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Brands Who Converse, Win. Brands Who Preach, Don’t. This is The Age of ORM

Aug 09 2019 admin

online reputation management

Raise your hand if you have seen this pattern. You have a poor experience with a brand and call their customer service, you wait for 5-10 minutes on hold only to get an executive who is little to no help. On the other hand, you complain about your poor experience on a social media platform like Twitter, and the brand not only offers you an instant response but is many a time much more helpful than the executive on the phone. Why is this? The answer is online reputation management.

Let’s face it. A business’ online reputation is something that can make it sink or swim.  And unlike the good old offline days, where one had to rely on word of mouth or experience it firsthand to form an opinion, everything is online. From Facebook reviews, Twitter rants, YouTube videos and specially curated review sites like TripAdvisor and Booking.com, one can get an immediate idea of what people are saying about a product or service online. What makes it worse is that whether it is an angry tweet or a bad review, things are permanent on the internet and people are quick to draw conclusions. Which is why managing and monitoring one’s online reputation is such a vital part of a brand’s online existence. Still not convinced? Here’s some data. 89% of American customers depend on online reviews to make purchases and a staggering 97% use the internet to find local businesses. And that’s not just one or two reviews. Again, studies show that an average customer will read 7-8 reviews before making their choice, not just one or two. So in this age of Google search engine optimisation, are you really willing to take the risk of ignoring your online reputation?

What makes ORM even more important is that it offers the business a chance to take a negative experience and turn it into a positive one. After all, nothing makes a customer angrier than indifferent management. A timely and positive response to a customer complaint can not only alleviate the experience but also is an opportunity to convert the customer into a brand evangelist.

Wondering how to go about it? Here are a few pointers:

Monitor the platforms your audience is on. This helps timely reactions easier and nips escalation at the bud.

Don’t respond defensively to negative reviews. Instead, take them as an opportunity to have a conversation with the customer service and gain honest feedback. This is also a time to showcase your customer service.

Encourage your customers to review your brand. Any good feedback will influence others and negative ones are an opportunity as discussed above.

Online reputation management is a continuous process. One must make sure that even the tiniest of bad experiences does not end up snowballing and costing the brand its business.