While online reputation management is important to your business year round, holiday online reputation management actually matters even more. That said, what online customer reviews are saying about your business is nearly as important as how your company does business.
This year, customers will be online more than ever before, and they expect you to be ready for the added business. According to comScore.com, holiday retail ecommerce sales in 2015 were $69.08 billion, up from $61.29 billion in 2014. And the National Retail Federation forecasts that all sales in November and December this year are expected to be up by 3.6 percent.
Here are some ways to boost, monitor and protect your company’s online reputation this holiday season.
Holiday Sales Are Impacted by Online Reputation
Your online reputation won’t be taking time off for the holidays. This time of the year, consumers want to reduce their aggravation level as much as possible. Buying from companies that provide excellent service and quality allows them to do that, and online reviews give them the information they need to decide which companies can help.
When your online reputation takes a negative hit during the holidays, it can adversely impact holiday sales goals. But it can negatively impact the bottom line throughout the coming year. You want to make every effort to prevent negative online reviews during the holidays.
Remain Attentive to Online Reviews, Especially During the Holidays
You want to keep your online reputation in your sights throughout the holidays. Holiday shopping can be very stressful, and unhappy customers are much more likely to leave a negative online review if a problem is not addressed in time for gift-giving.
Make sure that someone is monitoring your online reputation consistently during this time of year. Set up a schedule that works for your business. Track reviews two, three, four or more times a day. Keep an eye out for any issues since they can cause significant problems later as well. This will allow you to solve problems as quickly as possible. You don’t want to walk into a mess that could have been solved hours earlier.
Take the opportunity to demonstrate that your company offers great customer service and cares about happy customers, especially during the holiday season. Apologize for any inconvenience. Respond politely and offer a tangible solution beyond leaving a phone number to call you. The right responses matter. You want to truly and sincerely engage.
You want to do everything possible to keep customers happy at the holidays. It may cost you money, but in the end a happy customer will return and bring others with them. This has never been more true than in the new world of online reviews and the role Google and other site now play in business success.
Drive Traffic and Monitor Chatter to Make Your Business Thrive this Holiday Season
To maximize your company website’s reach and exposure during the holidays, consider all of the avenues available to you. Social media, Google AdWords, email marketing and pay-per-click advertising are all great options to help you attract new customers.
Offer holiday promotions, incentives and daily prizes or specials. Holiday countdowns are always popular and they remain a great way to boost engagement. Encourage customers to post about their shopping experience or to share your posts. Offer customers a discount or incentive for doing so.
You want to encourage people to come back to your website and social channels often by making their experience fun and memorable. The more memorable an experience you provide customers, the happier they will be to provide you with a positive online review. Be sure to monitor what’s being said on every channel so you can take note, enjoy any praise and reply to any problems.
Don’t Forget to Ask for Reviews during the Holidays
When any customer walks away pleased with your business, it’s an opportunity for you to have them share their experience. Remember to routinely ask for online reviews and testimonials, especially at the holidays. Requesting online reviews this time of year can help you tap into the happiness and generosity that often permeates the season.
Make it simple by having a template in place so you can reach out quickly and easily. Include a link so your customers can be helpful with little effort. Holiday online reputation management should be a key part of your marketing planning.
Remember that Your Front Line is Key to Holiday Online Reputation Management
A great online reputation begins and ends with a well-trained, motivated staff in all the right places who will do whatever it takes to keep customers happy. Your staff talks with customers, work with them, takes their money, and provides your products and services. Their satisfaction or dissatisfaction can impact their day and customers can detect that. So, their happiness should be high on your holiday list.
During the holidays, your employees will be busier than usual and may be unable to take breaks or get out for meals. On days that may be exceptionally busy for your business, have drinks and food on-hand for employees. You want to keep a smile on their faces so their happiness comes through to customers, and happy customers provide positive online reviews.
By providing the best customer experience possible during the holidays and by proactively monitoring and managing your online reviews and reputations, you can help ensure that your business can reach your holiday sales goals and lay a path for a successful year ahead.
If your business could use some help with holiday online reputation management, RepUvue has the tools and strategies that can give your business a boost. Contact us today.