Reputation management is often a misinterpreted topic and often businesses associate it with the management of their social media platforms and promoting their brand image on search. However, reputation management is all about protecting your brand image. To explain what reputation management is, think about what the customer buying journey is all about, and reputation management is often a step of the journey.
Customers are increasingly seeking peer reviews before deciding to buy a product or book a service. As they do so, it's becoming increasingly important for businesses to secure good ratings and reviews. In fact, 97% of customers make a decision only after reading through a review, while Investpro acknowledged that 88% of customers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations prior to buying a product or availing a service in their study.
It's not only important for businesses to listen to customers and identify suggestions to improve, but it's also important to engage with them and at times even carry out damage control of their reputation. The Harris Survey which carried out a study during the holiday season came to the conclusion that not responding to reviews could most likely increase a business's customer churn by 15% and in addition, following a response by a business to a negative review by a customer, 33% returned a positive review, while 34% of customers deleted their negative review.
Having reviews and timely responses not only builds trust with potential customers but helps instills confidence of the search engine in your brand and its services as a trusted source. Google has even commented by saying that responding to reviews on Google My Business will help a brand improve its local SEO and trust could very well be a factor that will bump your business up in rankings.