Even with a stellar product or service, an ideal service area and a superb marketing team, security dealers, integrators and manufacturers still face an uphill battle to gain online recognition. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that an average of 4 million new businesses (collectively) are started in the U.S. each year, which means thousands of potential new competitors. Security businesses need to stand out, and developing and maintaining a positive online reputation is a powerful place to make that happen.

When building an online presence, things like posting on social media, blogging and paying for ads are the common places to start. While necessary and beneficial, there is something more that security industry businesses can do to build a stronger and more effective online presence — manage online reviews.

Why Do Online Reviews Matter to Businesses?

Customer feedback is powerful. Bodies of research show:

  • 89 percent of customers take action only after they read reviews.
  • 94 percent say that a negative review led them away from a business.
  • 15 percent of consumers say they don’t trust businesses without reviews.
  • Google accounts for 57.5 percent of all reviews worldwide.
  • Online reviews contribute to EAT — expertise, authority and trust.
  • Online reviews contribute to SEO and search rankings.

Today, social media is deeply embedded in the customer journey, especially for discovery and research. Pew Research found that 70 percent of Americans use social media and the annual growth in social media users is over 13 percent. These staggering figures reemphasize that online reviews influence the customer experience.

Online review sites have made it easy for customers to share their thoughts about the quality of service, products and overall customer experience. Since consumers place a huge weight on reviews and those reviews play a role in SEO, it is vital that security businesses develop a plan to manage reviews.

Online review management is the process of actively seeking, monitoring, analyzing and responding to the reviews left about a business posted by customers across social media.

Online review management is the process of actively seeking, monitoring, analyzing and responding to the reviews left about a business posted by customers across social media. Admittedly, the process is time-consuming and not for the faint of heart. Fortunately, many review management tools can help simplify and automate the process.

Here are a few:

REVIEW NINJA is a review generation and management software specifically designed for increasing organic reviews on products and services offered by businesses and professionals with tools such as email and SMS review requests, negative reputation management, bulk-adding customers and more.

REPUTATION STUDIO is a review management platform designed to help businesses generate, respond to, monitor and analyze customer reviews across multiple channels such as marketplaces, websites, social media and more. Agents can utilize customizable templates to respond to clients’ queries.

GRADE.US is the review management software that helps marketers, agencies, SEOs and enterprises get great reviews on important review sites with email and text drip campaigns. It monitors reviews across websites, and amplifies the best reviews on website and social media channels.

Online Reviews Represent Opportunity

Reputation management is more powerful than most people realize. Consider this: Reviews are a source of fresh, unique, user-generated content which Google loves. By managing reviews, you can harness their power for increasing SEO, boosting credibility and trust in the community, gathering valuable customer insights and helping increase brand exposure.

Bottom line? Businesses that aren’t actively seeking ways to incorporate online business reviews into their overall digital marketing strategy are missing out on a huge opportunity.