Did you know that 90% of people will have checked your online reviews before setting foot in your establishment?
The reality is that the importance of online reviews can’t be ignored—they’ve replaced word of mouth when it comes to credibility. Not only that, but online reviews can be seen pretty much anywhere. That means that someone in California can read the reviews of your restaurant or business in Maine before taking a trip, for instance.
The power of digital reputation management
Online reputation management gives a business the ability to have substantial control over its reputation online. It can help you respond to your reviews, save time by being alerted to new reviews, generate more reviews—including more positive ones, and boost sales. Let's look at four benefits of reputation management and how they can help your business.
1. Respond to your reviews
Online reviews influence more than 67% of purchases. This can have a positive or negative effect: Good reviews will encourage people to visit your business and bad reviews will discourage them from frequenting your establishment. Customers, though, don't necessarily want to see all positive reviews. In fact, according to one study, more than 85% of shoppers went looking for bad reviews. Shoppers looking for bad reviews typically spent five times more time on the site and had an 85% conversion rate. This might sound strange, but it's because most people don't trust a company with nothing but five-star reviews.
Three things consumers look for are:
- The number of reviews the business has—the more the better
- The business’s response to negative reviews (how they handle them)
- When the review was posted: More than 50% of consumers didn't consider a review posted more than three months ago to be relevant
Online reputation management can help you respond to the dreaded bad review. Business owners often think a few negative reviews will ruin their business. If you have ten reviews and six are negative, that's possible. If you have 175 reviews and six are bad, that's far less likely. Customers want to see that a business has responded to the negative review. They check to see how the complaint was addressed, the solution offered, and the attitude of management. Online reputation management will notify you of all your reviews (good or bad), so you can respond.
2. Save time by being alerted to new reviews
Running a business in any industry, including food and beverage, means juggling multiple responsibilities. Staffing, health and safety, customer service, supply management, quality control, and growing your market share are very demanding tasks. Having to monitor over 50 sites for reviews of your business can be overwhelming.
Online reputation management can make watching your reviews one of the most manageable parts of your job. A significant benefit of our online reputation management service, Localyser, is its integration with over 70 sites, including Google, Yelp, Tripadvisor, and Zomato. An online reputation management system will gather your reviews from all these sites and notify you of new reviews. You will save an incredible amount of time by not having to search these sites yourself.
3. Generate more (and more positive) reviews
One challenge the restaurant industry and other businesses face is that less than half of customers or consumers leave reviews. Having no reviews can be as bad for your business as having poor reviews. People might question your very existence. Fortunately, businesses can use online reputation management to encourage customers to leave reviews. Using a review gathering tool from an online reputation management service can help your business generate more reviews to increase its online profile. And the more reviews you have, the higher your potential ranking, because of the likelihood that the majority of them will be positive. More reviews boost credibility, too, since it means more people have used the services or products your business offers.
4. Boost sales
The potential to increase sales is the best part of employing a service to manage your online reputation. Every business wants to increase its bottom line by improving sales. Positive reviews will be read by 90% of customers. If your company has a positive rating, this will impact 67% of customers who say that online reviews influence their buying decision. The benefits to your business are :
- Increase in customer traffic
- Increase in volume sold
- Potential to increase prices since people will pay more for products and services that have a high rating
- Better ability to improve products and services for your customers since they will tell you what they value in the reviews
- Easier to hire employees who want to work at your business and look after your customers
An excellent online reputation will have a positive impact on your sales and profitability.
Get started with online reputation management
Whether you run a large business with many locations or have a local business, you can easily increase your sales and manage your online presence. The benefits of reputation management for local companies are as significant as online reputation management for companies with multiple locations. To learn more, be sure to book a demo with Localyser. You’ll discover how we can help your business thrive in the online world.