Business Reviews Matter.

Do you think your business reputation plays any kind of role in how potential new customers find you, decide to check you out, or even visit your business?

Internet savvy consumers are doing internet searches, gathering information, and making their buying decisions in seconds. Underestimating the value of a five-star reputation is a mistake small businesses must avoid, especially when competing with larger companies with bigger marketing budgets.

With a poor online reputation, money spent on marketing your business is a huge waste of resources. Customers are looking for information before the purchase that will give them a sense of how their experience will be if they do business with you.

Your Business Reputation Influences Buying Decisions

Online reputation and reviews have become so valuable and readily available that new customers will either hold off on making a decision until they feel comfortable or choose another business that gives the impression of providing a stellar customer experience.

When you build and maintain a business reputation that demonstrates high levels of customer satisfaction, you’ll find that customers are willing to spend more with a company that trustworthy and customer-centered.

Providing top-notch customer service for quality products and services is the foundation for a good business reputation. Actively gathering and promoting five-star reviews is what separates your business from competitors when customers are searching for new providers for their needs.

For a small business to thrive in a competitive local marketplace, it has to place a priority on creating a business reputation that attracts new customers and inspires referrals. Growing your business reputation online has a direct relationship to increasing revenue, increases your credibility, and demonstrates the value of your products and services. Ensure your business has a system in place to improve your online reputation and create a shorter path to purchase by creating confidence in your consumers.

Building and Monitoring Your Business Reputation

Reputation Management and Reputation Marketing can seem a little overwhelming when added to all the other things you have to do for your business. Luckily automation makes managing your online reputation one of the easiest business marketing processes you can add to grow your business.

Once you have a reputation management process, proactively managing your business reputation involves a few crucial steps:

1. Build Your Business Reputation

To build a stellar business reputation, you need to know what your customers think. You do this by proactively seeking feedback, which you can do in a variety of ways. When you know what your customers have to say about your business you can resolve issues quickly with dissatisfied customers before they post online. At the same time, you can persuasively encourage happy customers to post their positive reviews on the review sites that matter the most to your business.

2. Monitor Your Business Reputation

There are online reputation monitoring services and tools that will let you know what customers see online. You can opt to manually do this yourself, but you MUST monitor the online comments and conversations about your business, so you always know what customers see online. Starting with that
knowledge, you can work to correct or handle any negative information in the form of negative reviews, complaints, or inaccurate business information such as wrong phone numbers or addresses.

For small businesses that automate their reputation management, the only time-consuming part of monitoring your business reputation is responding to the best and worst reviews in a way that prospective customers reading reviews know you value the customer. Care has to be taken with review
responses because negative reviews are trusted more read thoroughly giving you an opportunity to win over customers.

3. Promote Your Business Reputation

Create and promote your business’ profile on the third-party review sites important to your industry as search engines pull ratings to feed their results pages. Also, ensure that you promote your business’ pages on social media networks where consumers are increasingly turning for reviews and suggestions on businesses before buying.

Automation and Managing Your Business Reputation

What customers think about your business has never been more important to small business success. Advancements in technology have made it easier for customers to share their experiences and luckily there have been even bigger advancements that make managing your business reputation more simple
than it was in the past.

Reputation management ensures you are controlling much of what is being said about your business online and lets you influence those conversations towards positive messaging. Your online reputation serves as 24/7 advertising, getting the word out about your company to customers in your community
searching on the internet.

With a reputation management system like repdrone.com, you can set up an almost hands-free system that contacts your customers via SMS soon after purchase to get their feedback. Positive feedback is routed to the most impactful review sites for posting and less than stellar feedback is routed back to the business for special handling to resolve issues.

Automated reputation management can also help you spread the word about your business by socially sharing your recent positive feedback and new reviews with your Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ followers. You control what’s being shared with our manual or automatic settings.

If you are looking for NEW clients, contact me to see if you qualify for a 30-Day-FREE-Trial of repdrone.com.

