Online Reputation Management For Your Business
Social media has been great for businesses—but it can also be a scary place. Nowadays, all it takes is one angry customer to quickly share their displeasure across the social networks to put a hurt on your business. The idea of a customer complaint going viral and spreading around the web is the stuff of nightmares for many businesses. But smart businesses know that they still can control the situation by practicing good reputation management.
So how do you go about doing this for your business?
Make Sure You Have a Presence Where It Matters
First of all, choose the best social platforms to create a presence for your business, which means any platforms where your customers may hang out. The big ones will include Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, but you might also want to create a presence on LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, SnapChat, and others. This will allow you to be notified and respond quickly when you receive a comment.
Use Feedback Proactively
Don’t wait until you find out that a customer has been complaining loudly about your product for days. Instead, seek out customer comments proactively, and this allows you to respond to them quickly.
You could search for mentions of your brand and products. Even better, you can use a specialist tool to assist your search. Something like the Chatmeter Local Reputation Management tool can enable you to find feedback immediately to ensure you can step in and offer solutions before it gets too big.
Always Respond to Negative Feedback
Negative feedback should never be ignored. If you don’t respond, it appears you have no control over the conversation and don’t care. By providing a response and trying to be helpful and resolve the situation, you are showing that you genuinely care about your customers.
This may allow you to resolve the situation quickly and turn the unhappy customer into a happy and long term one. Also, other people will see note how you responded and see you are a company that cares.
Avoid Entering Arguments
One of the golden rules of reputation management is to avoid arguments at all costs. While you can resolve the issues with some customers, some will not have it. You can offer solutions, but they may simply want to vent.
In this case, never do battle with them. Instead, explain that you will be happy to deal with the issue if they call or email you, and leave it there. Whatever you do, don’t get angry, don’t insult them, and always keep the tone professional and cordial.
Don’t Censor Feedback
Despite the temptation, don’t become a censor. When people leave critical comments in your blog posts, don’t delete them. Instead, always make sure you respond to them, otherwise this can backfire on you.
If you do have to delete a comment, make it clear why you are doing so. Perhaps they are abusive or used strong language. Otherwise simply respond and show others that you have done your best to resolve the situation.
Create a Guide for Your Staff
If you other people in your business updating your social media accounts, have a very clear plan of action for responding to comments in writing. You may want to designate one person as the official person to respond, but you should also create a guide so everyone knows the rules.
Encourage More Positive Reviews
Reputation management is not just about responding to bad comments. It is also about using the power of reviews to your advantage. Lots of positive reviews are great for business, so do everything you can to encourage more of them.
Tell your customers that you appreciate feedback and point them in the direction of a review site, or ask them to tweet about their experiences using your services.
And, of course, ensure you are always providing an exceptional level of service so that people are more likely to provide positive reviews in the first place.
Take Control of Your Reputation Management
The thought of customers leaving negative comments across the web can be scary but it is a part of doing business today. Instead of worrying about what people might be saying, take control of your reputation management by being proactive, responding appropriately, and encouraging more positive feedback from your customers.
Collin Holmes, founded Chatmeter, Inc in 2009 and serves as Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Holmes is a graduate of the University of California, Riverside and graduated with an MBA from San Diego State University. Prior to Chatmeter, Mr. Holmes served as Vice President of Product Management and Director of Product Marketing for xAD, Inc. (LocalAdXchange) (also known as V-enable). Mr. Holmes comes with a couple decades of overseeing and developing product roadmaps, business development and managing the process of driving applications to market.