How Customer Relationship Marketing Can Grow Your Business

How Customer Relationship Marketing Can Grow Your Business

Customer relationship marketing is key to helping any small business owner create valuable ways to reach their customers. To put plainly, customer relationship marketing aims to leverage customer loyalty with marketing efforts, so that you can cash in on your brand’s loyalty.

This marketing strategy is concerned with the long-term customer more than short-term achievements, such as individual sales. The idea is that building strong customer relationships can lead to many more purchases down the road, plus free word-of-mouth marketing via social media and traditional channels like magazines and billboards. Did you know that, the longer a customer stays with you, the more money they spend? A study by RJMetrics showed that, by the fourth purchase, a loyal customer was worth ~300% more than a one-time customer.

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On top of that, customers’ word-of-mouth recommendations are quite persuasive. 91% of B2B buyers and 74% of consumers are influenced by word-of-mouth when making a buying decision. That’s not all, the “free” marketing you receive from great customer relationships stretches to online reviews, too. 85% of people claim they trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation, making your online reputation a very big part of customer relationship marketing as well.

In this article, you will learn more about how customer relationship marketing could help your business reach new heights with the following sections:

  • How Relationship Marketing is Different
  • Examples of Companies Using Relationship Marketing
  • 5 Tips to Improve Your Relationship Marketing Strategies

Successful and happy business team

How Relationship Marketing is Different

When you’re a local business owner, customers are harder to come by. You don’t have giant sales teams doing the legwork for you—usually, you’re doing all of the marketing on your own. That’s a ton to manage! That’s why word-of-mouth recommendations tend to be the lifeblood of small businesses. We tend to rely on our friends and family to recommend local services and businesses such as dentists, contractors, and hair stylists. So when a new customer walks in the door, it’s in your best interest to keep that customer coming back for as long as possible.

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Relationship Marketing Vs. Customer Service

Great customer service is a tenet of any successful company—no matter the industry—but it is not the same as relationship marketing. However, you’ll find similarities. When done right, relationship marketing will include savvy customer service techniques that further foster the customer relationship. Customer service without a relationship-building mindset may fall flat in terms of translating those relationships into sales.

Wondering how you can leverage customer service to create a wonderful and memorable customer experience? Take a look at the way popular beauty brand, Glossier, does it. With their “gTeam,” there are about 30 “editors” dedicated to various social media channels and email accounts that answer customer service requests with personalized service and candid charm. Their mission was to take the “robot feeling” out of digital customer service exchanges, and it’s paying off. Read more about it here.

Glossier Customer Relationship Marketing Example

Relationship Marketing Vs. Automation

Have you ever called a bank or a cable company’s customer support number, only to have to fumble through various steps led by a robot’s voice? With customer service automation, there is no human element, which makes the customer experience much less personal and enjoyable. The truth is, consumers are tired of talking to bots. Further, your business is suffering every time a frustrated customer has a poor experience with a web chat or phone bot—it only makes matters much worse.

A news site, The Conversation, asked a group matching the US demographic about their customer service experiences. The survey found that, at the beginning of a customer service experience, 90% of respondents want to speak to a live agent. And no matter how their customer service journey starts – with IVR (Interactive Voice Response), email, instant messaging, automated chat, virtual assistants (like Siri), or social media – by the end, 83% have reached a real person. That means most people go out of their ways to navigate these systems to talk to a human instead.

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Furthermore, only 10% of respondents were satisfied with their experience, and approximately 35% found the systems difficult to use. Just 3% actually enjoyed using an IVR service.

Relationship marketing essentially takes the opposite approach and places great importance on building brand loyalty via these types of customer interactions. You must focus on customer retention when building out your customer service strategy, and that means being wary about automated systems. A chatbot, for example, may not be best for complicated requests, but it could help you field leads. It’s all about how you use AI and to supplement without removing the human element.

RedBull Customer Relationship Marketing

Examples of Companies Using Relationship Marketing

You can use relationship marketing in a variety of ways and stages of the customer experience. Some types of marketing campaigns focused on building relationships with customers include loyalty programs, referral programs, information hubs, and more. Below are a couple favorite examples of companies who excel in customer relationship marketing.

