Online reputation a growing concern for SMEs

  • More than three-quarters of SMEs stress the importance of having a good online reputation
  • However, 40% say they never check online reviews of their company

An overwhelming majority (77%) of SMEs think having a good online reputation is important to their business, however 40% never check online reviews of their companies.

These are two of the key findings from Zurich Insurance’s SME Risk Index.

The findings also reveal 15% of SMEs have experienced some form of negative comment online, such as poor reviews, malicious content from competitors or negative media coverage.

In response to this growing issue, almost one in ten (9%) SMEs are paying someone to manage their online reputation, and a further 9% are looking to do so in the next 12 months.

Nearly one in eight (12%) of those employing a third party to manage their reputation online are paying £2,000 a month or more.

Worsening problem

Zurich’s research shows that SMEs recognise the problem could get worse, with 41% saying having a good online reputation will become more important to their business in 12 months time.

Richard Coleman, Managing Director of Zurich’s Commercial Broker Business, says: “Online reputation is an increasing worry for SMEs, many of whom are only just getting to grips with managing a social media presence and website, let alone the effects of negative content posted about their company.

“In a world where the consumer is increasingly guided by the likes of reviews sites such as TripAdvisor and TrustAtrader, SMEs need to get to grips with their online presence and how to manage it.”

Zurich’s SME Risk Index also found that more than one in five (21%) of SME decision makers said their business had been contacted online by someone they thought was trying to scam their company.

Whilst there is no insurance product available against someone writing a bad review of your business, there are some covers which can help with the aftermath. For more information, please contact Rowlands & Hames.

Rowlands & Hames would like to thank Zurich Insurance for this article.

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