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The Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016

The Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 – New consumer protection legislation passed in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

While it seems everyone is running around Capitol Hill screaming “The Sky is Falling!” our elected officials have been working hard to get some things done before the new President takes over. It was hardly the big political headline of December, but the House and the Senate recently passed the Consumer Review Fairness Act to protect the right of the consumer to make honest reviews of businesses, even if that feedback is negative.

New Jersey Congressman Leonard Lance, Vice Chair of the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade subcommittee, spearheaded this legislation. His press release for the signing of the Consumer Review Fairness Act discussed the
high value of reviews and the importance of protecting consumers while still allowing companies to remove false and
defamatory reviews:

“This law is about protecting consumers posting honest feedback online. Online reviews and ratings are critical in
the 21st Century and consumers should be able to post, comment and tweet their honest and accurate feedback
without fear of retribution. Too many companies are burying non-disparagement clauses in fine print and going
after consumers when they post negative feedback online. This will now end.”

The press release also reinforces that crowd sourced reviews of local businesses and services are a powerful
informational tool and that it is important to maintain the integrity of reviews to protect consumers.

Why do we need a Consumer Review Fairness Act?

Businesses are overwhelmingly aware of the importance of five-star customer reviews and their influence over
consumer purchasing decisions. Some of the more ruthless companies have gone so far as to include gag orders or
non-disparagement clauses in the terms and conditions on their websites.

A typical clause explains that you are not allowed to make negative comments about a business on social media or review sites or risk fines or lawsuits. You read T&C statements on the contracts and websites of companies you visit, work with, and buy from before leaving a review or making a comment online, right? Of course not!

Customers have been leaving reviews, unaware that they could be penalized for writing a bad review or writing
negative posts on social media. In the “fine print” you may find that your contractor had you sign that you would
never make a written or verbal disparaging remark about their business or face a fine. A bad review on the sloppy work of your carpet cleaner could land you a lawsuit. The Consumer Review Fairness Act was written to protect consumers from penalties for sharing their honest opinions.

What is the Consumer Review Fairness Act?

Introduced in April, the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 was passed in the House in September and passed in the Senate by unanimous consent on November 28. Signed by US House Speaker Paul Ryan and Congressman Leonard Lance, it is now in the office of the President of the United States.

How does the Consumer Review Fairness Act affect your business?

It’s not called the “Protect Business From Bad Reviews Act” so you might be worried that protecting the consumer
might in some way hurt your business. However, there is no need to worry about restrictions on businesses. Unless you are one of those shifty businesses who like to sue customers for bad reviews, the Consumer Review Fairness Act won’t directly affect how you do business. What it does do is even the playing field, so all business will have to earn their five-star rating the right way – with great products and customer service.

The Consumer Review Fairness Act voids non-disparagement clauses in contracts and terms and conditions statements. That means business will no longer be able to penalize customers for negative reviews. If they do, they will have to deal with the Federal Trade Commission.

Review sites such as Yelp are already onboard. Fewer lawsuits is good business for them, especially when they are
usually stuck in the middle of a fight between a business and a customer. They’ve gone so far as to issue Consumer
Alerts boldly above the fold of business listings which are known to sue customers for reviews.

Build and Manage a Genuine Five-Star Reputation

Gathering feedback and posting positive reviews online has many benefits for all businesses. Online reputation management actively establishes your credibility as a reliable business and gives your company a competitive edge over others in your industry and in your local area. It helps you position your business as the first and best choice when customers are researching online before making a decision where to spend their money.

Author: Zach Anderson

Use reputation management services like Repwarn.com to save precious time, gather more five-star reviews, and have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your reputation marketing is automated and handled at every level. Your customers are being asked for their feedback, you are notified of dissatisfied customers before they get to review sites, and the best reviews are being promoted on the review sites and social networks that matter most to your business in an almost hands-free automated process.

Ask for a 30-day FREE trial from Repwarn.com

 

Contact us for more information: gisela@theartegroup.com

 

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