Red Bull

The well-known energy drink didn’t become globally popular on purpose. With brand promotion as a big part of its business model, Red Bull has used its marketing savvy to align itself with a type of person, its ideal customer. This type of person? Energetic and a little crazy, of course. Red Bull has brought customers into their world by hosting wild events such as the sensational Stratos Space Jump and the silly Red Bull Flugtag. Most of their marketing ties back to their slogan, “Red Bull gives you wings,” instilling brand recognition and a sense of community in customers.

HBO

Home Box Office (HBO) leveraged the dedicated fan base from its wildly popular show Game of Thrones to generate buzz on social media throughout many different campaigns. Fans were fast to contribute their own memes and content. With the show receiving 158,000 tweets per episode, HBO coordinated a social media roast using #RoastJoffrey to play up viewers’ shared sentiments about one of the show’s antagonists. Prompting user-generated content (UGC) not only makes buzz and brand awareness run on autopilot, but it also makes these internet users feel were valued while contributing to a trending topic.

Vyvanse

The creators of Vyvanse (an ADHD drug) went the extra mile to make their customers feel valued and understood. Realizing that ADHD can be alienating and confusing at times, the team created a huge online hub that videos, forums, expert articles, and mobile apps to help those who suffer from the condition. Creating a community around your brand is a surefire way to secure brand loyalty.

Improve Your Relationship Marketing Strategies

5 Tips to Improve Your Relationship Marketing Strategies

If you’d like to utilize relationship marketing to turn potential customers into brand advocates, there are a few key ways you can start building great client relationships.

  1. Helpful website content. Like the Vyvanse example suggests, providing extra value to your customers free-of-charge allows them to become more invested in your brand naturally. Build out a great content hub of blog posts, videos, and more to attract potential customers and keep existing ones.
  2. Good customer support. Customer service is just one part of keeping current customers. However, you can use your customer support to take customer relationships even further with savvy techniques.
  3. Email newsletters. A voluntarily-given email address is like a customer asking you to sell to them. Don’t ignore this direct connection to your potential clients. Newsletters are essential for relationship nurturing if you ask inbound marketing specialists. There are many ways you can utilize newsletters to nurture existing relationships as well as convert leads into customers. You may want to look into customer relationship management (CRM) software if you want to make the most of your email marketing.
  4. Loyalty programs. Whether it’s a discount code after referring five friends or a free gift every seventh visit, reward programs are great ways to encourage customers to stay with you. It gives them the incentive to buy, and it makes them feel like they are a part of something.
  5. Storytelling. In your marketing efforts, pay extra special attention to the content. Your copywriter could be one of your most valuable assets. Using storytelling to sell your brand will connect much deeper than a cold message. When trying to explain your product to potential customers, think of relatable scenarios and how your product might specifically improve a person’s life.

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Conclusion

Getting more customers as a small business is important, but keeping those customers is even more important. Luckily, customer relationship marketing can help you with both customer acquisition and retention if you execute it correctly. With great customer support and a focus on personalization and storytelling, you can build a loyal brand with customers who spend more with you over time and tell all their friends—online and offline—about their experience. Remember to keep the human connection at the forefront of your marketing campaigns, and you are well on your way to constructing a successful customer relationship marketing strategy.

what is customer retention definition

What is Customer Retention?

Did you know that 543,000 new business get started every month? That means more competition for your local business, but not to worry! There are plenty of ways to keep your customers loyal to your company. Focusing on keeping your current customers will help your business grow and thrive for years to come.

Customer retention is the activities and actions companies take to keep loyal customers buying from them.  Customer retention is measured by the percentage of new customers acquired, and how many stops over a certain period of time (which we’ll elaborate on below).

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In this article, we will be going over 8 strategies that can help you retain your current customers as well as how to track your customer retention.

7 Customer Retention Strategies 

Best Customer Retention Strategies

1. Provide Extraordinary Customer Service

68% of consumers will leave a brand because they feel the company doesn’t care about them. This could be from a sense of apathy from a customer representative for their current situation or a “Sorry we can’t do anything for you” attitude.  Go the extra mile to make your customers happy even if it’s giving away free product or service. Mention how long they have been a customer of yours and give special treatment where needed. It’s all worth it in the end to keep their business.

