows a willingness to engage regardless of customer sentiment. This can also be a prime differentiating factor from rivals, which can further set you apart as the best choice for your ideal customers.
The onus, then, is on your team to execute a review response plan that thanks customers for their feedback, addresses any issues brought, and encourages them to return for another purchase. Sometimes a simple “thank you” can go a long way, but there are other times when your team needs to triage a selection of negative feedback, closely look at each issue presented, and find out what your operations team needs to do better to win back the customer and ensure the mentioned issues do not occur again.
Steps for impactful reputation acquisition and management
- Guide your team in utilizing pre-existing templates to send out mass review requests to channels where consumers are already engaging with your brand
- Encourage them to craft specific requests, if necessary, to get better insights on new strategies
- Have a playbook for keeping a professional tone and manner when responding to customer issues and create a triage system to effectively handle both negative and positive feedback
- Ensure the team responds in a timely manner to ensure engagement and to have a chance for retention
Improve Operations and the Customer Experience Through Review Analysis
Simply put, reviews are more than just valuable reputational currency for any brand; they also contain priceless operational and competitive intelligence that can fuel future company strategy. The trick, then, is to know where to look in every piece of customer feedback.
Trying to make sense of vast amounts of unstructured data like reviews can be overwhelming, however thanks to the power of natural language processing (NLP), which uses software to make sense of unstructured data in reviews, your team can identify trends in feedback based on sentiment – even getting down to a granular keyword level. For instance, a small handful of negative reviews might reveal the words “staff” and “unclean” are used in a negative sentiment, which can reveal an issue in overall training and cleanliness from your customer-facing team. In another scenario, other reviews highlighting “atmosphere”with positive sentiment can show that certain aesthetic changes are working in your stores.
With a larger sample size of keyword data, you can use this customer experience analytics suite to gain leadership buy-in and guide company-wide strategies on new ideas to reduce issues and continually improve the customer experience. Having various teams aware of what customers are saying about the brand helps with that buy-in, and encourages staff to work in an together efficiently to improve customer acquisition and retention.
Your team can also leverage customer experience analytics cross-departmentally to monitor and even beat the competition. As an example, your marketing team can easily leverage business intelligence data like keyword trends and sentiment to influence customers in their buying journey by highlighting a positive experience. On the operations side of the house, your teams can apply the data to innovate in customer retention and product or service development.
Steps for getting the most ROI from customer experience intelligence
- Utilize customer experience analytics to discover positive and negative keyword sentiments
- Present findings to stakeholders and other teams that have a direct impact on the customer experience to gain buy-in
- Guide the company on changes based on review data and team consensus
Use ReviewTrackers for Comprehensive Reputation Management
Powerful reputation management needs to be comprehensive, easy to use, and allow for multiple users. With ReviewTrackers, companies can provide access to unlimited users, allowing multiple teams to take action and analyze the many facets of reputation data and intelligence.
On the international stage, ReviewTrackers now provides brands with even more tools like the ones mentioned above, including Local Listings, the Ask Tool, and Experience Analysis to better monitor their reputational data and take action that helps acquire and retain customers. With just a few clicks, any company can gather their listings on the ReviewTrackers platform and immediately gain valuable insights that can influence the operations, marketing, customer experience, and reputation teams.
Steps for Your Reputation Management Strategy
With ReviewTrackers, brands can easily set themselves up for success and leverage their own reputation data for constant improvement. Whether it’s a small team or a whole division, brands can employ the simple steps below on the ReviewTrackers platform to get insights today that fuel tomorrow’s decisions. Lead your team on these simple, high-impact steps to see ROI quickly and solidify your organization’s place as an industry leader
- Claiming listings and gather feedback on ReviewTrackers
- Using the Ask Tool to generate reviews across different channels
- Triaging and plan for different review response (or save time with templates) that engage consumers and solves issues
- Gathering valuable operational insights and competitive intelligence with Experience Analysis
Get Started Now!
Want to see how ReviewTrackers makes it easy for your company to become customer-obsessed and leverage reviews customer feedback data to improve brand loyalty, retention and growth? Book a time with our team of experts now!
Or check out this video to see how your organization can realize ROI quickly by investing in reputation management with ReviewTrackers.