A good reputation is vital for companies and self-employed people. ProvenExpert.com reveals why you benefit from a top online reputation and what you need for it.
Online reputation shows entrepreneurs and the self-employed how outsiders perceive their own products, services and company. Ratings have a significant function for potential customers: they reveal whether a company can be trusted. When do we talk about a positive digital reputation? When existing and potential customers rate you as credible, reliable, trustworthy and responsible. These are precisely the four dimensions of reputation.
Good reputation only works with trust
From an early age, people learn to trust each other: to communicate, to cooperate, to enter into relationships. In economic terms, trust is a winning characteristic. Only those who have confidence in your company and your products or services will enter into a business relationship with you with a clear conscience. Trust arises from a decision-making process in which all parties weigh up the benefits and risks. Can I trust that the product will deliver what it promises? Will the product or service help me solve my problem? What advantages do I have if I choose this product rather than another? And what risks do I run when I buy it, in case something does go wrong? – Questions like these run through consumers‘ minds in fractions of a second. This is where your good reputation comes into play, which is primarily supported by online reviews. Customer reviews help determine whether a company is deemed trustworthy. We’ve arrived at a feedback economy. Descriptions by companies about themselves or their products and services no longer count for nearly as much to consumers as reviews and likes from other customers and users. 56% of buyers today are influenced by online reviews before making a purchase decision. If a company has been rated and evaluated as trustworthy by other buyers, it builds up a good and stable reputation in the long term.
Communication creates credibility
Whether and how a company communicates determines how credibly it is rated by outsiders, for example by disclosing all ratings or responding to ratings in a constructive and appreciative manner. In addition to politeness, correct spelling and grammar, it is above all comprehensibility, competent advice and openness that contribute to authentic communication. Transparency is the top priority – whether it’s website texts, complete product information or reviews. With the help of social networks, for example, companies can establish direct contact with existing and potential customers at any time. The more uncomplicated, direct and comprehensible the communication, the more credible the company is. Customer reviews also have a positive influence in this context. As an extended means of communication, they provide customers with unbiased and objective information. If companies provide this information on their own initiative, for example with the help of a professional rating platform, the company creates credibility thanks to transparency. That’s why even negative reviews help. On the one hand, they can be proof of the authenticity of the reviews, and on the other, they are a wonderful opportunity to show how well the company communicates and responds to criticism. Negative reviews are just as much a part of a credible presence as transparent communication.
Mistakes happen even to the best. What is important is how they are dealt with. Only then will they have no effect, or even a positive effect, on reputation. A negative reputation is not primarily the result of the mistake itself, but depends very much on how it is handled. For example, anyone who responds quickly and sympathetically to criticism in reviews restores the weakened trust with the customer. At that moment, the company stands up for its mistake and conveys to the critic through personal address, „We care about you.“ The combination of acknowledging having made a mistake and intending to make amends shows that the customer can always rely on the company, even when problems arise.
Increasing customer loyalty through reliability
A company, a product or a service must continuously and in the long term fulfill what it promises to customers – be it fast delivery, flawless products or customer service that is available around the clock. Only when a company delivers on its promises can customers build lasting trust. Therefore, always respond to questions, problems and reviews in a timely and solution-oriented manner. This not only strengthens the trust of existing customers, but also of future customers. Those who repeatedly have good experiences with a product or a company will stick with it, try out other products from the company more quickly and prefer to recommend the product or company to others. Regular customers are worth their weight in gold.