2. Show Some Personality! 

Customers call or email because they have a unique situation they need help with. Most customer service systems have the ability to take notes. Take good notes on every interaction so the next customer service rep has some instant ways to connect with the customer. This will make them feel taken care of and also relieved they don’t have to repeat the situation over and over to every one of your employees. When emailing back, add a personal note so they know it’s not an automatic response.  Also, following up on issues or inquiries just to make sure the customer experience is totally satisfactory can show your customers you truly care.

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3. Have a Sense of Urgency When Helping

Having systems in place to help quickly resolve issues or questions are greatly appreciated by consumers in need. If the customer service rep doesn’t know the answers, give the rep ways to find out quickly and give the customer an option for a call back so they aren’t on hold forever.

4. Consistent Friendly Reminders

Having an engaging newsletter with frequent updates and special offers will create stronger customer satisfaction. Keep these communications informative and worth opening whether it’s from an inbox or through regular mail. Giving special offers will create a sense of loyalty as you are giving them something and subconsciously feel reciprocity, and eventually, want to give something in return.

Don’t be afraid to upsell. If the current client is satisfied with their product, there is a good chance they will like the next generation or premium package you provide. Upselling is a great way to create long-term relationships.

Reviews Feedback

5. Ask For Feedback

Allowing customers to voice their opinion helps them feel heard as well as give you tons of information on ways your company can improve. Think of feedback like a gift!

After a purchase you can send them an email asking “How are we doing?” or after a good customer service phone call, ask them to take a survey. Feedback can be followed up from:

  • Web Chat Correspondence
  • Follow up email after purchase
  • Write a review reminder
  • Thank you for participating message

After you get feedback from customers, make sure you act! Let the customer know how much you appreciate their business and opinion. If there is a negative review, let the customer know you heard them, and what you will do to rectify the situation if needed. Acting quick will be satisfying for the consumer. They might turn around and possibly give you a raving review!

How To Retain Previous Customers

6. Bring Back Previous Customers

There is a possibility that your previous existing customers have moved on to a different company and you don’t know why. Reach out to them and ask!  It could be as easy as an outreach email or even a phone call to get them back! One quick phone call could lead to years of loyalty.

7. Make A Customer Incentive Program

A company – customer relationship is like dating. If the relationship isn’t going anywhere you split up. If a customer has future benefits within the company, they are more likely to stay! This would involve a rewards program which gives them an incentive to stay on board with you.

This could look like different membership levels or access to free stuff. Whatever it is, think about how and where this relationship is going.

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How To Track Customer Retention

Now that you know different ways to retain your current customer base, let’s talk about measuring it. It’s super important to know where you stand from year to year with your customer loyalty and make an effort toward customer retention. Just a 5% increase in customer retention rate could increase company revenue from 25-95%!

For starters, you need a baseline. Not just for sales or new clients, but how many returning clients, and how many have moved on. Trying out different strategies depending on your market, you will see the results year over year. This could be through holiday promotions, incentivized programs, or even a new monthly newsletter.

Here is a customer retention rate equation you can use:

((# Customers at End of Period – # Customers Acquired During Period)) / # Customers at Start of Period)) X 100

Conclusion

A company’s ability to retain customers is a huge indication if it will still be in business 10 years from now. If you aren’t already, start focusing on your current loyal clients and start implementing a system to track your progress. Doing this will skyrocket customer retention and keep things running smoothly as your company grows.

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Broadly Promoted Facebook Reviews

How To Ask For Recommendations on Facebook

In Spring of 2018, Facebook started improving the way reviews are left on business pages. In the past, a review would consist of a paragraph explaining a person’s experience along with their rating. Facebook has evolved the review system and simplified it into what they call their recommendations feature. The process is initiated with a simple question; “Would you recommend this place?”

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With an answer of yes or no, the screen will open up with different tabs allowing tags, photos, or a space for additional feedback. This feedback will accumulate on a Facebook business page allowing other viewers to quickly see what other people, especially their friends, are saying about a business. Since 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, this is a great way to impress consumers in your area.

