People may find you because they want the product or service you are offering, but it is your reputation that’s going to determine whether or not they become your customers. These days, the first place people check for information about a company is online, normally by typing your name into a search engine. They’ll often click on the first thing they see in the search results, especially if it seems to be some type of review or feedback about you.
What if the first thing they see is something bad? Chances are they’ll move on to the next business that does what you do but seems to have a better reputation. The person that could have been your customer is now spending his money somewhere else. You’ll never know how many times a day this happens; in this economy, who can afford to lose any business at all?
Reputation is everything, and if yours is trashed – perhaps by a disgruntled ex-employee or an unreasonable customer, or maybe even the competition – you stand to lose a lot of money. You must not only BE trustworthy, it’s also important that people PERCEIVE you as being worthy of their trust. It’s no accident that giant companies such as eBay and Amazon allow customers to rank products and sellers – it lets new customers know who they can trust.
When you’re running your own business, you don’t have the benefit of a ranking system where customers can count how many stars you have or see how you rank when compared to others sellers; potential clients depend on feedback sites to tell them how good you are, or they look private reviews on other sites to see if they can trust you.
If the feedback is honest, it can help boost your reputation. If there are negative comments floating around, you need to shift them lower in the search engine rankings so that people aren’t so likely to see them. Knocking the negatives lower and allowing the positive feedback to rise to the top can be a big help to your company, since it boosts your overall reputation. This translates into dollars and helps to grow your business.
A good reputation management company knows to stay on top of the rankings for their clients at all times, so when negatives appear they can quickly be moved to where they aren’t going to do you any harm. This protects your reputation, and reputation is everything.
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