Why National Brands Need Online Reputation Management
A business’s brand is its number one asset. When national brands have channel partners that sell their products or services locally, it is difficult for brands to keep track of what consumers are saying about them. This is especially true in today’s digital world. According to a recent study by BrightLocal, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations and 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more. With various review websites like Facebook, Yelp, Google+ and scores of others, maintaining and responding to customer reviews for a national brand with dozens to thousands of partner locations could be a full-time job for an entire customer service department.
Brands need to engage with their consumers, whether by responding to a negative review to rectify an unsatisfactory customer experience or showing loyal customers that they are listening to feedback by engaging with positive reviews. When brands manage business reviews at the local level, it helps partners’ online visibility and increases national brand satisfaction. When a business responds to its customers through online reviews, other customers are often more likely to leave positive reviews. Positive reviews are a no-cost marketing medium for a business because prospective customers are more like to read a company’s list of reviews before completing a transaction with a business. So how can brands and local partners track their online reviews?
Online reputation management programs allow brand-level marketers to monitor what is being said about their number one asset across all of the locations that sell their products or services. This happens by allowing their channel partners to efficiently manage new online customer reviews in real time. Brands benefit by understanding what local consumers are saying about their brand. At the same time, partners can engage with customer reviews as needed while focusing on their day-to-day business owner duties.