In this article, we will go over how to set up Facebook recommendations for your business page, why it’s important to have a business Facebook page, and simple ways to get more recommendations.

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Impact Facebook Recommendations Have on Businesses

Having great reviews anywhere online is important but having a strong Facebook page can get your business in front of the 214 million American Facebook users. 37% of people go straight to review sites to read customer reviews on businesses before visiting them.

Businesses with higher Facebook ratings are more likely to be found and visited by Facebook users.

How To Set Up Facebook Recommendations For your Business

For starters, you might have already set up reviews for your business Facebook page. Don’t worry, the recommendation system evolved from the older system automatically. So, if you already set up your business for Facebook reviews, you are already set up to receive recommendations. If you haven’t set up Facebook reviews/recommendations, here are the steps to setting it up on your business page.

  1. Click “Settings” on Facebook
  2. Click “Edit Page”
  3. You will see a section titled “Tabs”, turn ON the option to “Use default tabs”

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4) Scroll down until you see “Add a tab” and click it to turn it on.

5) Add the reviews tab

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Now when customers come to your page they can quickly jump to the reviews page. Facebook will accumulate the responses and give you a rating out of 10 stars for recommendations when people request.

How To Ask For Facebook Recommendations

This next part might seem intimidating to ask for reviews, but rest assured that 7 out of 10 customers will leave a review if simply asked. So don’t be afraid to ask! Sometimes people just need a reminder to leave a review. Usually, they don’t think about it or realize how vital it is to their favorite business. Here are 5 easy ways to ask customers for reviews.

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1.Include Facebook Buttons in Email Follow Ups

An automated review email after a service is completed, it’s a great time to ask customers to recommend your business on Facebook. Attaching a Facebook button within the message will help guide your customers to the right place and easily write a review.

2. Ask People to Check-in

Checking in on Facebook is simple and fun for customers to brag to their Facebook friends where they are. This also sometimes leads to Facebook sending a reminder for the user’s recommendation after leaving. So create some incentives for people to check in like access to a wifi password, a free upgrade, or a small discount for checking into your Facebook page.

3. Include A Facebook Call to Action on Your Website

On your webpage, you can include a call to action for the user to recommend your business! Include the facebook icon linking directly to your page is a simple and easy way to remind people to rack up recommendations on your company Facebook page.

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4. Promote Great Reviews

Everyone loves a good review to show off. Let the world know what people are saying about you! Promote a great review on Facebook and inspire people to do the same.

5. Ask People For Recommendations

This is easier said than done but even putting a sign in a waiting room to remind people to leave a review is effective. They are probably on Facebook anyway! However, when you ask a customer directly if they would leave a review, make sure they know it’s optional. If they feel forced it probably won’t be a good review which can hurt you in the long run.

Don’t underestimate the power of appreciation. Let your customers know how important their business is to you and how much you appreciate recommendations and feedback. This will promote a stronger sense of loyalty and more long-term customers.

Conclusion

Remember that there are over 2 billion people using Facebook and 1 out of 3 of them are using recommendation and review section for local businesses. There is huge potential in utilizing these recommendations in growing your online presence.

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SEO

Simplifying Local SEO for Maximum Ranking Results

As a local business owner, you’re likely wondering how to rank your website and listings on Google using local SEO. The answers are as much a science as they are an art. Let’s examine the factors which impact a small business’ ranking in a local Google search for both the Local Pack and organic website rankings. In general, a local business’s website and Google My Business page (GMB) are ranked using the following three factors listed in order of importance: proximity, relevancy, and recency.

Proximity: Your Backyard Comes First

It is highly unlikely for an average local business to rank well outside its home city because Google prioritizes businesses in the geo-location of a searcher. In general, Google determines a business’ location using the listed or hidden address from the business’ Google My Business page.

It’s important to note that if a searcher from outside the city limits does a search (e.g. someone in an Oakland office searches for “dentist austin”), the search results will use the centroid of the city, which will often produce results which are much different from someone searching from within Austin.

This is important to remember when talking about search rankings with marketing agencies or SEOs, as it’s almost certain the results they are looking at in their area are different from what you see on your end.

