- Posted April 24, 2014 by
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Marketing Authority Art Koster Helps Break Down The Facts Behind A Recent Harvard Study That Identifies One Simple Step Any Business Can Take Right Now To Increase Revenues Up To 9 Per Cent
A recent Harvard study just revealed that a one star increase in a business’ Yelp rating leads to a 5% to 9% increase in revenue. “The one simple action any business can do to increase their revenue without changing anything in their business is to simply get your already happy customers’ reviews of you online. That’s it. Complete that one action and your revenue increases.”
That seemed a little too simplistic so I did some research and then asked Amazon Best Selling Author and well-known marketing consultant Art Koster to provide some additional insight. Here is what I learned.
According to a Local Consumer Review Survey conducted by Bright Local in 2012, 72% of consumers look at 6 to 10 reviews online before deciding if to trust that professional or business, and 75% of all consumers will not even open a company website that Google shows only having 3 out of 5 stars or less or does not have at minimum 10 reviews online. That means companies falling into that category are potentially losing massive sales opportunities online, possibly 70% of the traffic that’s found them online will not even visit their website let alone their brick and mortar store.
That’s why reputation management is fast becoming one of the most popular services for all kinds of businesses, big and small, national and local. Besides giving a chance for your customers to tell how great you are, it’s a way to protect your online reputation from negative reviews and false claims, ethically and legally as well. At minimum, business owners should have a system in place to make it easy for their happy customers to leave glowing reviews of the entrepreneur or business online. Do you?
In today’s world, every Google search done by consumers, Google displays Google reviews and your Yelp reviews online. Yelp, love them or hate them, has also just partnered with both the Bing and Yahoo search engines to be the official reviews they show in every search as well.
Tie in the fact that roughly 95% of consumers say they use the Internet to find local businesses, and 85% say they read online reviews, according to a study last year by search-engine-optimization firm BrightLocal. And 72% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends.
“Like it or not, people talk. Sometimes they say things which are true, sometimes they make up lies, but either way, negative information about your company online is downright lethal to your company’s revenue,” says Art Koster, Authority News Marketing Expert who deals with Reputation and Authority building for professionals.
Reputation management involves a wide range of activities to keep your name in good standing. Activities include responding to customer complaints, asking sites to take down incorrect information and using online feedback to improve your products and services.
“The results of a negative online reputation may be as subtle as a user clicking on a competitor’s search result instead of yours or as damaging as an industry-wide boycott of your products and/or services. Besides the obvious financial implications of having a company’s credibility called into question, there are potential legal ramifications that could dominate your time and cripple your financial sustainability, as well. This will often cement trusted news and legal results in the top search rankings so that even if a case is dismissed or resolved, you’ll be living with the consequences for years to come.” – OUTSPOKEN MEDIA.COM
Whether bad reviews left online are true or not, the damage is done. People see the negative feedback and decide to spend their money with another competitor who has a “clean sheet.”
You can’t delete negative information about business unless it’s proven to be false and therefore libellous. However, you can address it or even “bury” it. For example, in cases where it is not possible to ask for the negative contents to be taken down, the proper thing to do is to push down the visibility of such negative feedback through proactively publishing useful, positive information about your company.
According to Koster, it doesn’t have to be the only way: “Of course, negative feedback can be monitored and even used to showcase your excellent customer service. For example, if a plastic surgeon receives a bad review of their customer service, the surgeon would benefit from immediately addressing their concerns and explaining – in public – why it happened and what they propose to do about it. “
“Other customers will see this with a positive light, especially if the complaint turns out to be unjustified. However, if the complaint is left unaddressed, this will raise red flags for potential new customers who see it. And if you wait too long to address it, It’s there for online eternity. Then you’ll need to seek professionals who know how to give you a clean slate through suppression. It’s a difficult, time consuming, and very expensive task to try and achieve an online ‘clean slate’.”
“What people see online when they Google you, IS you to the masses. That becomes your reputation and your brand.” Richard Branson echoes that statement, “Your brand name is only as good as your reputation.”
Koster goes on, “The most effective method a business can utilize is to take a pro-active stance to their online reputation. To do this, get exposure in the news media, NBC, ABC, CNN…where ever and when ever you can. And be consistent doing it. These third party news stories position you as the Go-To Authority in your industry…and then it’s YOU who ultimately decides how the world views you. Once this happens, clients start looking at you differently and come banging on your door to do business with you.”
So, where does a business owner start? Start by claiming all your social media profile such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and of course your Google accounts. With the right tools and help, you can proactively monitor your online reputation and resolve any issues on the spot. You can also maintain good online profiles to help your positive reviews shine over the negative ones.
Of course, this can become time consuming on a regular basis, so it’s worth considering the help of an authority news expert to position yourself in your industry as the Go-To Authority, or at the very least, set up a system to get ethical and positive client reviews about you.
While you know that you can’t stop the occasional dissatisfied customers, it’s important that you get in front of situations good or bad and guide your customers, clients, or patients to a positive conclusion.
Art Koster finishes, “One way to get in front of these situations is to position yourself as a trusted authority in the market place through the use of media. By educating your prospects and clients or customers and serving as their advocate invalid attacks against your reputation will be much less impactful. In fact, you will often find your loyal clients or customers coming to your defense when they come upon a bad review. Doing that is tough work in person and even tougher online, where you can't be there personally to inspire confidence, counter resistance, or break down barriers. But it is well worth the time, effort and expense. Along with making it easier to manage your online reputation; known authorities enjoy quicker sales and at premium price levels than non-authorities. Once you’re a trusted authority, prospects start looking at you differently and come banging on your door to do business with you. An unkempt online reputation on the other hand, well… that’s just throwing your money out the window.”
Art Koster is an Amazon best selling author and marketing consultant famous for helping position business professionals as top trusted celebrity authorities in their market. To learn more about Art Koster and his services visit http://www.AuthorityNewsMedia.com .