reputationEOnline reputation management (ORM) is increasingly becoming a success factor for businesses since effective customer experience management and the endeavor to actively listen to customer voices, can build up customer trust. The more solid the reputation of a company, the higher the probability of optimizing products or services and winning customers. In addition, a great customer experience at every touchpoint turns consumers into brand ambassadors who in turn convince potential customers.

The key lies in the combination of managing customer experience positively and optimizing the online reputation, since both are dependent on each other. Making just one of them your task will not be enough in the long run to assert yourself against the competition. In the future, companies will hardly be able to avoid integrated Reputation Experience Management (RXM) and the following tips should therefore be helpful:

Prioritize ORM in the context of the overall customer experience

Reviews, whether positive or negative, are a valuable treasure for every company, since checking, tracking, and optimizing the online reputation is beneficial to the business. However, online reputation cannot be managed in isolation from other business processes. Tight integration with other customer engagement initiatives is essential so that reputation management becomes a central part of your overall customer experience strategy.

Don't lose sight of your goal, which is the trust and loyalty of your customers

While business goals and financial metrics are major drivers of online reputation optimization projects, your primary focus should be building an authentic, transparent, and trusted brand. Therefore, pay attention to your online reputation in the right places to build trust and strengthen your "social proof".

Get maximum benefit from feedback by actively encouraging customers to do so

Use different tactics to actively use customer feedback for your branding and test out different channels to get customers to give feedback. In addition to social media, a targeted approach via email and SMS is also an effective means.

Take the time to respond to questions and address negative feedback

Customer reviews are not a one-way street. Actively reviewing and responding to reviews is critical to success. Effective handling of questions and feedback can not only increase the profit margin, but generally has a positive effect on customer satisfaction. Most customers expect companies to respond to their feedback, whether positive or negative. It is advisable to set guidelines for response times as well as workflows or an escalation procedure for negative reviews.

Assign resources to monitor and control your online reputation

To control and optimize customer experiences and the online reputation, it is necessary to coordinate several departments and people across company levels – and most importantly clearly define the responsibilities. This is the only way to make the knowledge gained from customer feedback usable for service and product developments. It's a good idea to establish a baseline for your success measurement and examine the direct relationship between positive reviews and customer acquisition and retention. That way, you can be sure of receiving support from your entire company and that the allocation of resources is as smooth as possible.

Invest in technology for a 360-degree view of your customers

When you use a software solution to monitor reviews and optimize your feedback management, you eliminate tedious manual processes. With the help of a robust, effective system, you can gain valuable insights of your online reputation and customer experiences, discover areas for improvement and ultimately ensure positive business development. But only if a “single source of truth” collects and consolidates data from all customer contact points is it possible to gain reliable knowledge from the wealth of inconsistent feedback data. This integration is the key to a 360-degree view of the customer perception of a brand.

In times of rating platforms, social media and the like, feedback is not only available online for everyone, but can be given within a few clicks, too. What's more, consumers play a decisive role in shaping the corporate and brand image, which makes proactive online reputation management (ORM) important. Companies must listen to their customers, respond to feedback, and ensure positive customer experiences at every single touchpoint. This is the only way to ensure that you control the perception of your brand and offer your customers the best possible customer experience.

By Daniela La Marca