Relevancy: Helpful Content is Paramount

Relevancy is a question of helpfulness. How helpful is your local business to the searcher? How relevant are your services to addressing the searcher’s intent? Will the searcher find what she’s looking for if she clicks on your local business?

This means your website must clearly list your important information including your services, location, and contact information. You’ll get bonus points for incorporating your reviews and other fresh content related to your business and its services. Relevancy is why content is paramount — you can’t “trick” Google anymore by using dozens of keywords somewhat related to your business. You need real, helpful content on your website about your business.

The relevancy of a GMB listing is a bit more straightforward. Is the business category relevant to the searcher? And does the quality of the reviews indicate this business is worth calling? Google makes the assumption that well-reviewed local businesses are more relevant than poorly -reviewed ones, and therefore Google tends to reward better reviewed businesses with higher rankings in the the Local Pack.

 

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Recency: Website Updates and Frequent Reviews

Recency is all about updates. How often is your website updated? Has it been updated since Britney and JT were an item? (Excuse our 90’s reference) Anyway, Broadly’s review stream is a great solution for keeping your website content fresh because it automatically pushes new keyword-rich text to your website with every new online review. This makes your reviews double-valuable to your business.

Recency is an important factor for GMB pages as well. This study from Local SEO Search demonstrates that the following time-related factors are important for GMB ranking (in order of importance): Average Yearly Reviews, New Reviews Past Year, Average Weekly Reviews, Average Monthly Reviews, New Reviews Past Month. A savvy local business will never “outgrow” review generation solutions if they understand the power of recent reviews and automatic website updates.

Smart SEO: Do What’s Effective and Cheap

Real data shows that reviews matter A LOT when it comes to getting your GMB page in the Local Pack, but they aren’t the only important factor. Broadly focuses on helping with SEO factors that don’t suck up a lot of your time and money as a local business owner. Below we compare the cost and effectiveness of common local SEO strategies for small businesses.

Reviews: Very inexpensive, and powerful. Why wouldn’t you want to invest in reviews?

Blogging: Helpful as content is paramount, but it can be time-consuming and is often relatively expensive to do well.

Social Media: Social media can be valuable to your local business as a way to increase the reach of blog posts or reviews. But unless you’re a fashion or lifestyle brand with thousands of Instagram followers, don’t invest much time in social media. It’s important to note that Facebook is the exception as it functions as both a business listing and social media platform.

Link Building: This works great, but it’s usually quite costly for local businesses to attempt. One or two links to your local business’s website can be the difference between being on page one of search versus page two. As the study above mentions, links help not only your website rank well, but also your GMB page. What is link building?

Google Ads: Google Ads can be an effective way to get your business in front of searchers outside your local business’ market. Google campaigns can work well for a certain demographic, but a local business should be prepared to spend $1,000-$2,000 a month for an effective campaign, even more if they are using a digital agency and have to pay their cost..

Keyword Optimization: Can you make sure my website is keyword optimized? That’s a question SEO agencies get a lot. The reality is you can’t add a string of keywords to the homepage, or change a few words in a few paragraphs and instantly see ranking improvements. If you’ve listed clear and correct information on your website about your services, and perhaps even your business’s history, you’re 90% there. The last 10% is comparing search terms, examining competitors’ sites, and tediously editing content on your site – and that’s not worth the cost, especially if you’re paying a third-party web company.

Clear & Correct Website: You must clearly list your services, contact information, and areas of service on your website. It must be mobile friendly and easy to use. A poorly designed website or one that is not responsive for mobile visitors is like a dirty waiting room – customers aren’t likely to visit again.

Business Listings: Listing Syndication is a service offered by companies like Moz and Yext. They exist because consistent and correct business information across your business listings are a critical ranking signal used by Google. Broadly tackles managing GMB pages for our clients because a broken GMB page can be a huge obstacle for a local business.

