Why should reputation marketing replace advertising?

Is it really advertisement and social media what you need?

Many clients I meet have an established business not doing that well. The most common issue is a low conversion level and low revenue. The business owners often search for marketing services that ideally do not cost too much and can make a big economic progress. It is extremely hard to do effective marketing with little money. There is often another issue that marketing cannot solve. It is the product or service quality and reputation. It is extremely easy to destroy a reputation. Dissatisfied customers are very likely to go complain on Yelp or Google+. On top of that, people have gotten used to trust reviews and they have become essential for buying decisions.

What do numbers say about reviews?

According to Bright local:
  • in 2011  71% of people went to search for reviews online to check their potential business partner's reputation.
  • in 2013  79% of consumers claimed to trust online reviews.
  • in 2014  88% of people researched other businesses' reputation. 77% of consumers say they read 1-10 reviews before they purchase.
Over 88% of clients check for other business' reputation. Care about your #reputation!

Recognize fake reviews

It might be true, that up to 30% of the reviews on Yelp or TripAdvisor are fake. We need to use critical thinking when reading them. However, as the above numbers confirm, people tend to trust what others write more than in the previous years. Simply, there is too much competition and we do not have enough time to explore everything ourselves.

Let's have a few short examples of negative reviews:

"Run, do not stop here, You will not at all be happy. We were not, we learned the hard way. There are many companies to choose from out there that can help you, this one will only do what you can do for yourself. There are hidden fees in their contract. Fees that will go to collections if not paid. This company has proven to not care one bit about their paying customers credit, only their money. Run i tell you,,,,,RUN"

"I would never recommend this company to a soul"

"...  Owner will bullshit you and tell you they'll take care of it if they return your calls.. It's 6 months now and still haven't done anything." "Well if you like to deal with orders and damaged product MONTHS after you've placed the initial order - go ahead and place your order here."

Does your business have a chance with negative reviews online?

Customer feedback buttonAsk yourself as a potential client. Would you ever try a company after viewing a similar review? Why would you give them a chance if there is plenty of 5-star services to choose from? If you read such negative reviews, you would probably never try their services no matter how their Facebook campaigns look like, how nicely their banners are designed, or how often they make you see their ads.

Reputation is key to success

As a business owner, remember that reputation is the very key factor to success. The product might not be perfect, we all can understand small shortcomings in a service. However, if your company is not willing to make things right for the customers, they will be gone forever. On top of that, their reviews will discourage tens of others forever. Reputation of your business can be destroyed quickly. Employ #ReputationMarketing into your business from the beginning! The lost opportunities are something extremely hard to measure. It is easier to say "your ads do not work" to a marketer than admit the service or customer support sucks. It might sound logically to put all your attention to a service or a product you sell. We all want to be perfect. I might surprise you to claim, that your attention should move to how your company treats complaints.

Start with a system for complaints. Crazy?

guy with marketing questionsHaving a clear system for handling complaints, returns, refund requests, or negative reviews is essential for long term successful business. Keep in mind that if a person asks for a refund, e.g. $99, this is your lost sale. Nothing else. If you refuse to refund the client and he writes a negative review about your company, the lost opportunities will skyrocket to thousands of dollars. Advice for business owners. Everybody knows you are totally busy, but if you don't take care of the complaint system, nobody else will! Once the reputation damage is done, it cannot be undone easily. Reputation marketing should be an agenda of the highest priority. It makes business owners think about their business from the potential client's perspective. If the reputation is bad, no other form of marketing will work effectively.

 Contact us to discuss your business. Let us explore your business from the client's perspective and we will help you build a system for successful business.