These days, your business reputation is even important than it ever was before. When everything was done offline, if a customer has a problem with you or someone wanted to cause trouble for your company, there was only so much they could do to damage your reputation. Now, we have the internet where anyone can leave a bd review or make their distaste for your company know.
This can, of course, be bad news for your business. Customers want to know they are buying from a company that they can trust, and who are unlikely to leave them with any problems that need to be fixed. If they look you up and they find that your reputation is less than stellar, they will probably look elsewhere.
The good news is, there are lots of things you can do to protect our business reputation and ensure that you are treated fairly on and offline…
Be the best company you can be
It’s fairly obvious, but if you make a great effort to be a good company that offers your customers value for money, high-quality products, and services, and if you deliver on all of your promises, the number of people who will be unhappy enough to leave a bad review or whatever, will be minimal
They can’t say your kitchen is unclean if you regularly hire hood cleaning professionals or that your products don’t last if you use the best components available to you for example. Dure, you will probably still get a few complainers because nothing is ever good enough for some people, but they will be fewer and therefore easier to deal with.
Track what’s being said about you
Yes, really. You absolutely cannot hope to manage the reputation of your company if you aren’t aware of what is being said about your in the first place! This may sound like a mammoth task, but there are lots of tracking tools like Brand Eye and Naymz that will track mentions of your company across all platforms. This means you can very quickly deal with any complaints and nip any poor behavior in the bud before it spreads.
Avoid controversial subjects
You may love to talk politics or religion in private, and that is absolutely fine, but you should try to steer clear of broaching controversial topics as a business. The fact of the matter is that, although your customers may have a similar demographic, they will still have a wide range of opinions on various topics and if they strongly disagree with what you are saying, they will stop buying your stuff and may even resort to leaving negative feedback online.
Address negative reviews calmly
When your business gets a negative review, especially one that you think is unfair, it is natural to get upset or angry, but you must not show that in your response., Wait until you are calm and address each point as factually and dispassionately as you can.
It is always a good idea to respond to negative reviews (and good ones too) but the worst thing you can do is get mad and go on a tirade against the poster. All that will do is make your business look bad, even if you really are in the right. If you are fair and calm, it will reflect much more positively on you for sure. You don’t want to go viral as the ranty business that couldn’t take a negative review, you really don’t!
Try to fix it
If your company really has made a mistake and fallen short of standards, you should do your best to fix it by working with the complainee to come up with a fair resolution for you both, If you can do this, they may remove their negative reive wor at least amend it so that anyone who reads it will know that, although you are not perfect, you so try to correct your errors.
Develop a crisis communication plan
Having a crisis communication plan in place long before you ever need to use it is a really good idea. If you already know what you will do should a negative review come in or you get mentioned in a poor light in the press, for example, it will be much easier for you to view the situation objectively. It will also mean that you will already have various avenues of crisis limitation planned in advance ready to implement at a moment’s notice.
Take good care of your company’s reputation and give your business the best possible chance of long-term success!