Reputation management has undergone an essential evolution during the transition to the online age we now live in.
Word of mouth is no longer the go-to for customers to talk about your business, and staying up to date with how people feel about your brand can be intimidating.
One cannot underestimate the importance of ensuring your reputation management is handled proactively.
Keeping track of the myriad of feedback and constant influx of new information anyone can put out there about your company is an uphill battle we came prepared to help you win.
We’ll take you on a journey of discovery, covering the ins and out of reputation management and, more importantly, how to effectively set up proactive reputation management for your brand.
What is Reputation Management?
You may know what your company is and what your brand stands for, but your reputation is what other people think your company is and what they feel your brand is all about.
The issue with this is that other people who have not yet had their own experience with your business may be swayed by public opinion.
Reputation management is essentially influencing or shaping the public perception of your brand or company to maintain a healthy reputation for your business and ensure continued growth.
Reputation management has become a vital part of public relations.
Benefits of Proactive Reputation Management
Proactive reputation management comes with a host of benefits that will significantly increase your brand’s chances of success. The main benefits listed below are just the tip of the iceberg in an ocean of possibilities:
Builds Trust And Creates Credibility
Having a good reputation online ensures you garner trust among the public.
This, in turn, leads to consumers being comfortable purchasing from your brand as they feel it will meet their expectations.
Return on Investment
Having an unblemished reputation online makes investing in reputation management a step that will more than pay for itself by boosting sales stemming from your increased credibility.
Dominate Search Results
Securing a spot on the first page of search results is crucial to your brand’s success.
Having a positive reputation and good ratings online increases the likelihood that your brand will be above your competition when consumers go online in search of the best product or service in your niche.
Tips for Proactive Reputation Management
The following tips will ensure you build a successful and proactive reputation management process to get you ahead of the competition:
Social media provides the perfect platform for customers to have both positive and negative interactions with brands.
Sharing their opinion of your brand only takes a few seconds, and that same opinion could reach thousands of eyes in a matter of minutes.
Many social media sites have a review section that acts as a valuable measuring stick to determine your company’s current reputation.
These reviews provide the opportunity to assess critical areas for improvement.
Responding to negative feedback shows your brand is willing to address issues and gives the impression that you are a brand that cares.
It also shows that you are ready to take feedback from the people who determine the success of your business and indicates your willingness to improve.
Your brand should not shy away from maintaining an online presence, posting content that shows your strong suits and keeps up with current trends.
Include the relevant hashtags to attract a larger audience and ensure you keep an eye on public reactions that indicate how they feel about your brand and the content you are posting.
Proactively Seek Feedback
Bill Gates was quoted as saying, “We all need people who will give us feedback; it’s how we improve.”
It would be best never to underestimate the need for feedback, and by proactively asking for your customers to provide this, you display the desire to get better.
Asking for feedback or reviews from your customers is a great way to attract new customers and further develop your brand.
Positive feedback is great; it can be posted on your site and can be an effective marketing tool.
Negative feedback should be considered even more critical than positive; your current customers are the best source for improving your offerings.
Some businesses find success with offering incentives or rewards for reviews, but be clear that the incentive is not for positive feedback only. This is how sellers on Amazon send their products to the top.
Turn Customer Service into Customer Happiness
If your brand offers efficient and personalized customer service, you will find most people reach out to you before posting any negative reviews or feedback online.
They trust that your brand will address and correct the issue, and thus your reputation is increasingly improved.
It is not uncommon to see a review in which the customer was unhappy with a product but gave a perfect rating referencing the fantastic customer support as the reason.
Your customer service team is the frontline of your business.
Ensuring they are on top of their game and have the tools they need to resolve issues fast and friendly is crucial to proactive reputation management.
As with any step in business, reputation management becomes more manageable with proper planning.
No matter the tenure of your business, you should have a good idea of the possible negative feedback you could receive.
Compiling this feedback and sorting it into categories allows you to sit down with your team and brainstorm possible responses or techniques for handling each specific concern.
Documenting these and providing them to your social media management and customer service teams ensures a uniform but effective way to address any issues.
This compilation of feedback and handling techniques can be a vital tool in reputation management but remember to personalize responses based on the templates or techniques you outline.
Nobody appreciates brands who copy-paste the same responses to multiple customers in a feed; it looks unprofessional and gives the impression that you do not care about each individual.
Failing to manage your reputation proactively can be fatal to your brand.
For instance, an investment company that could not manage its reputation proactively will be found wanting when customers visit stock analysis websites for commentary and research.
Proactive reputation management is vital to your business’s success. Regardless of the industry, reputation management can make or break a brand; following the steps above ensures you get started on the right path.