Technology Networking & Internet

Interview With Key Largo Internet Marketing Expert Craig Stephens

So Let's Talk About Your Reputation

Here's a maxim that most of us understand intuitively âEUR¦ "It takes forever to build a good reputation, but only a second to destroy it."

I think this is worth repeating, because, if anything, the stakes have gotten much higher in the Information Age. In our hyperconnected world, news travels fast and far--good news, bad news, and everything in between. And that news doesn't necessarily vanish into the ether after a few days âEUR¦ No, instead it gets stored on a server someplace, where it's just a Google search awayâEUR¦ Even if you delete it, someone is bound to find it in Google's cache.

When I say the stakes have gotten higher In November 2011, I wasn't kidding. The Harvard Business Review published a study on the impact of online reviews of local restaurants. The authors of the study found that a difference of one "star" in the average rating of the establishment led to a difference in revenues of 5 to 9 percent!

Think about that for a second âEUR¦ that's a significant impact on a business, no matter what size.
Since 2011 this number has more than doubled. Why is it on the increase? Well, to answer that, think about how much more YOU rely on reviews and user generated content than you did just a year or so ago.
Me too. I look for reviews before I buy almost anything, or do business with someone. I think it's awesome. I sure do get a lot of information and I have learned to trust it.

So you might be wondering: Why do online complaints matter? How could a star rating have such an outsize impact on my business's revenue?

Here's the simple answer: people put a lot of trust in their social networks. Ninety percent trust online recommendations from people they know. What's more, people put a lot of trust in total strangers! Almost three quarters will trust reviews from people they've never met.

This is the great double-edged sword of the Internet--positive word of mouth can be like rocket fuel for a company, propelling it into the stratosphere, ahead of competitors. But on the flip side, negative word of mouth can be like sugar in your gas tankâEUR¦

And here's the rub, folks: the web has a long memory. As I mentioned earlier, Google never forgets. Which means that negative reviews can haunt you for a long time if you're reckless with your reputation.

Now, is not about scaring you. Well, it's partly about that, but it's mostly about giving you some guidance in terms of how you can protect the delicate and scarce resource that is your online reputationâEUR¦
Better than fixing the bad reviews, or even focusing your business not to ever let a customer have a bad experience, is to build a good one. To think that all of your customers /clients will always be satisfied is a grand goal. To run your business like that is a mistake. The very best thing to do is to promote your good name, and learn the best way to handle the dissatisfied reviewer.

Leave a reply