What's Your Online Reputation?

Christina Lewellen
September 1, 2010
THE TALK...

I have heard from many folks in the industry in the last year or so who contend that plenty of homeowners are staying put in their existing homes rather than moving along the traditional path of starter home to family home to downsized home.

It makes sense, given the current environment and the fact that consumer confidence continues to be wobbly at best. This week, I came across this article advising people how to check out contractors' online reputation. CNN Money brings up some good points about making sure that reviews are legit and explores buying supplies online versus local.

My question this week is whether you're watching your online reputation. Do you know what customers are saying, and what potential customers are reading? Send me an email to tell me about how you handle online reviews, and what you do to proactively manage what people are saying about your company on the Web. And will you be brave enough to admit if you're one of many companies that (gasp!) ignore what people are saying about you online?

 

Contact Christina Lewellen, senior editor, at clewellen@glass.org.

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Survey Results as of 9/076/2010:

To my company, online reviews are:

Something we watch very closely.

  

 

68%

Something we occasionally review, but probably should be more proactive about managing.

  

 

17%

Not a big concern.

  

 

15%

 

Christina also writes:

This week I asked how closely companies are watching their online reviews. I'm pleased to see that a decent majority, close to 70 percent of respondents, are taking online reviews pretty seriously. An additional 17 percent admit that perhaps online reviews deserve a little bit more attention on their company's part.

We're always surprised around here that some Talk questions result in our inboxes being capsized and others leave us hearing crickets. This week—crickets. I honestly thought a few more folks would weigh in on what challenges (dare I say nightmares?) they've encountered with online reviews and what they've done to be proactive in this space.

What I can offer is some thoughts from the B2C Marketing Insider Web site. In this article published in early June, author Marc Karasu reminds companies about how to take the bull by the horns when it comes to online reviews. He points out that not all reviews have to be positive—in fact, most big companies do have their fair share of negative reviews—but how a company responds to these posts can make a big impression with would-be customers.

Karasu writes: "Online reviews are here to stay and many current and potential customers use internet search engines to help guide their online research in deciding where to buy.  You can leverage the world of online consumer reviews in your favor and often have more impact on thousands of active consumers’ purchasing intent [than] the best TV commercial."

I'm still open to hearing your thoughts on managing online reviews. Email me or submit another comment to share your company's story.

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