Reputation marketing is a lot more than someone saying: "I love this place," though that is part of it.
Online Reviews and Your Business
As we covered previously, online reviews can make or break your business.
According to Michael Fertik, the founder of Reputation.com,"Online reviews can generally be categorized in several ways:
Trumpeting: Positive reviews clearly herald just what your business is getting right on the mark. For consumers in research mode, standout reviews are a collective green light that says, “What are you waiting for? Pick this business!”
The canary in the coalmine: Lukewarm reviews are gentle indicators that something--your strategy, customer service, quality assurance, even your product--is off. Like miners in the dark, it’s imperative to pay attention to these online chirps--and course-correct before it’s too late.
Stop sign: Large volume of negative reviews? When many consumers think something is wrong with your business, there is. Period. And if you’re not responding, respectfully and effectively, online and offline, then these “Negative Nellies” will turn into your company’s death knell faster than you can say “one star.”
What About Fake Online Reviews?
It’s also important to remember that fake reviews--of all three types--exist in abundance. Competitors may pose like a disgruntled customer. A business might try to plant glowing reviews. This is why more has to be done to help consumers get smart about assessing online reviews--and why you, as a business owner, have to pay close attention to what’s going on Web-wise and the actions you need to take.
It’s likely that every business will, at some point, get a few negative reviews--in fact, a couple of these in a large sea of good ones is often convincing evidence that on the whole, your review rating can be trusted. People generally understand that everyone makes missteps from time to time--and they are forgiving. Maybe your front-office person had a bad day. A shipment is late. Quality assurance missed something. But just like real life, it’s all in how quickly, sincerely, and effectively you work to resolve the issue." Read the source article here.
It is important to respond to reviews, both positive and negative, and not just respond to them, make sure you respond correctly. There is an all too human response to disregard negative reviews and pretend that they don't exist. However, that's a sure way to give off the wrong impression both to your current customers and your future ones as well. This is one of the most important steps of effective reputation marketing.