Stay Ahead of Online Buzz and Customer Sentiment to Protect Your Brand

Lori Maupas
Lori Maupas, Senior Editor

If you’re using only banner ads, SEO and a well-crafted website to attract customers to your retail business, you’re short-changing your marketing efforts. The most powerful marketing tool is something you have little control over: Customer sentiment.

Customer sentiment comes in the form of  social media posts or online reviews people write about a service experience they had. Users often look for these reviews to compare businesses. So, an online review about superior service could compel a new customer to visit your location. A negative review could just as easily turn prospective customers to your competitor.

With such a wide range of online review sources, how do you to stay ahead of the buzz? Online Reputation Management (ORM) provides comprehensive insight into what people are saying about your services and empowers you with tools to help you respond and even redirect customer sentiment.

Listen to the Voice of the Customer

A 2016 Kleiner Perkins study on internet trends, authored by Mary Meeker, found 82 percent of consumers said they would end a business relationship with a company after a bad experience, up from 76 percent in 2014.

Your level and commitment to customer service, however, is an opportunity to change customer sentiment. The same Kleiner Perkins study found that 60 percent of customers surveyed valued businesses that provide easier access to online support.

Another 53 percent said they want to see faster agent response times. Twenty-nine percent want consistent customer service across all channels, and 21 percent want faster access to live support.

Make the Most of a Second Chance

Responding promptly to online reviews on social media or review sites provides an opportunity to turn a bad online review into a good customer experience.

Consider replying to comments directly in posts using an official business handle. Offer an apology and a desire to resolve the conflict. Your response will be viewed by the dissatisfied customer as well as users considering your services.

The same works with users who provide good reviews. A personal response from your business demonstrates you value the voice of the customer — feedback that is both good and bad — and are willing to work proactively to resolve issues.

Build Your Brand

There are many facets of successful enterprise-scale ORM — too many to do manually. A comprehensive ORM platform that takes a systematic and holistic approach is the only way to go.

Here’s what to look for in an Online Reputation Management solution:

  • Proactively request reviews from customers via online surveys, mobile texts, etc.
  • Respond to all consumer reviews — from Google and Facebook to directories and industry-specific sites — in a timely fashion.
  • Stay in touch with customers through social channels and generate online advocates who promote your services to their friends and followers, potentially driving traffic to your site.
  • Glean insights and statistics from surveys to measure how customers engage with your services to better understand trends or discover areas for improvement.

Learn more about how Reputation.com can help you monitor online reviews and customer sentiment to improve your online reputation by leveraging the voice of the customer.