Reputation is a prized, and highly vulnerable, corporate asset and also one of the most difficult to protect. Reputational risk includes the events that undermine public trust in your products or brand. (Source)
Online reputation is of concern to businesses of all sizes. And it ranks high in priority list to businesses which hugely depend on word of mouth like healthcare, hospitality or fashion.
The internet has given voice to everyone. For example, a hospitality business has to deal with reviews submitted by its employees at Glassdoor about the work environment and reviews submitted by its customers at Yelp about the restaurant services.
An un-addressed Tweet or a careless comment can hurt your business prospects. You can’t afford to be not there where everybody is talking about you.
US Search Engine Reputation Management Industry in 2016 is estimated to be $345 Million. This number alone is suggestive of importance accrued to online reputation. (Source)
Online reputation directly impacts following three aspects of an organization,
- Talent Retention: A not so positive online reputation can not only hit on your revenue but take a toll on your employee motivation. Similarly, a positive online reputation can work as magnet.
- Performance Ranking: Online reputation is the quickest score to know how we are doing in the eyes of our customers. It is not a standalone issue but reflects on our failure or success to deliver the best service. It is tempting to dismiss online Reputation as a performance metric because haters are always more vocal than supporters. But we should not ignore the fact that a customer overwhelmed by good service would be vocal too.
- Transparency: In today’s world opacity is a luxury. You can’t afford being not there where everyone is. Being elusive is just not on the cards for any expanding business. Like any other relation, transparency bring trust between business and the customer.
Many would consider online reputation management as just another shiny fad. But, the reality is, mismanaged online reputation is costing dollars. Hence, it is wise to invest in a strategy involving routine management and contingent planning.