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Conclusion

Addressing these three factors, proximity, relevancy and recency, doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Thinking about them in these simple buckets should help your local business easily accomplish these optimizations. And every task accomplished is another step forward in keeping your business in the spotlight of local search results and growing your business through the benefits of local SEO.

customer relationship management examples

Customer Relationship Management Examples

Customers are the most important part of any business. Keeping a close eye on every interaction and review your company receives is vital. It’s impossible to monitor offline word of mouth but it is very possible to keep tabs on virtual feedback. Luckily, there is customer relationship management software, otherwise known as a CRM, which helps businesses organize, automate, and synchronize details around their customer interactions.

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A CRM solution can help your team find and track various conversations and customer engagement, however having a CRM software does not take away the necessity of the human element. Coupling a strong team who make it their job to ensure the success of every customer, coupled with great software will pay off greatly for your business.

In this article, we will show you good and bad examples of customer support teams helping customers and give tips on how to improve your process.

 

Good Customer Relationship ExamplesGood Customer Relationship Examples

Review Management Driving New Customers

Gathering online reviews can be crucial to small, service-based businesses looking to get new clients. Online reviews put your company in the spotlight when new prospects search for you online. One of the best ways to obtain customer feedback in these digital times is to use an online review platform. Instead of having to manually ask customers about their experience with your company, you can automate the process with products like Broadly’s review automation system, taking the task off your admin’s hands.

Broadly practices what they preach. They pair stellar customer service, their review platform, and a CRM to gain insights and feedback from customers. This allows the company to better understand and serve its clients to help support growth. While you could manually ask every customer to kindly leave you a review, a review automation system makes it a lot simpler and less time-consuming for you.

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Chicago Beautiful Smiles, a dental office where both doctors have been practicing for over 20 years is a prime example of just how effective using the right tools can be. After just three months with Broadly, new patient volume increased by 17% with most of these patients coming from online sources. Seeing the success, the dental practice now makes getting reviews a priority.

Obtaining online reviews doesn’t only help your company learn how to better serve your customers, but they can also help improve your SEO rankings. Knock out two birds with one stone when you choose to automate review management.

Improving Customer Communication Increases Revenue

Web chat software allows you to be there for your potential customers when they may have a few questions. Being able to chat with them at this stage allows you to win more business and nurture your relationships.

In the case of Dallas-based Resolute Property Tax, having live chat installed on their website allowed their experienced team to effectively resolve their clients’ property tax matters. This focus on customer service led to an increase of 15% in revenue over the year.

See the full case study here.

bad customer relationship examples

Bad Customer Relationship Examples

Because CRM is, at its core, focused on maintaining a happy customer relationship, this can be a challenge because people are sharing every little thin on social media.

The following are examples of how companies mismanaged their relationship with customers that resulted in a negative press coverage for that company.

Big Companies Can Slip Up Too

Perhaps you recall the “United Breaks Guitars” moment. In what many would call a “public relations nightmare,” in 2009, United Airlines broke a passenger’s guitar and didn’t handle the customer service portion well. Outraged, the passenger created a viral music video titled “United Breaks Guitars,” severely tarnishing the airline’s reputation and reportedly costing them $180 million. Though that incident was almost a decade ago, it seems to have been a spark plug for United’s long line of customer service fails.

If there’s anything to learn from United’s customer relationship example it’s what not to do. The customer experience can make or break your company, and as a small business, you simply can’t afford an expensive PR disaster like United’s.

Very Aggressive Sales People

Comcast is another large yet notorious company for apathetic customer service. In just one example of a destroying a relationship with a customer, the cable and internet provider was slammed for a recording of their rep not letting a disenchanted customer cancel his contract.

It’s a painful, 8-minute long audio clip that gave the internet listeners secondhand frustration when it circulated the web in 2014.

As you can imagine, reporters slammed Comcast for a while following this mistake. Recovering from this can be costly, so think twice before putting customer service on the backburner.

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Conclusion

The first step to improving your customer relationships is to look at how they are being engaged with now. Perhaps you are a service-based business and rely on happy customer reviews —an automated online reviews service might be your answer. Or perhaps your business relies on a sales team—investing in lead management software that can help manage those customers through the purchasing process.  By focusing on building a strong relationship with your customers you are on your way to grow a sustainable business.

