Does online reputation matter to your bottom line? Two different surveys by Deloitte answer this question with a resounding yes! Their Strategy and Risk assessment proves that “Reputation makes up over 25% of a brand’s market value.” Further research by Deloitte shows that the emphasis on reputation management extends to executives with “87% rating managing reputation risk as more important than other strategic risks.”

Far more than “managing,” when it comes to your reputation, it’s vital to lead and direct the conversation. Doing so with success requires a balance that protects your company while improving customer experience. Although there’s plenty to learn about online reputation management, here are five need-to-know facts that’ll help you.

1. Just because you ignore it, doesn’t mean it goes away

Not responding to negative reviews isn’t a solution. Instead, it creates a more significant problem that affects your online reputation and revenue. According to a ChatMeter study, “Not replying to reviews risks increasing customer churn by up to 15%.” Plus, your audience wants to see your reply to negative reviews. In fact, consumers seek out negative reviews as a way to confirm your company’s authenticity meaning you can build credibility with negative reviews.

2. Reputation management is an ongoing effort.

Consumers want to see recent reviews for everything. Research by the Content Marketing Institute and SmartBrief finds that product reviews make the top-three list of  “most influential content in affecting purchase decisions.”

Plus, consumers crave fresh reviews. RevLocal reports that “28% of consumers said reviews had to be written in the last month to be relevant.” Keeping a steady stream of recent feedback is essential. That’s why it’s a not a one-and-done type of situation.

When it comes to search engines, experts believe that online reviews make up over 13% of how Google and other search engines rank local search results. Long-term review collection impacts your visibility on the web that increases with time.

3. Reviews affect your overall online reputation.

Not only do reviews increase your visibility on the web, which makes your organization appear more credible, but they also affect your online reputation on social media. You’ve no doubt heard about the scofflaws faced by various companies when an unanswered or poorly-answered reply led the consumer to hit up social media. These viral posts are detrimental to a company. Having a regular system for reading and responding to reviews protects your company from unexpected social media blasts.

4. Revenue increases with customer reviews.

The results of review collection on revenue are clear. Customer feedback delivers a high ROI through increased conversion rates and improved brand reputation. Data from Revoo shows that “Reviews produce an 18% uplift in sales.” With an uptick in sales, you can expect more conversations about your brand happening across the web. Companies that track their brand’s reputation effect on revenue find that they:

  • Receive more social mentions and website clicks
  • Rank higher on search engine results pages
  • Increase sales opportunities with additional web traffic
  • Turn social proof into free marketing

5. Proactive partnerships protect your reputation

Utilizing third-parties for your brand reputation provides you with more credibility. That’s because third-party companies like ConsumerAffairs set a plan into place that shields your business from a disaster. With ongoing monitoring and clear guidelines, a reputation management company delivers peace of mind and higher revenue.

Customer reviews are more than a few words about the customer experience. Reviews provide feedback on products and insight into how your customers use and talk about your company. Protect your online reputation with a solid strategy that emphasizes reputation management.