You might be surprised to read that many marketing executives fail to understand that poor online reputation management can be detrimental to a business’s survival rate. In an economy where 70-80% of market value comes from hard-to-assess results and intangible assets including brand equity, intellectual capital and goodwill, organisations are especially vulnerable if they have a poor reputation.
Many companies are unable to justify investing time into their reputation management system until it is too late; they tend to focus their energy on handling complaints and threats after they have surfaced instead of prior management. But the time to be proactive is now, take these steps to ensure you’re heading up a positive reputation for your brand.
Create A Presence On Social Media
If a business does not invest in their online presence and reputation proactively then they are more likely to pay the consequences in lost revenues and time while they attempt to repair their reputation in the long term. It’s a lot easier to maintain a reputation than rebuild it. Social media is a great way to do this. Focus on creating an engaged and active presence for your brand. Respond to customers in a timely fashion, provide valuable information and foster an open communication channel. These are all proactive steps…
Ensure Your Business Has Strong Ethical Standards
When referring to a business’ ethics we are referring to the organisation’s behaviour towards their clients/customers.The culture of a company can determine the type of clients you attract and whether or not they will be a returning customer. To ensure your business has a healthy reputation you should constantly assess your ethical standards and apply those findings to your work culture. Your business image is derived from a mix of ‘who you are’ including your executives, your colleagues and how people perceive your business (both the user experience and branding). Consider how you want your business to be perceived? How are your employees answering the phone? What is the dress code? This are all contributing factors to your reputation.
Implement Proactive Community Management & Engagement
It is vital for small businesses to participate in proactive reputation management. If this is not considered a necessity for your business then you are a sitting duck. If you only have a website representing you online that is not regularly cared for then you are an unprotected target. One bad review or comment can be detrimental to your business’ reputation. If negative feedback is obtained, the key is turn those interactions around, transforming them into customer service wins. Be open, don’t hide them, respond professionally and quickly, and also attempt to assist with an element of personalisation. People don’t want to feel like that are speaking to a robot.
All eyes will be on these interactions as consumer research demonstrates that 83% of consumers believe customer reviews influence their purchase decisions. The same research also showed that word-of-mouth recommendations influence 20%-50% of all purchasing decisions. As such, it is advisable to encourage your contented customers to write a review. Unfortunately most happy customers are generally not as motivated to write a review unless you encourage them directly so try contacting them with a link.