If you want to run a successful business in the year 2019, you better make sure that it has a positive online reputation. If your business has a negative online reputation, your chances of success and survival are slim to none. Many business owners understand this, and that is why according to Clutch’s 2018 online reputation management survey, 42% of companies monitor their online reputation daily. As you can see, many business owners understand the importance of their own online reputations and try to monitor it as much as possible. However, even though it is true that many business owners know this, it is also true that many do not understand that their client’s online reputation is just as important as their own.
There are many reasons why your client’s online reputation matters, but in this article, I will be discussing the four biggest reasons why your client’s online reputation is important for you and your business.
Impacts Your Current Sales
At the end of the day, the main goal for every business is to make money. Representing a client who has a negative online reputation is something that decreases your chances of achieving this goal dramatically. This is because many people believe in the guilt by association principle. Simply put, this principle states that if you are associated with someone who is unethical, or not trustworthy, you must be all of those things too. Although this line of thinking is not fair or rational, the reality is that many people do think like this. What this means is that if you decide to work with a client who has a poor online reputation and your current customers find out, they are going to begin to question your morality and ethics. Even if your business is truly ethical, none of that matters if you are associated with shady people. If once loyal customers start to question your ethics, then ultimately your current sales will be negatively impacted.
Hurts Your Chances for New Business
Representing a client who has a negative online reputation not only impacts your current sales, but it also hurts your chances to obtain new business as well. This is because most people do online research about your business before agreeing to work with you. When potential clients do this online research about your business, you want them to see only positive things. If they see that you represent a shady client or business, then they are not going to want to do business with you. For example, let’s say you had a meeting with a potential client and everything went great. However, the potential client finds out that some other clients that you represent are dishonest, and have negative online reputations. They are then going to think twice about agreeing to work with you, and as a result, may look elsewhere for a potential business partner. This is how your client’s online reputation can negatively impact your chances to obtain new business.
Impacts Your Online Reputation
As stated previously, most business owners already understand how important their online reputation is for the overall success of their business. Without a good online reputation, you have virtually no chance to succeed. By representing a client who has a negative online reputation, you are essentially putting your own online reputation at risk. This is because of the tendencies that people have to voice their opinions online. When people find out that you are in business with a shady individual or company, they are not only going to start to question you and your business in their own minds, but there is a high chance that they are going to voice these concerns and raise these questions about you online as well. The more negative things that are written about you online, the worse your online reputation becomes. Even though there is no way to control and monitor everything that people online, there are things that you can do in order to help make sure that these inevitable negative comments don’t negatively impact you. Doing things like responding to all positive and negative reviews, providing good customer service, being active on all social media platforms, and keeping all of your business information safe through the use of database security, are all great ways in which you can help minimize the risk of your online reputation going from positive to negative.
Destroys Trust Between You and Your Current Clients
Negative online reputations will increase the chances of your current clients losing trust in you. Along with maintaining a positive online reputation, gaining client trust is extremely important for the overall success of a business. If you don’t believe in the power of client trust, consider this. According to a survey conducted by BrightLocal, 74% of consumers credit positive reviews with making them trust a local business more. Based on this statistic, it is easy to understand why client trust is so important for a business’s success. By representing people who have negative online reputations, your clients will begin to lose trust in you, and that is a death sentence for the majority of businesses in the world.
In summary, online reputation is extremely important for the survival of any business. However, it is not enough to just make sure that you have a positive online reputation. You also need to make sure that your clients have one as well, or else you could be negatively impacting your own business.