Manage Your Business Reputation Before Problems Hit!
In the age of e-commerce and virtual spending, online reputation is everything. It used to be that a company’s reputation was gauged by actual visits to a store with owners and workers; things are now vastly different. Reputation marketing is as important as advertising and constant monitoring is essential. Only by knowing what people are saying can a business both learn from mistakes and prosper in an online environment.
Social Media and Feedback Forums
By doing a simple search of a company name and associated words, anyone can look up where that name has been recently discussed, whether posted in a company’s own communications or a customer offering an opinion on a feedback site or forum. This kind of monitoring must be done frequently; when matches are found, they must be followed to read any other comments to assess the situation.
This is a great educational opportunity to learn about any product, service, or employee problems that might not have otherwise been known. More importantly, a business that follows and watches can decide whether and how to react. Every little minor complaint doesn’t need response or other attention; however, those that are loud enough that could inflict some real damage definitely need scrutiny.
Handling Feedback and Complaints
Asking customers and website users for feedback – both good and bad – is a great way to learn about any problems and maybe intercept a complaint to be handled before hitting the internet. What is essential is that every comment and complaint is taken seriously, dealt with promptly, and rectified if at all possible. Getting unhappy people engaged in private dialogue is the best way to deal with any difficulties. Encouraging feedback is the first step.
Controlling Bad Reviews
If a company name is found within a published review – either posted to a forum site by a displeased customer or within an article or blog post somewhere – it is wise to attempt personal contact to clarify the problem. Many times simply showing concern and attempting to correct the problem or situation is enough to please a writer or customer enough that the writing may be retracted or a positive response posted afterward. If the concern is slanderous or otherwise false, it is especially important to confront the person who posted it to set things straight and ask that the information be removed.
Dealing with customer complaints and problems is not wanted by any business yet must be handled by someone. Because of the importance of reputation, prompt damage control is a regular part of reputation marketing and management. It also gives a positive impression that a company is interested in making customers happy and interested in correcting honest mistakes. This act alone can be a great reputation builder whatever the initial incident. It is indeed correct that a business reputation must be managed long before any problems can surface!