Reputation Management: Still needed?


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reputation managementWith Yelp now adding a video feature, With Foursquare splitting it’s app into two different functions, (Foursquare to look for places and Swarm to check in) creating a great experience for customers is even more important for your Reputation Management process.

As new customers do their online diligence, ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth) will now be filled with more options to see how a business treats its customers.  How you use this technology to your advantage is so integral to your success.

Studies are showing that 70%+ of consumers depend on reviews to sort through all of their options of vendors. In the automotive field, 1 out of 4 people said the reviews of the dealership had a direct impact on which they chose to do business with. 1 out of 5 read reviews on their mobile phone while shopping at the dealership.

In my experience, even with all of this information at hand, there are two ways a businesses will focus on this more customer focused experience.

  • Ignore the technology and think that reviews don’t influence the shopping behavior of “their” customers.
  • Provide a great experience and then leverage technology to help advertise these good reviews.

So why would a business ignore Reputation Management, the technology available or even the value of customer reviews. In my experience, business owners feel their customers are different. That their product is not subject to the typical buying process so reading reviews of their company is not influential.

Nothing could be further from reality. A few years ago, when I first began working with automotive dealers, this was typical of their attitude towards reviews. “No one reads them”, “Buying a car is different than anything else.” And on and on. I kept pushing this concept because in my mind, the buying process is still a retail experience and being that the price point is very high, one would think customers wanted as much information on who they were doing business with. Customers needed reassurance from previous customers, not the dealerships own advertising.

What I have seen is a transformation over the past few years where smarter dealerships are now embracing reputation management for what it is. A part of their marketing message. They are focusing on creating a great experience but then creating a process to obtain and market customer testimonials and reviews to make sure that when the next person is deciding on whom to do business with, that they have provided multiple examples of their expertise.

Technology has made it simple for customers to voice their opinion on how you do business. If you are not involved in focusing this message and using it in your marketing, you will be impacting the bottom line in a negative way.

As for those dealerships that have ignored reputation management, well their sales are slipping. It may not hit them all at once but in a couple more years, their excuses of why they are losing sales will no longer hold water and by then, their competition will have set themselves up in the minds of consumers as the place to shop.

If I can be of service or you would like to bounce ideas around feel free to reach out to me. I will be more than willing to help.

Republished with author's permission from original post.



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