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    01 Apr 2021

    First steps in reputation management for SMEs and founders

    Guest at START HÜRTH – the webinar on March 25, which took place together with the Cologne Chamber of Commerce and Roland Ballacchino from ProReputation, a service of ProPerforma, dealt with everything to do with reputation management. In particular, the first steps of reputation management for SMEs and founders were explained and the monitoring of one’s reputation was also presented as well as the respective processes.

    Nowadays, everything can be published publicly on the Internet – the digital age knows no boundaries. More and more people are exchanging information via various portals, including rating portals. It is not only companies that benefit from customer reviews. The more customers who leave a review, the more opportunity there is to act on the feedback and provide customers with a better buying experience

    What is Reputation Management?

    Nowadays, almost 90% of all customers inform themselves about the company on the Internet before making a final purchase decision. Especially in times of Corona, the relevance of online reviews has increased, because consultations in retail stores are hardly or no longer possible in a direct way. Every virtual content published about a company, an employee, a product, or even a service influences the purchase decision of potential customers and the online reputation of companies.

    Reputation management is a variety of systematic corporate activities that serve both to build, maintain and improve a company’s reputation. With the help of reputation management, companies can sustainably increase their value and consolidate their positive image.

    The role of customer reviews

    A full 85% of consumers trust online ratings as much as personal recommendations. This ideally reflects the relevance of customer reviews. However, this can bring both opportunities and risks. Companies that receive more positive reviews can build a foundation of trust with their customers so that customer loyalty can be increasingly strengthened. Optimally, higher click-through rates can also be achieved, which are considered a positive ranking signal and help to display future results higher up in the search engine. Not only do companies also benefit from customer reviews. The more customers who leave a review, the more opportunity there is to act on the feedback and provide customers with a better buying experience.

    Despite this, there is a risk of being confronted with negative reviews. In the worst-case scenario, this can result in important customers leaving and lasting damage to the company’s image, and sales can also suffer.

    How can effective reputation management be established?

    As a company, it is essential to begin the first steps of reputation management in the context of analysis. Since much of the action nowadays takes place on social media, the target groups are considered here. This involves determining who you want to address as a target group and which channels can be used to do this most effectively. Get the hearing you need.

    In the course of this, the corresponding content of the relevant channels is located and categorized. The next step is to determine the goals you are aiming for with positive reputation management. With the help of a project plan, you can write down the most important facts and keep track of them at all times. Lastly, it is important to proactively engage in communication within reputation management.

    However, this is not the end of the story, because it is necessary to be always active and to carry out continuous analyses. Especially nowadays, when much is happening in social media and currently the Corona pandemic is also increasing the importance of the Internet, it is essential to maintain a positive image in the long term and to strengthen the building of customer loyalty.

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