It just cannot be stressed enough how important the reputation management services of a business is in maintaining a positive image. In the current digital and technological age that we live and operate in, establishing and maintaining a high reputation is more important than ever.
Never has it been easier to review, comment and complain that it is using social media platforms and other online assessment, review, and appraisal sites. Online reputation management has, therefore, become an essential part of ensuring the ongoing success of any business.
Employing some of the following reputation management tips can provide your business in Tampa with the means to maintain a right image while dealing efficiently and professionally with any damaging complaints and reviews:
1. Create An Online Presence
Merely having a website does not make you part of the online community and you need to establish a positive online presence. Open accounts with relevant social media platforms as well as other favorite web properties such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. Make sure that your business profile is professional and relates all the relevant information regarding your business.
2. Attend To Your Online Presence
It is not good enough to just open these accounts and establish professional profiles. Regular posting and updates to these platforms are essential in building a strong brand reputation. Also, keep in mind that this is the optimal means to market a business image as part of your overall brand.
Turn your current customer base into friends, followers and subscribe to other online communities where your image and brand can be shared efficiently. Make sure to engage an audience or the market demographic that is specific to your business.
3. Get Personal
There is nothing like sharing a little personal information regarding the founders of the business, current employees as well as how the company got started. Establishing a connection with customers and the public where they feel they know you and your employees on a personal level can contribute to maintaining a good reputation.
4. Community Involvement
It is always a good idea to get involved with the community whether locally or online. Attend and start events as well as contribute to related charities. Get your customers, clients, and visitors to your website involved with your community drives and efforts to make them feel like part of the business and therefore just as responsible for maintaining a good reputation.
5. Online Chat, Contact, And Comments
It is advisable to add a live chat feature, Q&A forum, contact and comment section to your website. These are easy to manage and allow you to respond faster and more directly to queries complaints and comments. Link these features to your social media and other platforms.
Promote positive experiences from customers, clients, and visitors to your site by allowing them to post testimonials directly on your websites. This gives you an excellent opportunity to evaluate your current online reputation and determine where your strengths and weaknesses lie as well as take any necessary action.
8. Interact, Respond And Resolve
Interacting with other users on the above accounts is essential. Respond to queries, questions, and requests as quickly as possible as well as negative comments and complaints. Make an effort to resolve customer problems and never be afraid to apologize online if you were in the wrong. Offer discounts, refunds, and specials to dissatisfied clients.
It is however not a good idea to enter into a debate or controversial discussion through social media and other platforms. Instead, address a comment or complaint with the facts, make an effort to resolve the issue and then drop it. Other than to reiterate the efforts that the business has gone to remedy or address a situation, additional comments could have a negative impact on your reputation.
It is essential to monitor all your online accounts regularly. Hire internal communications or social media expert to respond effectively and efficiently to all posts. Alternatively, outsource this function to a communication consultant.
If you are unable to resolve an issue, it is advisable to contact an expert in communications, social media and reputation management. However, this is not always necessary when dealing with small, irritating complaints but rather for situations that could damage your reputation irreparably. Assess the likely damage that a specific problem can cause when calling in the professionals.
9. The Customer Is Always Right
While it is always best to take this approach in resolving issues that could damage your reputation quickly and efficiently, the fact is that the customer just isn’t still right. If someone is being unreasonable, irrational or providing erroneous or false information, it is best to take a stand and point out the facts supported by evidence.
A good reputation is not just about soothing an upset client or resolving an issue to make it go away. Doing this always could, in fact, become damaging and could create the impression that your business is still at fault. Know when to make reparations and when to tell a customer that their business isn’t wanted in the most beautiful way possible.
10. Don’t Be Too Serious
Although it is essential to understand how crucial online reputation management is to your business, it is also not advisable to take every little complaint too seriously. Have a little fun with your responses and efforts at resolving issues. Be able to laugh at yourself and employees for making small, silly mistakes. However, be careful to know when a bit of humor can help lighten a situation and when it can cause even more problems.
It is essential for every business owner to understand that you cannot keep every person happy all of the time and that your reputation is bound to take some knocks along the way. The way in which you deal with negativity, minimizing the damage that can be done to your image and your ability to stand by your principles is the preferred strategy to establish, manage and maintain a good reputation.