Gaining your prospects’ trust can be challenging. While there is a lot that goes toward nurturing leads and converting them into loyal customers, one factor can help your business spike – online reviews.
85% of consumers take online reviews as personal recommendations. This means you gain your target market’s trust easily. There’s one catch though. Negative online reviews can work the other way around.
Research highlights that you can lose as much as 22% of business when customers-to-be read one negative review on the first page of the search engine. This number spirals to 44% lost business if a customer notes two negative reviews on the first search results page.
Both these snippets make one thing clear, you will have to manage your online reputation significantly. If you’ve decided that reputation management isn’t another DIY thing that you can manage, you can always try a reputation management service provider.
Before you proceed though, here are 7 questions you need to ask your reputation management service provider:
1. Where will my business be monitored?
Reputation management is mainly based on keeping an ear on all that is being said about your business in the online sphere. Since the internet is a wide place, you need to ensure that word about your brand is thoroughly covered.
This is why you’re hiring a reputation management company in the first place. Therefore, ensuring that your business will be actively monitored is essential. Dig deeper into this and inquire how the service provider will track your business’s name. Ask what the provider will cover. Will it cover social listening? Will they set up Google alerts? How will they listen to search results, blogs, and more that mention your business?
2. What steps will the service provider take to handle an issue?
Reputation management services provide varying facilities. Some only help you monitor your reputation online. Others, however, not only monitor your brand online but also assist in managing your reputation and brand restoration.
You need to be sure of what you want and discuss the matter with the service provider accordingly. You should also ask about what actions the reputation management service will take if an issue occurs. Such reputation issues often demand immediate attention. Therefore, a plan of action is essential.
3. Will you inform me about negative feedback in a timely manner?
ReviewTrackers’ 2018 survey showed that 53.3% of customers expect a business to get back to them within seven days. This number has been up from 51.7% of expecting a quick response in 2017.
More findings, however, show that 63.3% of the consumers never hear back from a business after they leave a review.
This means that you have the golden opportunity of connecting with your customers by proactively responding to their reviews. Keep in mind that responding to negative reviews is crucial too.
It is possible that you can mend a relationship with your customer by adequately addressing his concern. To this end, you need to learn how quickly your reputation management service provider can inform you of a negative review.
ReviewTrackers’ survey findings
4. What performance metrics will the service provider offer?
It can be troubling if you don’t know where you are investing your money. With an evasive software provider, it is likely you don’t know about how well the task of your reputation management is being handled.
This is why you need to look for a reputation management solution that shows metrics that give an insight into the matter and help track performance. A great service provider can show you the new reviews that you are getting.
It can cover the overall trajectory of your business’s online reputation and other metrics such as your website traffic and rankings.
5. Will you get ongoing support?
Where a software that adequately manages your reputation is important, there is nothing that beats human support. Therefore, this is another question that you need to raise before finalizing a reputation management service.
By 2020, good customer experience will rank higher than product and price as the key differentiating factor. So, if you are concerned about human support, then you’re on the right page. Before selecting a service provider, make sure to ask about a reliable point of contact who will be overseeing your account.
It’s also best to learn about how soon you can expect to get a response from the team if you face any technical difficulties.
6. How can I keep an eye on my competitors?
This is another vital question to ask your reputation management service provider. Undeniably, keeping your eyes peeled for what your competitors are doing is critical. It gives you an idea of your standing and how well you are doing.
Therefore, you need to question how you would be able to monitor your competitor’s digital reputation so that you can stay on top of your game.
7. How can you remove existing negative content from the search engine?
As discussed, negative reviews can repel a substantial chunk of potential sales. Thus, you can’t leave it hanging out in the browser to let it have a continual negative impact on your customers. So what do you do?
Ask your reputation management service provider how they plan to get rid of the negative reviews and mentions in the search results. Most service providers require you to produce more content to push down negative content.
When the new content starts ranking above the negative content, it goes down and away from the customer’s eye. Therefore, you need to learn about how negative results will be managed. Inquire in detail because your reputation would be at stake should the negative rankings show up again in the search results.
Simply put, you need to ask several questions before you select a reputation management service provider. Start with learning which personal details a service provider may need from you.
Also, inquire the level of access to customer service they provide, and how well they handle negative issues and existing negative reviews.
Don’t forget to question about the metrics that you’ll be tracking and the ways you’ll be able to trace your competitors’ online reputation.