The Importance of Actively Managing your Online Reputation

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It is a well known fact that negative word-of-mouth spreads quicker than positive word-of-mouth. With Internet tools such as social media sites and blogging, negative word-of-mouth has more power to influence than ever before.

According to the Retail Customer Dissatisfaction Study in 2006 done by the Jay H. Baker Retailing Initiative, only 6% of customers that experienced a problem with a retailer physically contacted them; however 31% went on to tell friends, family or colleagues what happened.

As social media becomes a more prevalent way to communicate with friends, family and colleagues, the reach of a negative comment can expand to more than just one or two people. Suddenly a negative comment can turn into a massive conversation amongst disgruntled customers.

According to the Retail Customer Dissatisfaction Study, 48% of people surveyed reported they have stayed clear from a store due to someone else’s negative experience. In addition, if 100 people have an unpleasant experience, the business stands to lose between 32 and 36 current or potential clients. In a time of a struggling economy, a business would be foolish to not manage a potential negative reputation.

What you can do:

The most important way of controlling a negative reputation is by actively staying involved in the conversation surrounding your industry and brand. When you see a negative comment regarding your business, do not delete it. Rather, respond back with an explanation to the complaint or comment. By doing this, you show that you are not hiding anything and truly care about your customer’s opinions.

A great example of a CEO actively responding to negative word-of-mouth was found in a recent blog post. A Runner’s World customer wrote an article explaining his poor experience with ordering from the company online. The CEO responded with a comment at the bottom expressing her appreciation for pointing out problems with their user experience. She also empowered the customer by explaining that there are changes in the making, thanks to his post. Not only did the author respond positively to the CEO but others did as well, turning this negative post into a positive one.

What we do at Webolutions:

In addition to actively responding to any conversation out there, Webolutions uses online tools to track and record the conversation about our brand and industry. You cannot stay involved and respond to your disgruntled consumers if you do not know where to find them.

When negative comments are made, do not ignore them! Take action to improve your reputation. For more information on how to create a positive experience contact Webolutions at 303-300-2640 for a free social marketing consultation.

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