Reputation management Strategy

Online Reputation Management Strategy

Most people at some point in their life, have had negative things said about them. Negative comments use to be shared with only a few friends, family members, or co-workers. Now, through the power of social media and review sites, a negative statement can reach hundreds or even millions of people. This type of feedback can hurt your personal reputation, or your company’s. They can even cause enough damage to put you out of business.

Having a strategy for reputation management for your business helps monitor and manage your online presence to control what the public thinks about you.

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Reputation management is not a crisis management strategy, rather it’s an ongoing process gaining the trust of your customers and handling negative publicity in a timely matter. There are four main steps to reputation management that every company and individual needs to take on a regular basis. Spoiler alert, it’s not as hard or time-consuming as many think.

social reputation management strategies

Step 1: Create And Monitor Profiles On Social Sites 

While it’s important to have a presence on as many social channels as possible for exposure, it’s even more important that you are posting regularly and listening for feedback. You will want to monitor your company’s name and key individuals within your company daily. This might seem tedious but with social listening software can become easy and automated.

A lot of good can come out of listening to your feedback online. You can monitor problems in real time, perceive your companies products to competitors, and listen to customer pain points. You might even get inspired or see who else is promoting your products. All this can really help boost your companies growth over time. Better yet, your customers will feel you are on the same team.

Depending on your specific circumstances, there are many different sites that you will want to monitor on a regular basis. While you need to individualize the list for your own circumstances, consider these options.

Enhance Your Online Reputation

Facebook Monitoring

As of July 25, 2018, there are over 2.23 billion active users on this site. Worldwide, 1.47 billion people log in on a daily basis. Five new profiles are created every second. If you are marketing to 25 to 34-year-olds, then you will definitely want to listen on this site as they make up 29.7 percent of all users around the globe. Be sure to monitor on Thursday and Friday nights as engagement is 18 percent higher. You will find plenty of chatter as 510,000 posts are made every minute. Make sure that you have claimed your profile on Facebook and that you monitor your Facebook reviews regularly.

Google Monitoring

If you own or operate a small business, then you need to claim your Google My Business Account. Doing so allows a Google My Business panel to show up anytime that someone Googles your business name. It also allows viewers to quickly browse Google reviews that your current customers have left for your business. Over 84 percent of customers trust these reviews as much as if a friend were recommending your business, it is essential that you claim your profile before someone else claims it for you.

Yelp Monitoring

Over 163 million reviews have been posted to Yelp as of June 2018. Chances are very strong that some of them are about your company. This is a great chance to thank customers when they leave five-star reviews of your company as 48 percent of the reviewers on the site do. It is also a chance to respond professionally to the 16 percent of customers who leave one-star reviews for companies. In order to claim your business, click on the claim your business account and complete the simple profile. Yelp may call a number that you list with a verification code, so be prepared to enter that code into the site when asked.

TripAdvisor Monitoring

As of August 3, 2018, over 455 million people visit the site monthly. Head to “TripAdvisor for Business” to claim your listing. After a few simple verification steps, you will be able to leave comments for people who review your property on TripAdvisor.

strategy for managing reputation

Step 2: Monitor Your Business Reputation

Studies show that 92 percent of customers read fewer than 10 reviews before they decide to do business with your company or not. When customers see you respond to reviews, they are more likely to leave their own review knowing you are looking at reviews. This can be essential for raising your local SEO ranking. In fact, it may help get your featured in Google’s local pack allowing your business to appear above the fold when Google senses that a potential customer is looking for a local business. Some suggest that just monitoring and responding appropriately has allowed them to double their customer base and grow their business by more than 400 percent.

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Monitor your business reputation online with these steps

1. Use a program to monitor reviews of your company from recent customers on sites where you have claimed your profile like Broadly’s online review program.

2. Set Google alerts to tell you whenever your company’s name or employees are mentioned on the web. Be sure to include common misspellings as well! If you have a common name, then you can exclude mentions of keywords outside of your organization.

3. If you post on forums, make sure to respond to the first comment and monitor the rest so that you can jump back into the conversation if appropriate.

4. Do a daily check on your social media accounts and respond appropriately. Use a service like Broadly’s to make sure that you do not miss any positive or negative reviews on social sites like Facebook and Google.

