As they say in business, your reputation is everything. With much of your business’s reputation being developed and groomed on the internet, being vigilant about your online reputation is a very important part of your marketing and ultimately, your business’s continued success.
What is reputation management?
Managing your reputation online is as important as having a presence online. One might say, you can’t have one without the other, or at least, you shouldn’t have one without the other. Consumers are savvier than ever when making choices on what to buy and which company to hire for various services; therefore, as a business owner, it is important to stay on top of the conversation.
Marketing your brand through social media has many upsides, the downside is when you get negative feedback and reviews. They don’t have to be the end of the world and actually, can have a positive effect if they are managed correctly. Taking the time to be aware of how your business is being perceived and what people are saying can make or break you!
Respond in a timely and thoughtful way…
It is a good idea to respond to your customers within 24 hours. Allowing negative responses to sit and fester for weeks can lead to a full-blown abscess that plays out in front of all your other customers who are waiting to see how you respond. It may sound a little bit overwhelming to have to respond so quickly, but it is one of the most important aspects of protecting your brand as well maintaining the relationships you have built with your customers.
When you do respond to negative comments, feedback, and reviews, it is best to follow the same steps as you would to resolve any conflict.
Take some deep breaths and wait at least an hour before you respond.
Ensure that you understand all aspects of the issue before you respond to your customers. Determine if there claim has validity and what you can do to fix the problem. The old school saying “the customer is always right” is still a great rule of thumb. If you can save your reputation and at the same time validate your customer’s issues, you both will win!
It’s difficult to see things from a customer’s viewpoint when you know you are doing everything you can to make sure that your products and services are top of the line, but no business is perfect so having another set of eyes and opinions on the issue might be just what the doctor ordered for a solution.
Don’t just keep up with your social media accounts, check on Google, Yelp, Angie’s List, etc… to see what people are saying about you. Consumers rarely buy things or enlist the services of others without consulting reviews.
Sometimes it’s nice to have someone manage your reputation for you
If all of this seems like just too much for you to handle, your marketing team is more than capable and well-versed on how to manage your reputation. Not only will they keep a watchful eye and ear on everything that is being said about your business, but they can help guide the conversation. They can help you turn around negative publicity and reviews and bring satisfied customer ratings and positive press to the forefront of the conversation about your business.
As a business, you can do everything right and still end up in a pickle with that one customer who can’t find anything right. By managing the conversation regarding your business, you can stop the squeaky wheel before they become a thorn in your reputation!