Online Reputation Management

Your online reputation is becoming more critical everyday.

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.
WARREN BUFFET

Online Reputation Management

Your online reputation is becoming more critical everyday. Why? Because that’s where most of your customers are. Social media, especially, is a place many go for social interactions with friends and family, to get news updates, and to learn more about a company. They’ll go to your social channels to ask questions or bring up concerns often before calling your company.

Over the last few years, we’ve seen many examples of how social media can heavily influence a brand as well as push negative or positive conversations. For example, the school shootings of recent years generated so much discussion that you were hard pressed to know of someone that hadn’t heard about the event and formed their own opinion. Anti-gun and pro-gun advocates would rise up, finding information from the event that backed up their point of view. Additionally, discussions about children’s safety and the mental health of the shooter nearly always occurred.

Driving the Conversation

No matter where you stand on the discussion, no one can deny the power of these conversations. They went on for weeks, sometimes even months. For social media, that’s a long time. Trending topics on Twitter usually last about 11 minutes, while trends themselves usually exist for less than 10 minutes. And with an average of 8,900 trending topics in the world daily, that short lifetime is understandable.

While school shooting conversations affect most of the United States, conversations about your brand generally will not include such a large amount of people. However, social media conversations about your brand can have similar spread among your audience. Usually discussions with that spread occur during a crisis, but they can also occur when an organization does something positive that resonates with their audience.

One of the best ways to control the conversation of your audience is to build up a positive online reputation. Creating a space for your audience to both connect positively with you and with fellow customers allows them to get to know you better and makes them more likely to reach out to you if they have concerns about your brand, products, or services.

Online Reputation Management Best Practices

Percentage of your customer base who are more likely to show loyalty behaviors increases with great customer experience.

What is an online reputation?

Online reputation management is the practice of maintaining a healthy environment on social media that will attract new customers and retain them.

Each business’s online presence will vary because of their unique audience and offerings. One company might utilize lots of gifs or emojis in their social media posts, while others might favor a more straightforward, practical tone and imagery. Neither of the practices are right or wrong objectively. But, subjectively, a brand’s social media and website presentation should resonate with their customers.

Ultimately, good reputation management will be something customers usually subconsciously recognize. The customer experience journey should be effortless for the customer. They should feel successful after their purchase or interaction with you, and they should feel respect or trust for your business in some way.

In order to communicate effectively with customers and create touch points that allow them to connect with your company in an emotionally positive way, businesses need to focus not just on ROI, but the loyalty behaviors they want their customers to exhibit.

The 5 Key Loyalty Behaviors

The 5 key loyalty behaviors are word of mouth, repurchasing, trusting your business, forgiving your company when a mistake has been made, and trying a new offering right away. Reputation management that focuses on these loyalty behaviors can increase annual revenue by up to 25.8%!

Don’t believe us? Well, 25.8% does seem relatively big, but it is possible. Just look at Hertz.

Case Study: Hertz

From Poor Reputation to Receiving a Shorty Award for Social Customer Service

The Opportunity

Several years ago, Hertz was struggling to maintain a positive online reputation. The problem was their 1-800 customer service only operated Monday through Friday, and they didn’t answer questions received over social media. This meant that weekend travelers could not reach any form of live customer service. This was extremely surprising and upsetting for many Hertz Rental Car customers who expected the global travel mega-company to have customer service available in their time of distress, such as if the car broke down, if they were attempting to figure out how to drop off their car at a closed rental office on a weekend, or if they had a dispute with a local Hertz office about the availability of their reserved rental car.

What their audience expects

My messages will be responded to

A response within 30 minutes

24/7 Customer Service

Social responses across multiple channels

What Hertz was delivering

Average wait time was 5 hr 32 min

No service on the weekend

Equipped to handle only FB and Twitter

Only 32% of all messages were addressed. 24 million total customer interactions. 16,320,000 were not being addressed.

The Solution

Hertz customers were unable to make their customer feel successful due to stained or unavailable communication channels. This lead to customers becoming increasingly frustrated.

Hertz solved their customer experience issue by implementing social customer experience strategies with Nuvi’s tools. Hertz was empowered to listen to their audience in powerful ways across social, to organize the issues arising through the use of tags and notifications, and to implement solutions to engage with those issues.

As they began to fix their processes, they were able to create positive touch points that turned many customers into advocates.

CUSTOMER REACTIONS

A Run-in With a Comedian

In 2017, Comedian Sarah Colonna tweeted about how there were no available rentals when she arrived to pick up her car in Atlanta. Hertz’s engagement team, with our real-time software, was able to reverse a negative into a positive and ultimately turn Sarah into a brand ambassador.

