Bad word-of-mouth can cost your business tremendous revenue, and in this digital era, your online reputation is word-of-mouth. Here is what you need to know about online reputation and how to manage it to prevent loss of revenue.
Digital Word-of-Mouth Referral
After the dot com crash, people questioned the value of an online presence. But with the persistence of the internet, the social media boom, and the increased accessibility generated by handheld internet-ready devices (AKA smart phones), digital presence took off in ways never before imagined.
Word-of-mouth referral has long been the bread and butter of nearly every business’ revenue, but now that data can be accessed in new ways. People share information about your business in blogs, social media posts, and online review sites. On the one hand, that visibility has greatly expanded who your “friends” are, in terms of referrals. On the other hand, that means that a negative comment or post can spread like wildfire and crash revenue at the speed of digital posts: nearly instantly. Online reputation management is how you stay ahead of the game, prevent revenue loss and make bank.
Grow Your Online Reputation
You can’t prevent revenue loss if you are not harnessing the power of the internet to make revenue. Make an online reputation by:
- Having excellent customer service—Evidence suggests that people will share information with others or leave reviews or comments when they feel extreme reaction, fueled by a feeling of anonymity on the internet; that means if they have a horrible experience or a wonderful experience they are more likely to post and/or repost.
- Asking for reviews—If you do not ask, and even incentivize, you are unlikely to generate much in terms of reviews and reposts.
- Get social—Posting, engaging your audience, and responding to commentary (in a positive way) will get you more of an online reputation presence. Your online reputation should feel genuine and natural. Letters are formal, the internet is social.
Calculate Your Revenue and Loss
When you actively create an online reputation, you build revenue in several ways:
- Word-of mouth, as already covered
- Average order value (AOV), where people trust you and thus will order more in a single order
- Repeat business, where a good experience generates more revenue
But a negative online reputation can cost you in many ways:
- Lost sales—Customers will go to your competitors.
- Lost investors—Potential investors will lose interest.
- Loss of potential employees—Those who may want to work for you will see your online reputation and may turn away.
- Employee attrition—Negative PR can generate internal loss as well.
- Contract reduction—If you fail to manage your online reputation, existing contracts may be waiting out their time before going elsewhere. No one wants to stay on a ship that looks like it is sinking.
When you calculate potential revenue and potential lost revenue in these ways, however, it fits your business, you can see that managing online reputation has a great deal to do with loss prevention. You protect your business from fire. Online reputation management prevents verbal wildfire.
Effective Online Reputation Management Tools
Not all tools are created equal. You can put out a fire with an axe and boots, but water generally works better. Effective online reputation management tools do more to prevent revenue loss than just randomly chopping away at a digital presence and reputation control.
If you are ready to harness the power of an online reputation to both generate revenue and prevent revenue loss, contact us today. We have powerful anti-defamation tools ready to go to work for you. Your online reputation is key to your business success.