Business owners work hard to ensure that their companies have sterling reputations within their communities. Your customers or clients are your highest priority, as is your reputation among them. Word-of-mouth referrals and influencer marketing are the way that most businesses are seeing their biggest gains in the digital age.
However, this means that your reputation among consumers is not just important in person. It is also important online. Ensuring that your reputation is strong online should be just as important to your team as polishing your in-person reputation – and here’s why:
First Impressions Matter Online, Too
You have undoubtedly heard the wisdom that says first impressions are vitally important. This does not change online! In fact, there are few places where your business’s first impression on consumers is more important than online!
When a consumer walks into a physical store, you and your team have at least a few minutes to convince them to stick around. Audio, olfactory, and other senses can be engaged in real-world circumstances to keep your consumers interested and in your store. The longer they are in your business’s presence, the more likely they are to make a purchase or have another positive interaction.
However, this timeline is severely abbreviated online. From the moment your consumer lands on your page, opens your app, or otherwise arrives in your brand’s online space, you may have only a few seconds to catch their attention. To keep a consumer from clicking away, you have to make a solid first impression.
First impressions online for businesses come down to more than just attractive and engaging web design. It also comes down to your brand’s online reputation. A company that gives a solid first impression in terms of its reliability is more likely to keep consumers right where they are.
Protecting Consumers, Your Business, and Yourself
Speaking of reliability, that is an even more important factor online. When you patronize a business online, you likely have concerns about privacy and safety. However, the best websites and online experiences reduce these feelings of concern – and may even alleviate them altogether.
Your job online is to provide an experience for everything from browsing to buying that helps your consumers to feel safe and secure. Some common concerns to consider when it comes to online shopping include the following:
- Data security. Consumers do not want their data sold, traded, or otherwise compromised. This includes personal information, financial details, and more. Consumers also do not want to be contacted without their explicit consent via calls, emails, etc.
- Dependable service. Products should be of reliable quality and should be delivered in a way that meets consumers’ needs. This includes reliable, timely delivery of goods or services and products or services that are exactly what the consumer believes they are investing in.
- Satisfaction guarantees. Whether it is a clear and sensible return policy, availability of exchanges, or an overall satisfaction guarantee, your consumers want to know that your company will be there to do something for them if they are not satisfied with their purchase or interaction with your company.
These are all things that your consumers will be looking for when interacting with brands and businesses online. To give your consumers the best possible experience, use these concerns as a guideline to make everyone who visits your site, app, or other online presence feel secure and ready to do business.
Once you know you have the outline in place for high-quality goods and services to provide for consumers, work with an online reputation management professional to ensure that your customers can identify that quality at first glance.
The Internet – and Your Online Reputation – is Forever
They say that the internet is forever. Just think about how hard it is for celebrities, politicians, and other people in the public eye to move past mistakes or missteps in their careers these days. Once something is online, you can’t just pretend it did not happen!
This is certainly true when it comes to a business. While people are not likely to search online backlogs of your site, they will definitely remember a low-quality online experience – even if your current customer experience is great!
Ensure that you never have to worry about this by not letting your business have a poor online reputation. Work with an online reputation management specialist to create a great look for your brand as well as a positive regard for your company among consumers.
Improving Local Community and Consumer Outreach
Did you know that your online reputation actually impacts local consumer behavior, too? It’s true! Consumers – even local ones – who have faith in your brand and business are more likely to spend their money with you.
Think of your favorite local businesses. They are undoubtedly companies that can please young people as well as seniors and are considered safe, secure, and savvy in the ways they interact with consumers of every demographic.
Your brand could be one of those! By investing in online reputation management and improving your standing online, you can also improve your standing within the communities you serve in person.
Quicker Purchasing Decisions and Increased Lifetime Value
While purchasing decisions online often have multiple steps, they are often made quickly – and without extensive thought by the consumer. If you want consumers to make positive purchasing decisions – and to continue to add value to your brand throughout their consumer “lifetime” – it only makes sense to ensure that they have a positive experience and high regard for your brand.
If you are concerned about your business’s online reputation, consider online reputation management services. The experienced professionals at ExxcelRank offer reputation management services to help you make the most of your brand’s presence on the internet. You can rest assured knowing that malicious activity against your brand will be negated and minimized while positive activity will be boosted. Our team will help you create the kind of online reputation that helps you make connections, positively influence consumer behavior, and make the future brighter for your business – online and in the real world!