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Reputation Management Platforms Add Value to Web Hosting Solutions

By Neal Creighton

SMBs Are Looking for High Value from Web Hosting

The functionality of the Web has enabled small to medium-sized businesses to look at growth in new ways, and the simplicity of new technologies has given way to the addition of value-added services for web hosting offerings.  Where the SMB market, and even individual consumers years ago could survive without having to integrate the latest technology the way bigger companies seemed to do, no longer can they NOT afford to integrate best of breed technologies into their core business planning.  

The Web hosting industry, amid analyst predictions, has experienced a natural consolidation over the past five years, where those providers who gave customers the most value have succeeded.  So where more and more SMBs have incorporated the Web into their business, they’re starting to realize how much value they can get from web hosts who can package on value-added services to their customers.  

New tools for web hosts are cropping up all the time, and where successful hosting services like Go Daddy typically innovate internally, they are also looking for new services to integrate into their customer mix.  It’s critical for the SMB market, based on the limited resources they have to spend, to select the right web hosting partner with the right mix of services to fuel growth.  It’s also essential that SMBs look to implement best practices with the most critical services that can help them grow, and they should look to their web host to help them with determining which mix of services will best fit their customers’ needs.

What Are My Customers Saying?

Customers of any business are the driving force between success of failure.  However, there are numerous ways to look at customer feedback as a factor in how a business of any size makes adjustments to their product or service offerings.  The old adage, ‘The customer is always right’ carries some weight today, but with the advent of the Web playing such a critical role in the success of any business today, it becomes a more complicated saying.  

Where viral or word-of-mouth referrals have traditionally been a major method of local or small business growth, it has intensified on the Web.  The Web has produced certain sites that allow any person capable of having an opinion to post an opinion on a particular company.  

Take a small business for example who has received negative comments somewhere – that negative post remains posted in cyberspace for anyone to view, and that small business doesn’t have an opportunity to counter that post.  Moreover, that small business can suffer tremendously – where *95% of consumers peruse online reviews before making purchasing decisions, that small business could lose a tremendous number of potential sales through potential customers if they read that negative post.  

Do I Have a Say in What’s Being Said?

More often than not, SMBs are hesitant to open up a door that may lead to hearing potentially negative or damaging feedback about their business.  The more positive commentary via word-of-mouth or via Web is typically better for any business.  SMBs can now look to their strategic web hosting partners to find these tools.  

This brings in the issue of reputation management for companies, where the opportunity to manage what is being said about your company becomes a critical tool for ensuring your company has a role in the process of how it’s perceived online.  It’s been difficult for SMBs, or really any business to find an effective way to encourage their customers to post reviews, positive or negative, but there has been a sharp increase in the integration of reputation management tools by the most innovative web hosting services.  

An effective reputation management program through a trusted Web hosting provider can elevate a small or medium business from being helpless about what’s posted on the company, to actually managing that user-generated content to their advantage.  With the rapid nature of the Web, sophisticated (yet simple to use) reputation management platforms can help SMBs work with customers who may have a grievance – and effectively resolve disputes.  This is a service that’s being made much more readily available to Web hosting customers, and certainly one that makes sense for SMBs for a nominal fee.  

Making Hosting Solutions Work for Your Business

The packaging of innovative yet simple solutions by Web hosting providers can make all the difference for the value customers can extract.  And those customers, with many of these new Web-based tools can in turn work much better with their customers, and likely attract new customers.  

After setting your business goals, and after you have determined an effective and attainable Web strategy, a host of Web tools are available through the most savvy Web hosting companies.  A best practices model for any emerging business should include a reputation management tool that can enable the management of customer feedback – which would assist in allowing customer feedback to factor into future product development or service offerings. 

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