In an increasingly online world, local reputation management is becoming an essential part of running a business.
Download “Why reputation management matters: A churn study” for data-based strategies on retaining clients longer using online reputation management.
Each day, millions of customers look at what’s being said about a local business online. This includes ratings and reviews on websites like Google and Yelp, social media posts, and blogs.
While business owners are generally aware that their local reputation matters, they often don’t have the time or expertise to manage it. Nor do they know how to maximize the value of positive reviews online or how to minimize potential reputation damage when things go wrong.
Local reputation management services can help small and medium businesses (SMB) maintain a clean and consistent image in the public eye. But there are so many other benefits to consider from a marketing, sales, brand, and business intelligence perspective.
In this blog, we take a closer look at why reselling local reputation management services is a worthwhile proposition for agencies and how this service offering can add significant value to your SMB clients.
Why resell local reputation management?
- Make your clients’ lives easier
- Help your clients grow sales
- Boost SEO
- Drive better business and customer outcomes
- Create intangible value
Keep reading for details on all these points and discover how you can easily resell reputation management services.
Make business owners’ lives easier
For a solopreneur or business owner with a small team, keeping up with, responding to and sourcing reviews on Google is hard enough. But to manage a constant stream of customer feedback across multiple review websites—each with its own unique login—can be a headache.
Reselling white-label reputation management solutions can alleviate these headaches by:
- Enabling business owners to monitor and respond to all their reviews from one centralized location—all under their own brand
- Saving time by ensuring each review receives a reply with response suggestions and custom templates
- Marketing branded emails and text messages to encourage customers to leave reviews
- Utilizing expert white-label teams to handle review responses (where appropriate)
The benefit for agencies and other resellers is the ability to generate a monthly recurring revenue stream by either simply selling the reputation management software and letting business owners self-manage their account or reviews or doing it for them (and earning more). There is also additional potential income to be made if your clients need your help executing marketing strategies to get more positive reviews.
It helps clients grow sales
When customers see a higher star rating and glowing reviews, they gain the social proof and validation required in order to walk into that storefront and make a purchase.
Consider the following online review statistics:
- A company’s revenue increases by 5-9 percent for every star its rating on Yelp increases (Harvard Business Review)
- 82 percent of buyers find review sites valuable in their search (G2)
- 31 percent more money is spent by customers when a business has positive reviews (Broadly)
- 92 percent of users will use a local business if it has at least a 4-star rating (Business 2 Community)
- 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (Business 2 Community)
- 85 percent of consumers won’t entertain recommendations older than 3 months (FinancesOnline)
By providing local reputation management services, agencies can help SMBs minimize the risk of being overlooked by potential customers while subsequently boosting sales. That’s good for your own reputation as an agency owner or reseller, and it can help ensure you can keep increasing your rates.
Local reputation management boosts SEO
Business owners may be surprised to know their online reputation plays a key role in how well they show up on search engine results pages.
When a person conducts a local search, for example for a restaurant, tailor, or clinic, Google serves up results based primarily on three factors:
For relevance, Google considers how well a local business profile matches what someone is searching for. That makes complete and detailed business listing information basic hygiene for any SMB.
But it’s the “prominence” factor agencies and reputation management resellers can exert a degree of control over in order to boost a business’s search ranking. Prominence refers to how well known a business is. This is based on information that Google finds across the web.
“Google review count and review score factor into local search ranking. More reviews and positive ratings can improve your business' local ranking. Your position in web results is also a factor, so search engine optimization (SEO) best practices apply,” Google says.
Thus, using local reputation management as a key plank to get more reviews for clients and add them to business listing websites can ultimately help improve their local SEO rankings as well.
Clients have a better public image
Imagine taking the time to leave a thoughtful review or constructive feedback following a poor experience at a local business—and then being completely ignored. It’s not a good feeling.
A business owner may not think it’s a big deal, but that reviewer likely feels very frustrated that their words and effort went to waste.
In the online world, there is no greater truism than the phrase “everybody’s watching.” Ignoring online reviews, especially negative feedback, is likely to compound reputational damage and create perceptions that the business in question does not care about its customers or responding to criticism in the public domain.
The data backs why this is a bad thing.
- 32 percent of consumers would stop buying from a brand after a bad experience, even if they liked that brand (PWC)
- Churn rates can soar by 15 percent if businesses don’t respond to customer reviews (Chatmeter)
- 83% of customers agree that they feel more loyal to brands that respond and resolve their complaints (Khoros)
- 41 percent of people feel noticed by companies that respond to their online reviews, and this creates a positive impression that the company cares about its customers (Bazaarvoice)
Even Google warns business owners not to neglect reviews, stating: “Respond to reviews users leave about your business. When you reply to reviews, it shows that you value your customers and their feedback. High-quality, positive reviews from your customers can improve your business visibility and increase the likelihood that a shopper will visit your location.”
These statistics underscore why local reputation management isn’t a one-off purchase, but, rather, something agencies and business owners need to consistently invest in.
It drives better business and customer outcomes
Quality white-label local reputation management software doesn’t just let agencies manage reviews for or with business owners. It can help them:
- Ensure their business information is accurately reflected across multiple review websites, search engines, and online directories
- Manage responses on Google Q&A
- Compare their online presence and social following against competitors
- Understand how many total reviews they have and the overall sentiment of those reviews, and compare them to industry averages
Most importantly, good local reputation management software can help business owners make sense of the things customers are saying online by detecting top keywords.
For example, a florist may receive dozens of reviews with customers frequently noting great service by “Jane,” the quality of their “bouquets,” and a desire for “online” ordering.
An agency can monitor these key trends on behalf of business owners and add value by noting opportunities, such as potential growth in sales by giving Jane more shifts and helping the client set up an ecommerce website (which means additional revenue!).
Local reputation management creates intangible value
Every business owner is always thinking about maximizing the value of their company, so when the day comes to sell it, they are as richly rewarded for their hard work and investments as possible.
Often, SMBs believe valuations are based merely on equipment, raw materials, real estate, and cash flow. But studies have indicated that 75 percent of an average company’s value is intangible, made up of components including reputation, patents, and goodwill.
As Canadian-Hong billionaire Li Ka-shing once said: “A good reputation for yourself and your company is an invaluable asset not reflected in the balance sheets.”
If you can help your clients maintain a solid reputation, build a large bank of glowing reviews, and provide inputs to their business strategy based on what customers are saying—all those factors become legitimate bargaining chips during a sales negotiation. And they show your value as a reputation management reseller.
Ready to get started?
Reselling local reputation management services can help you generate a solid revenue stream while providing enormous benefits for your clients in terms of sales growth, business insights, search prominence, and intangible value.
But it’s important that the software you resell has functionality that goes beyond merely managing reviews. Great reputation management software adds value and provides key insights. and does things that add value and provide key insights they wouldn’t be able to otherwise access.