A great online reputation can take years to build, and seconds to be destroyed.
As the marketplace gets more and more crowded, it’s become essential for businesses to spend more time and work on their own online reputation.
Today, it’s great relationships that are the bedrock of every business. Indeed, 57% of small businesses say that having a relationship with their consumers is the primary driver of repeat business. Amazing service and great relationships lead to more new customers, and better brand reputation in the long run.
In 2020, more and more consumers perform their own research as part of the buying journey, meaning companies need to prioritise trust and transparency in order to build better customer relationships, improve their customer service, and therefore boost their overall reputation.
So if bad reviews keep you up at night, it’s time to take action. After all, if consumers come across negative reviews about a certain company and/or their product, there’s always a chance they might keep browsing and actively avoid this company in the future.
In this article, we give you 3 easy ways you can change your bad reputation into a good one, and navigate consumer trust to power your business forward.
Sounds interesting? Keep reading.
How to change your bad reputation into a good one
1. Start responding to bad reviews
It’s normal for businesses to worry about the impact that bad reviews can have on potential new customers. But does that mean you should be deleting negative feedback?
No. Customer reviews give people a chance to share their experience with your business, and everyone’s got the right to give an honest recap of their buying experience. We’re all human. No company is perfect, and consumers know that. No one expects you to get it right, we all understand bad reviews happen.
26% of consumers see responding to reviews as an important part of business activity, and 68% of people trust a business more when it’s got a mix of good and bad reviews. Because, let’s be honest, 100% 5-star reviews is just too good to be true. Consumers don’t expect you to get it right every single time, but they expect you to try your best.
So if you’re wondering why customers leave bad reviews in the first place, here’s a quick explanation: by leaving bad reviews, your unhappy customers are giving you a chance to make things better.
Indeed, 76% of consumers say they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them.
It’s your customer service team’s responsibility to solve problems and turn negative experiences into positive ones.
Learn how to handle negative feedback professionally
2. Use feedback to improve and innovate
Sure, collecting customer feedback is a great first step towards understanding your customers and their needs and wants better. But how do you detect patterns and trends? How do you use your reviews to grow and improve your online reputation?
Today, 88% of consumers read reviews to determine the quality of a business’s customer experience. This means that visitors stumbling upon some bad reviews are more likely to shop from you if you have addressed the issue, than if you’ve ignored the feedback.
So, instead of ignoring bad reviews, use the feedback to identify areas of development, and dedicate time and work to improve your customer experience. If you can solve your unhappy customers’ problems quickly and efficiently, 95% of them will return to your business.
Embracing all feedback, both positive and negative, is the best thing your business can do to improve its service and deliver better experiences. Don’t let customers walk away, stop ignoring bad reviews and use them to better your business.
Using feedback to grow and improve
3. Start your own advocacy programme
Today, consumers are empowered like never before, and the crowded marketplace makes it harder for businesses to stand out. There are many things that a business can focus on to stand out from the competition.
A good online reputation is one of them.
Modern consumers have lost trust in traditional advertising and now seek third-party validation when shopping online. Indeed, 84% of consumers do not trust adverts anymore, and 87% of consumers admit finding ads more trustworthy with the Trustpilot logo. Recent research also shows that social proof such as user-generated content (anything from pictures and videos to blog posts, reviews, and much more) is now considered to be 50% more trustworthy than traditional marketing.
In a recent study, 76% of individuals admitted that they’re more likely to trust content shared by “normal” people than content shared by brands or influencers.
People posting about your business (customer advocates) are more than just brand ambassadors. They are happy and loyal customers. Unlike influencers, customer advocates are much more relatable. They’re also much more likely to help you improve your online reputation and bring you more customers, as shoppers now seek validation from peers.
It’s becoming clear that turning existing customers into brand advocates could ensure your company is future-proof, especially as it has shown to increase marketing effectiveness by over 50%. That’s why more and more companies now encourage customer advocacy (think Lululemon or Daniel Wellington).
Having a customer advocacy strategy can be a game changer for a business that is trying to improve its online reputation. Engaging with your happy customers to promote their stories will help you build a stronger online reputation, as well as trusted customer relationships, which will encourage them to sing your praises to the rest of the world.
Share your own customers' experiences
Remember - your customers’ stamp of approval means more than your self-proclaimed excellence. Isn’t it time you made your customers the heroes of your story?
Learn how Trustpilot could help you improve your online reputation with a great social proof strategy, watch our latest video and download our Reputation Management report below.