There’s a lot that you can tell about a person from the first impression you develop about him. This is why the old maxim, ‘the first impression is the last impression’ rings true. Because, if you or someone you are interacting with doesn’t leave a positive first impression on you, then you may not take your relationship with that person any further.
This process of judging and understanding someone is the same when it comes to customers searching for a business. If their first impression of your work is not positive, then they wouldn’t bother purchasing your products or services.
Most of this research about your business is conducted online. In fact, 65% of folks view online search as their most trusted source of information among companies and people. So, let’s suppose your prospect comes across a negative review as he looks up your products, do you think he’d buy from you?
You’d be surprised to know that only one negative review can discourage 22% of prospects from buying from you. All this sets the need for online review management (ORM), the way to ensuring that your customers find only positive information about you.
Let’s dig further into the significance of online review management for small businesses:
1. ORM ensures that your first impression is not only good but great
An incredibly high percentage of people, 97% to be exact, read online reviews. Moreover, 84% of these individuals trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from their friends. These numbers send out a clear message – you don’t want your customers and prospects to come across negative reviews of your business.
Since the internet is a vast place, you need to keep a check on what your existing customers are saying about your business. This brings online review management into the picture. ORM tools work to search the internet for mentions of your business and inform you of all reviews on your work.
In this way, you can respond to reviews and address customer complaints adequately to ensure that people searching for you don’t come across negative, impression-shattering content related to your business.
2. Improves sales for your Small Business
ORM allows you to spread a positive word about your business. It allows you to handle reviews on your products in a manner that positive content ranks higher than negative comments.
The good news is that 93% of the people who search for you don’t go past the first page. So, they use only the first ten search results to make an impression of your business. With reputation management, you take steps to make sure that these ten searches are positive and are positioned higher than the negative reviews.
When that happens, you can attract more sales. Don’t forget, 88% of the customers’ buying decision is influenced by the online reviews they read as confirmed by a study by Zendesk. Therefore, by improving your reviews with ORM, you are, essentially, molding your audience’s buying decision in your favor.
3. Builds Credibility and Trust
Online management of your brand reputation also works wonders when it comes to boosting your credibility and authenticity. If there is nothing about your business online, then you are only going to repel customers. Hard to believe?
Research reveals that 92% of consumers hesitate to purchase from a business that is not flanked by reviews. You wouldn’t want to take that kind of a risk, which explains the importance of ORM for small businesses.
As you develop an authentic online position for yourself, you attract more business. On the other hand, negative feedback, reviews, and ratings can take a quick toll on your credibility, creating obstacles in your business’s growth. By leveraging ORM though, you can address all these adequately, which ups your authenticity significantly.
4. Gives you a window into your customers’ mind
Another benefit of ORM for small businesses is that it allows you to pick your customers’ brain. Undeniably, your product is designed to solve your audience’s problems, and there is no better way to understand how well you are doing this than by asking your customers.
One effective way to learn about your customers’ opinion about your business is by gathering and analyzing their feedback. This is where ORM helps you. When you have all your customer reviews and feedback at one place, you can go through them and sift the common factors that are either helping or causing problems for the customers.
You can then work on improving the pointers that are working well for your audience to improve your ROI. At the same time, you can work on bettering the factors that disturb your audience. Again, this will help you improve your sales in the long run while also getting you better reviews as people notice the improvement.
5. Allows you to boost your customer experience
As a small business owner, it is best to remember that 8 in 10 customers are willing to pay more for better customer experience. Moreover, customer experience is expected to take the top slot for customer preferences, standing higher than product and pricing.
The good news is that online platforms now allow your audience to speak about your services. If your customer experience is good, more of your customers will be talking about it. Not to mention, good customer experience results in 42% of folks purchasing from you again.
On the flip side, negative customer experience can land you negative reviews on top of negative reviews. White House Office of Consumer Affairs reveals that dissatisfied customers typically tell 9-15 other people about their experience. Some even go on to tell 20 people or more. So, you need to be careful. It’s best to improve your customer experience so that you can attract positive reviews about it that can, in turn, attract sales and customers.
All in all, ORM for your small business helps maintain a positive brand reputation, manage your online reviews, and ensure that only positive content about your business floods the internet.