BBB recommends reputation management as a cornerstone of business success

It’s hard to imagine a more powerful asset to your business than an excellent reputation.

Priceless in value because, as New York Times bestselling author Harvey Mackay says, “You can’t buy a good reputation, you have to earn it.”

One of the keys to business success is building a reputation for excellence. Although it takes time, a strong business reputation is regularly credited for sales growth, customer loyalty, and attracting higher quality employees.

Your brand awareness is also a powerful tool to set yourself apart from your competitors.

According to Salesforce research statistics, 95% of customers will be loyal to a business with a trustworthy reputation, and over 90% are more likely to recommend the business.

It is important for new businesses to establish a positive online reputation. A common problem we see at BBB is that some companies don’t have an online presence.

To make your business more easily found, you need to have consistent information everywhere your customers can find you online. Your online and offline reputation affects your website’s SEO, so you need to claim all your social media pages and respond to customer feedback quickly.


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

The BBB can also help you. BBB.org is one of the top 1% of websites in the world, attracting millions of local consumer searches each year across Chicago and northern Illinois, and it has high domain authority . If your business is not listed in the BBB business directory, consider applying for BBB accreditation so you can display the BBB seal, a sign of a better business.

Or you can submit a free profile. Once you are included, keep your profile updated to give your business better visibility.

Another tool is to search for your business name in Google search and note where you appear. Do other searches show up when you search for your business name? Do you appear anywhere on the first page when you search for your services? Does your business show up as a location on Google Maps?

If you don’t end up in any of these places, neither will your customers.

Verify your business online through Google My Business. By verifying your business profile on Google, you will always show the correct contact information to potential customers who are looking for your business or services.

Some companies may be hesitant to go online and open up to customer feedback. However, good reviews from your customers are a powerful reputation booster. Even negative reviews with an appropriate response can boost SEO counterintuitively. If you respond to a negative review, keep your response positive and try to take the conversation offline.

A great reputation is something to be proud of. Search engines prioritize customer reviews, especially new and relevant reviews. As a best practice, be sure to respond to all comments.

While responding to all reviews is an investment of your time, it will pay big dividends and is essential for building trust and managing your reputation as a credible and ethical business.

If a problem arises between your business and a customer, it’s important to be responsive with a solution in mind to create a positive interaction in the marketplace. Each successful interaction shows potential future customers that you will be proactive in resolving any issues that may arise. Not responding to a negative experience makes it seem like you’ve given up on that customer interaction.

This can be summed up by Warren Buffett, who says, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

A final thought for many companies that are building or have already built a great reputation: don’t keep it secret and lock it inside your organization. Celebrate these positive interactions and share them on social media whenever possible.

Your business reputation is the most powerful marketing tool at your disposal.

• Steve J. Bernas is President and CEO of BBB Chicago and Northern Illinois. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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