How would you rate your brand reputation? Are you confident that consumers view your brand in a positive way?
“In an economy where 70% to 80% of market value comes from hard-to-assess intangible assets such as brand equity, intellectual capital, and goodwill, organizations are especially vulnerable to anything that damages their reputations.” 1
Brand reputation is a powerful, but hard to measure asset that your company should be managing on a daily basis. Using the voice of your happy customers, you can leverage reviews to strengthen your brand presence. Here are 3 tips to help you increase your brand reputation – not only locally, but globally.
Tip #1 – Find a solution that allows you to automatically roll-up all your employee and location reviews to your regional, national, or global locations and brands.
Are your customer’s reviews siloed by employee, location, region or country? If so, you are not getting the full benefits of your reviews marketing and your brand reputation may suffer. Local reviews are very important to grow your local business and brand. But you should be consolidating all these great reviews to build up your regional, national and global brand.
Think about a company with 30 locations in 3 regions and 10 employees at each location. Then assume that each of the 300 employees gets 1 review per month. So in one year, your company shows 120 reviews for each of your 30 locations. Not bad right? But what if you consolidated all those reviews? Then you would have 3600 reviews for your company per year. Now that’s impressive, and sure to boost your brand reputation immensely.
Now, how do you get these reviews to show up for your regional and corporate locations and websites? You might have someone go pick and choose reviews from each location and manually add them to your regional and corporate websites. However, since Google does not allow you to add reviews to your regional and corporate listings, those sites will show no reviews.
What if each location has a different dba or name? How does a customer know if you are the same company when searching locally?
You may be doing a great job building up your local brand reputation by DBA or name, but if you want to build up the reputation of your corporate brand, you need to roll-up all your reviews in your organization. Let’s take the same example above with the ability to roll-up all your reviews. The local office has 120 reviews per year, the region has 1200 reviews per year, and corporate has 3600 reviews per year.
Would 3600 reviews with an average rating of 4.5 stars help build your corporate brand and grow your reputation and business?
Tip #2 – Automate distribution of your great reviews to as many social media channels, review sites and industry specific sites to create social proof everywhere.
A great review makes you feel good and incentivizes you to continue your excellent customer service, but if it is not shared widely, you are missing out on more business opportunities and brand reputation building. As we all know, Google is the king of search so you must have reviews on Google, especially Google My Business.
Your reviews must also be found on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Instagram, general review sites like Yelp, and Better Business Bureau, and industry specific review sites, like LendingTree for mortgage or Zillow for real estate, or Angies List for contractors.
If you are mostly a referral business, you might not think you need all these reviews posted everywhere to manage your brand reputation— but this might not be true. Because of the ease of double checking your business, anyone who is referred most likely has already “Googled” you and found your website and reviews.
Think about it, when you get a recommendation for a new restaurant in town, do you go there blindly and trust the recommendation? Or do you look them up on Google and Yelp first? Most people choose the latter, and your potential referral likely will too.
The easier that a customer can find your brand and testimonies of raving customers, the better off your reputation and the higher the chance you will be chosen. Most importantly, review distribution needs to be automatic. Eliminate the issue of someone forgetting to distribute your reviews.
“95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase” 2
Tip #3 – Reply to all reviews, good and bad, and develop an automated workflow for bad reviews so you can turn them into mixed or even good reviews.
Companies normally don’t respond to reviews at all or only respond to the bad reviews. The statistic above shows that responding to good and bad reviews increases your brand reputation.
Responding to a good review shows you care about your customers and you acknowledge that they took the time to write a review. Remember they didn’t have to write a review for you so any thanks you can publicly show them will be rewarded in referrals.
“7 out of 10 consumers changed their opinion about a brand after the company replied to a review” 3
On the flip side, a bad review must be acknowledged and sent for resolution. The main reasons for someone to write a bad review is to show their displeasure with your service and try to ruin your brand reputation.
The first action to handle bad reviews is to immediately acknowledge that the customer had issues and apologize for their poor experience. You acknowledge that their experience was not what they expected and inform them they would be contacted by a manager or executive in a few days. This first reply should be an automated message.
After resolving the issue with the customer, you can then ask them if they would like to update their review. If you cannot contact the customer, then you should add a reply stating what you did to resolve the issue but would like to speak with the customer.
Why even do this extra work for a good or bad review? Trust is built on transparency, so the more transparent your brand can be, the more trustworthy your brand will be, and the higher your reputation.
Improving your brand reputation doesn’t happen overnight. Start by connecting all of your reviews across your business locations and employees under your brand umbrella. Then capture reviews and amplify those reviews across important review sites with a tool to help you automate that process. Finally, make sure you reply to all reviews to show your customers and prospects that you value their experience. With a tool to help you automate your feedback collection and review amplification, you will see your ratings, reviews, and brand reputation start climbing.
1 “Reputation and Its Risks,” Harvard Business Review, 2007.
2 “How Online Reviews Influence Sales,” Spiegel Research Center, 2017.
3 “Responding to Online Reviews Can Have Significant Benefits for Brands,” BazaarVoice, 2013.