Online Review Management Trends to Watch in 2017
The online review management sector is constantly changing. Staying informed demands a 360 degree view to ensure a complete picture of the opportunities and threats that may impact your business. At ReviewIgnite, we keep a close watch on the important trends in online review management that businesses can leverage to both protect their reputation and increase sales. Below are 5 trends businesses should be aware of in 2017.
- Measuring Employee Job Satisfaction
Your employees are your best brand ambassadors. Providing a desirable work environment is important to ensure they are satisfied in their roles. However, many companies are failing to achieve this objective. According to the results of the 2016 edition of The Conference Board Job Satisfaction survey, only half of US workers (49.6 %) are satisfied with their jobs.
Unhappy or uninspired employees can lead to poor customer service. And, unsatisfied customers are prone to leaving negative reviews about their experience with your company on Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc. To make matters worse, your displeased employees may also leave unflattering reviews on popular job recruitment sites like Glassdoor and Indeed. Both outcomes are bad for business. As a result, attracting and retaining talented employees becomes difficult and, more importantly, your customers will shop elsewhere.
The key to addressing this issue is to measure employee job satisfaction by surveying your employees on a regular basis. We expect more companies to get feedback from their employees to better understand the issues to improve job satisfaction in the coming year.
- Customer Experience Strategy Goes Mainstream
In business, good customer experience and a good reputation go hand in hand. What’s more important is that both have a direct impact on revenue. A mainstay in large corporations, implementing a customer experience process is now becoming a requirement for companies of all sizes. Ensuring your staff are delivering exceptional customer experiences is critical to success. Studies show that 82% of people have stopped doing business with a company due to a bad experience (Source: Forbes). What’s more is these same unhappy customers are likely to post negative comments about their experience online.
We see more small businesses taking advantage of the benefits that a sound customer experience program offers. While implementing a customer experience program is not a project to be taken lightly, it shouldn’t deter you from making this part of your online reputation plans in 2017.
- Focus on Lead Nurturing and Follow up
Generating leads is the lifeblood of every business. However, the way companies handle their leads and how this can affect their brand reputation may surprise you. Various studies have found that among companies of all sizes and industries, approximately 50% of all sales leads are not followed up on. (Source: Base.)
As troubling as this statistic is from a pure sales standpoint, not following up on leads can also harm your brand reputation. Consider this: if someone has taken the time to call you, post a question to your Facebook or Twitter account or fill out a contact form on your website and you don’t respond – how do you think this makes them feel?
Ignoring leads (whether they are qualified or not) can cause serious damage to your business. These jilted potential customers can post negative online reviews about their experience with your brand. That’s why we believe more companies will put more effort in following up on all leads by using lead nurturing programs and software in 2017. Do you follow up with all your leads?
- Traditional Advertising Use Declines
Promoting a business using traditional “mass media” advertising has been a staple of marketing strategy for decades. However, consumers are more skeptical of claims made in advertising than ever. Remember the old adage: “people trust what your customers say about you – not what you say about you”. Today, consumers are doing more pre-purchase research online. A major part of this research is reading what others say about companies on popular review sites and social media. To illustrate this point, studies show that 92% of consumers say they read online reviews. (Source: BrightLocal.) In addition, search engines like Google are pushing reviews to the top of the search results.
The bottom line? If your business has no reviews, you are not likely to be found online by consumers and you risk losing business.
Traditional advertising is not going away. However, more businesses will focus marketing dollars on SEO and leveraging customer reviews for their business by investing in online review management software.
- Protecting Reputation is a Top Priority
In large companies, studies show that risk managers rank “damage to reputation and brand” as a top priority. This is primarily due to the increased vulnerability businesses face from the internet and social media. The most common threat is consumers posting negative comments about their experiences with businesses on sites like Google, Yelp and Facebook. Smaller businesses have taken notice of the critical role that protecting their online reputation plays in ensuring overall success. That’s why, we believe more companies will invest in technology including online review monitoring tools to protect and build their brand’s reputation in 2017.
There you have it. Our list of key trends in online review management to watch in 2017. We will be writing a more in depth post for each of the trends mentioned in the coming months. Stay tuned!
Interested in learning more? ReviewIgnite is here to help! Online review management represents a great opportunity for businesses to both improve brand reputation and boost sales. Using our online review management software, we can implement an effective, easy-to-use solution for you and your staff to start monitoring and leveraging the power of online customer reviews today. Simply contact us or click on the “Request a Demo” link below.
All of us at ReviewIgnite wish you and your staff a happy and prosperous 2017!