The four dimensions of reputation

Published: December 22, 2020 | Last updated: April 5, 2023
A good reputation is vital for companies and the self-employed. reveals why you benefit from a top online reputation and what it takes to earn it.

Online reputation shows entrepreneurs and the self-employed how outsiders perceive their products, services and company. Reviews serve an important function for potential customers: they indicate whether a company can be trusted. When do we talk about a positive digital reputation? When existing and potential customers perceive you as credible, reliable, trustworthy, and responsible. And these are the four dimensions of reputation.

Good reputation requires trust

Humans learn to trust one another from a very young age: in order to communicate with one another, to cooperate, to form relationships. Economically speaking, trust is a profitable characteristic. Only those who have confidence in your company and your products or services will establish a business relationship with you in good conscience. Trust arises from a decision-making process in which all parties weigh up the benefits and risks. Can I trust that the product will deliver what it promises? Will the product or service help me solve my problem? What advantages do I have if I choose this product rather than another? And if something does go wrong, what risks do I run when I buy it? - Questions like these run through consumers' minds in fractions of a second. This is where your good reputation comes into play, which is primarily supported by online reviews. Customer reviews help determine whether a company is deemed trustworthy. We've entered a feedback economy. Companies' descriptions of themselves or their products and services no longer count for nearly as much to consumers as reviews and likes from other customers and users. 56% of buyers today are influenced by online reviews before making a purchase decision. If a company has been rated and reviewed as trustworthy by other buyers, it builds up a good and stable reputation in the long term.  

Find out how to best deal with negative reviews in our blog post.


Communication creates credibility

Whether and how a company communicates determines how credible others perceive it to be, for example by disclosing all reviews or responding to reviews in a constructive and appreciative manner. In addition to politeness, correct spelling and grammar, it is above all comprehensibility, competent advice and openness that contribute to authentic communication. Transparency is the top priority - whether it's website content, complete product information, or reviews. With the help of social networks, for example, companies can establish direct contact with existing and potential customers at any time. The more uncomplicated, direct and comprehensible the communication, the more credible the company becomes. Customer reviews also have a positive influence in this context. As an extended means of communication, they provide customers with unbiased and objective information. If companies provide this information on their own initiative, for example with the help of a professional review platform, the company creates credibility thanks to transparency. That's why even negative reviews have a positive effect. On the one hand, they can be proof of the authenticity of the reviews, and on the other, they are a wonderful opportunity to show how well the company communicates and responds to criticism. Negative reviews are just as much a part of a credible presence as transparent communication.

Assume responsibility

Sometimes even the best make mistakes. The important thing is how you deal with them. Only then do they have no effect, or even a positive effect, on reputation. A negative reputation is not primarily caused by the mistake itself, but depends very much on how one deals with it. For example, responding quickly and sympathetically to criticism in reviews restores weakened trust with the customer. At that moment, the company stands up for its mistake and conveys to the critic through personal address, "We care about you." The combination of the insight of having made a mistake and the intention to make amends shows that the customer can always rely on the company, even when problems arise.

Increase customer loyalty through reliability

A company, a product or a service must continuously and sustainably fulfill what it promises to customers - be it fast delivery, flawless products or customer service that is available around the clock. Only when a company delivers on its promises will customers be able to establish lasting trust. Therefore, always respond to questions, problems and reviews in a timely and solution-oriented manner. This not only strengthens the trust of existing customers, but also of future customers.Those who repeatedly have good experiences with a product or a company will stick with it, try out other products from the company more quickly and prefer to recommend the product or company to others. Loyal customers are priceless.


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