A few months before Sarah’s experience, Hertz was also able to improve their online reputation during Hurricane Harvey.

During the crisis of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Twitter proved to be the best means of communication for disaster relief. The Hertz Corporation was able to assist customers effectively by bringing in the fleet to help responders and victims with transport needs. Hertz also used the Nuvi platform to connect with influencers who were traveling to Houston for relief efforts.

CUSTOMER REACTIONS

Hurricane Heros

Influencer Stef Michaels, known to her millions of social followers as @adventuregirl, noticed that Hertz was actively using Twitter to engage with citizens. Stef was heading to Houston with over 1,000 dog food bags for displaced animals. She tweeted @hertz to partner on this important journey. Hertz provided Stef with a SUV to transport the food to shelters, leading to increased engagement, reach, and positive sentiment.

Similarly, Heath Hussar, an influencer with nearly 600,000 followers on Twitter, tweeted that his pickup truck was stolen. The Hertz customer care team intercepted his tweet and hooked Heath up with a pickup truck rental. His followers jumped in on the conversation and created the hashtag #HertzToTheRescue, which tremendously increased Hertz's reach and positive sentiment.

The Results Were Amazing.

• Decreased negative sentiment 24% vs. the previous year
• 74% increase in incoming messages
• Converted half of concerned customers to promoters
• Increased service levels by 67%
• Saved $3.5 million in the first year after investing in social customer care
• Awarded a Shorty Award for Best-in-Class Social Customer Care



So, what loyalty behaviors did Hertz seek to develop? Their efforts point towards the goals of generating word of mouth and increasing customer trust in them. Achieving the Shorty Award says that many thought their efforts successful. And the fact that negative sentiment decreased by 24% means their online reputation management strategy was working.

Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind
Walter landor

Build Your Online Reputation

By knowing what loyalty behaviors you’d like your customers to exhibit, you can fashion experiences for them that will develop those behaviors. To do this, social listening is a must. 

Social listening provides businesses with the insights they need into customer behavior on social media. These insights will highlight their concerns, their perceptions of your company, what trends they follow, and so much more. With these insights, you’ll be able to complete your market research and better understand your target audiences. Once you understand them better, you’ll be able to create a social customer experience strategy that helps your business make positive touchpoints with your customers and build your online reputation.

Online Reputation Management and Brand Management

Today, online reputation management and brand management go hand in hand. On social media, businesses are making hundreds of first impressions every day. So, they need to be on top of their game, every second of every day.

High standard, isn’t it? However, we’re all human and can’t be perfect all the time. But your brand can.

“Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.”—Walter Landor

Everyone lives in their own realities. They believe their own feelings and thoughts are fact. Yet, we all have different opinions, so there’s no way every person’s reality is always right. But that doesn’t change the fact that people believe they’re right. So, you must convince them that your brand—your reality —should be part of theirs. 

When you can do that, you’ll improve customer satisfaction, engagement, and word of mouth.

As you connect with customers, positively build your online reputation, and make your brand part of your customer’s lives, you’ll be able to improve customer engagement after a purchase.

Steps to Improving Customer Engagement

  • Identify the right topics that will resonate with customers and motivate them to promote your brand
  • Engage directly with them
  • Create an online environment they can be proud of.


By identifying the topics your customers are interested in, you can create a strong emotional connection with them. It’s just like making a friend, really. Get to know which trends they’re interested in, which of your products or services are most popular, which charities they favor, and the list can go on and on.

By creating content that will both help and resonate with your customers, you’ll also be able to build up your SEO. A lot of times people struggle with making Google and their customers happy at the same time, but it is possible. Very possible. Customers want good, relevant information. Yes, they want things they can laugh at, but they ultimately want something that will benefit them. 

But how do you identify the topics that both resonate with customers and are SEO friendly? Social listening.

Meet and Engage With Your Audience Where They Are

Like we talked about before, social listening helps you better observe conversations around your business. These will highlight what other interests your customers might have besides your company. You can then brainstorm ways to incorporate those interests into your marketing efforts to create engaging content while still promoting your brand, products, or services. 

But customers want more than just articles they can read, they want genuine interactions with your business. As Andrew Reid, Founder, President and Chief Product Officer at Vision Critical explained, “Find a way to be personal with your customers and connect with them on a human level.” 

With Nuvi Engage, you can reach out to customers and talk with them as real-time conversations are happening. You can do everything from addressing a customer’s concern with a product to laughing about April Fools jokes. Basically, show them you're human. And let them get to know you. As they do, your online reputation will grow.

Another way to engage with your customers is to make sure your website and listings look good. With Nuvi Locate, you can keep all your locations’ information up to date. This helps potential customers have greater trust in your business as they research you before they purchase. 