5. Offer outstanding customer service on-and-offline. Even if you cannot agree with the customer 100 percent of the time, they will appreciate the fact that you took time to respond to their need and so will others who read what you have to say. Customers mainly want to be heard and understood.

6. Gather customer feedback regularly allowing you to analyze trends.

Create an online reputation management strategy

Step 3: Create A Response Strategy

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” -Warren Buffett

As your company grows, you will want to put a game plan in place and have a response strategy for positive and negative comments.

Responding to Positive Reviews

Start by thanking customers for the positive review, but do not let your comments end there. Instead, find a way to build a personal connection with the reviewer. Then, encourage them to take further action by sharing information about your company on their own social media, telling them about a special promotion or offering them more information about a product that might interest them. Try to work your company name and a keyword or two into your reply, but be careful to keep it sounding genuine.

Responding to Neutral Reviews

Anything less than four-star reviews can hurt your business unless you respond professionally and promptly. These are trickier to handle. Start by thanking the customer for the chance to try to meet their needs. Repeat any positive things that the reviewer has to say as it will be the first thing that other people reading your answer are likely to see. Invite them to give your business another try as you are going to take their feedback and use it to make your business even better. Tell the customer exactly how they can call or contact you if they would like to discuss the matter further.

Here is an example that you may want to follow:

“Thank you for taking the time to review Horse Hooves Inc. We really appreciate the time that you took to leave us a review, and we are so thrilled that you are happy with the quality of our leather. We are sorry that the snaps failed to meet your expectations, and we will be discussing this with our design team today. In the meantime, we would love to have you try our other wonderful products. If you would like to discuss this matter further, then you can contact me at 325-800-8319.”

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Responding to Negative Reviews

Every negative review can cost your company 30 customers, so it is important that you take care of problems as rapidly as possible. Additionally, small business owners often become aware of problems while reading reviews.

The great news is when you respond professionally and promptly most customers will give your company a second chance to earn their business. Even if you think the customer is wrong, start by thanking the customer for bringing the problem to your attention. Acknowledge the problem, and ask for forgiveness. If the customer said anything positive, then repeat those things in your answer. Finally, ask them to contact you at their earliest convenience so that you can make it right.

Here is an example that you might want to use:

“Thank you so much for taking your time to review your visit on August 16, 2018. We are so sorry that you caught us on a bad day, but we are glad that you enjoyed your nachos. We take all customer feedback very seriously, and we will be discussing this matter during our team meeting on Saturday morning. We hope that you will give us another chance to impress you with our great food and outstanding service. If you would like to discuss this matter further, then call us at 325-800-8319.”
Since answering these reviews can be very difficult in the heat of the moment, you may want to consider using a template.

measure and improve reputation strategy

Step 4: Measure & Improve  

Since reputation management is something of an abstract idea, it can be very difficult to measure effectively. Many companies have an inflated idea of how their customers see them. Therefore, companies often have an inflated idea of how loyal their customers are to their brand. While it can be difficult to measure your reputation in quantitative terms, there are some key metrics that will help you track this over time.

Social Media Followers

As you raise your reputation then more people will care about what you have to say. Therefore,  the number of followers on social media channels will naturally rise. Keeping track of these statistics over time will help you see if your popularity is growing.  You may also want to look to see how many people have interacted with your social media pages.

Traffic to Website

The more people trust your reputation, the more they are likely to do business with you. Therefore, measuring traffic to your website can be a useful metric for measuring reputation. Getting people to go to your website is often the start of the sales funnel where you can lead customers to go from lookers to buyers.

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Increase in Business

Once you get any problems that reviews reveal solved, then you can count on your customers being willing to spend more. In fact, studies show that 78 percent of individuals who read reviews before purchasing were satisfied with their final purchase.

Once you notice your business growing and your reputation is in line, you can count on customer loyalty which is the ultimate goal. Make sure you keep listening to those voices that keep you in business. Don’t get discouraged, there will always be someone not happy. Do your best to make things right.

Conclusion

Building your reputation on and offline requires time and effort but is vital in this day and age. Gather reviews and respond to them quickly with the respect each and every customer deserves. Aim for the level of service where every customer can rate you five stars every time. Make this a part of your business and watch things grow.

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