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When it comes to your business, it’s not so much what you say but what your customers do. These conversations exist online, do you know what others are saying about your company?

For many businesses, reputation management is an afterthought. But this not only makes it more difficult to take care of later, but if you aren’t monitoring or tracking reviews, it’s high time you do. Not only can you benefit from what you learn, you could create new customers.

Also, consider for a moment that 92% of consumers read online reviews.

If that isn’t incentive enough, we’ve got ten more reasons for you to consider.

Listen to Your Customers

Understanding who they are, along with knowing what they like or (gasp) dislike about your business goes a long way towards keeping your customers. When you start monitoring your online reviews, you’ll gain insight as well as a feel for overall sentiment. It also pays to keep an eye on the competition.

Knowing Your Customers

You can learn a lot from listening, and actually get to know your customers by monitoring discussions and their opinions of both your business and the competition. This provides valuable insights that help you know your market better, along with your industry.

Go Where Your Customers Are

As you start to monitor social conversations, reviews and opinions, you’ll also get a sense of where many of your customers are to be found online. Sometimes the best prospects aren’t always big sites like Facebook, Yelp or similar. There’s often opportunities to be found on more niche sites or local communities as well.

Watch Market Trends

There are cases where you might be monitoring a competitor and learn of a niche site or blog that discusses what’s coming in your industry, or something the competition is doing that you should look into in order to compete. Staying on top of market trends is easily accomplished once you’ve built a list of resources to check on a regular basis.

Finding Influence

Not all customers are alike, and a few might even be what some call influencers. If you’re a local SMB, try looking for prominent bloggers in your area, there’s always a few. But there needs to be a realistic connection between your business and their audience before you think of engaging. If you have to rationalize to bridge the gap, it probably isn’t a great fit. But if there is a fit, an influencer can have further reach for distributing your message.

Give Them What They Want

If you’re monitoring or tracking the opinion of your customers, along with those of your competition, it enables you to identify any product or service that you might want to improve or start to offer.

It’s About Customer Experience

When you make it a habit to track or monitor online reviews, opinions or conversations of your company, you’re able to be a better judge of how you can improve. If you’re not listening, you can only make assumptions. When you make the effort to optimize the customer experience, you’ll often earn more positive online reviews and word of mouth that will bring more business.

Track, Monitor, Engage

As you track reviews you’ll be able to identify dissatisfied customers. This is an opportunity for your business because when you try to resolve issues, you can often retain the customer. Additionally, if this conversation occurs on social or review sites, other potential customers will see this sort of engagement, and sometimes it’s engagement like this that will help prospects convert due to genuine efforts to make your customers happy.

Reputation Management

If it isn’t monitored, it isn’t managed. Tracking reviews allows you to respond to customers, engage, and defuse potential issues. Also, by engaging and monitoring, online reviews should tend to improve which will increase the word of mouth referrals.

Build Relations

When you monitor and engage online reviews, it’s another opportunity to connect with customers. By interacting with them, you can build loyalty, and even create advocates.

It isn’t enough to just monitor, it’s even more important to engage. If you want to build trust and properly manage your reputation, you should participate in the conversation. It does not pay to be selective, and you should engage with all comments, opinions and online reviews where possible. If you’re not comfortable with some comments, read our suggestions on how to respond to negative reviews for additional advice.

We built Nicejob to help with online review management, so you get more and better reviews. With it’s automated process, Nicejob is about the easiest way to stay on top of reviews so you have more time to take care of business.

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