Additionally, reviews can be great tools for reputation management. As you engage with customers online and utilize social listening, you’ll find customer experiences that would be great as reviews. Asking them to share their experiences as a review will make customers feel involved and that you care about them. As an added bonus, these customers will be more likely to share with others that you asked for their help by asking them to share their story. This increased word of mouth makes your online presences more vibrant and attractive to potential customers. 


Steps to Improving Customer Engagement

Now, you might be saying, “that’s all fine and good, but getting people to leave good reviews can be a hassle.” A while ago, we were tagged in a conversation about referrals, but many of the points they bring up also apply to reviews. The author of the post and those that interacted in the conversation made some interesting points.

The most common opinion was that most referrals came as a result of providing customers with great value and a great experience. The same goes for reviews. People want to share good experiences and they want to feel that they are helping to influence other’s lives for the better. For some industries, it may be looked down on to ask for reviews directly after a purchase, but, as one commenter said, providing subtle reminders and proper incentive can go a long way to driving referrals and reviews. 

With good reviews and asking for them in a way your customers will appreciate, you will gain the respect from your current customers and provide a welcoming online presence to potential customers.

The more you consistently create content that resonates and engages with customers, the more vibrant your online presence will be.

This healthy, living environment, tailored to your customers, will encourage customer retention and make potential customers more willing to check you out.

Influencer Marketing

Word of mouth Is Important For Online Reputation Management

We know people are 92% more likely to listen to their friends than advertisements. Duh! Of course people listen to those who’ve earned their trust, their respect. The question is how do you become one of them?

The steps and elements we’ve discussed already will put businesses on the road toward success with their reputation management. But customers will always outnumber your employees. The simple truth is that companies cannot reach all of their customers by themselves at the best of times, even with social media solutions such as Nuvi Engage.

The fact of the matter is that companies cannot reach all of their audience. And, in some cases, it might be better that they don’t.

We know, we know. That sounds contradictory to what we said in the previous section, but people do trust friends over businesses. People expect marketing advertisements to be too good to be true; they expect real people to give them real answers and real information.

This is why businesses need Influencers.

Influencers are especially important when:

Businesses are trying to connect better with customers

Reaching out to a new audience

A crisis occurs

Promoting new products and services

Businesses Need Influencers All The Time.

Using influencers strategically to expand your business’s reach and online presence is more effective than simply doing it yourself. Oftentimes, influencers already have a good relationship with the potential audience you’re wanting to expand to or customers believe that the influencer always gives good reviews of products. Why waste time and energy you could be spending elsewhere on something an influencer already has?

Using influencers strategically can improve many elements of your brand.

1

Enhance social media presence

2

Increase Online Engagement

3

Build Trust and Credibility

4

Create Advocates During A Crisis

INFLUENCER EXAMPLE

Brand Management During a Crisis

When you utilize influencers, they’ll be happy to promote your company as well as help you understand customer concerns and assist in addressing them. They’ll also be excited to share with their audience what they’re doing alongside you, improving your online reputation even more.

Let’s take a look at the following interaction:

In this interaction, April Strat is quick to call out what she perceived Aspiration’s intentions to be during the Coronavirus pandemic. Influencer, Joe Sandberg, quickly responds to defend Aspiration and educate the April on what the company is doing to help during this crisis. This interaction is the perfect example of how influencers can become advocates for a brand and step in when needed. 

Having influencers who can turn into spokespeople during a crisis is incredibly valuable to keeping your online reputation intact and communication with customers optimal. Even in times of plenty, having influencers who will go up to bat for your company is just as valuable. Having influencers and creating advocates for your brand no matter what season you’re in will enhance your social media presence, increase online engagement and build trust and credibility that improves your online reputation.

Create an Online Presence Customers will be Proud to Associate with

As your online reputation management focuses on the consumer, businesses will find their customers exhibiting more loyalty behaviors than they’d set goals for. They’ll bring their friends and family, they’ll try new products, and trust you because they’ll know from your actions that you can be trusted. 

Reputation management will always take consistent work. Customers' opinions will shift because of a crisis or due to issues a company cannot control. Influencers will cycle a little. A new social media platform will be created that your audience may gravitate toward. There are many, many changes that will influence your online reputation strategy, so you’ll need tools to analyze your customers in order to move forward in a way that will keep them engaged with your business.

Nuvi’s suite of social customer experience solutions help businesses listen to their audience and analyze what they learn to adjust and fill out their market research. We also provide the solutions to take what you learn from a plan to publication, whether that be through a blog post or a comment on a customer’s post.

With these solutions, consistently create touchpoints that resonate with your audience, utilize influencers, and manage your online reputation.

We are here to help you grow.

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