Your brand reputation is critical to your success. It’s just as consequential, if not more, as any product or service you offer. You can look at it this way: a high-quality product won’t always guarantee a positive online reputation, not without effective marketing, but a positive online reputation is often all it takes to lead prospects down the buyer’s journey.
With brand reputation, the goal is to become the brand that people trust and actively seek out. But after gaining customer trust, how do you continuously nurture it and build customer relationships that last down the road?
Three words: brand reputation management. In today’s discussion, we show you actionable strategies you can use to manage and expand your brand reputation.
1. Provide a Positive Customer Experience
Good customer experience is the bedrock of a strong online reputation. To ensure excellent customer experience at all touchpoints, your team needs to pay attention to details with every client interaction.
It begins with the first contact: listening to your customer, understanding their needs and offering solutions to their specific pain points.
You also improve online reputation with clear communication: carefully worded emails, well-crafted social media posts and timely text notifications. Customer trust is further enhanced by improving your site’s navigation and email autoresponders.
The after-sales experience, which some companies take for granted, is also crucial. The delightful experience shouldn’t end for the customer after the sale. If it does, it shows all your efforts were only geared towards making a sale. Consumers will catch on to this and know you’re not concerned about building customer relationships in the long run.
Part of your business reputation management strategy is to care for customers after the purchase. Some clients need additional support and others have complaints that need to be addressed. If customers feel cared even after giving you their money, they’re more likely to come back for more. This makes ongoing support vital to instilling customer trust and driving repeat business.
All together, these factors contribute to positive customer experiences and improve client satisfaction.
Tip: To improve customer experience is to improve online reputation.
2. Always Deliver on Your Promises
Making good on your promises boosts trustworthiness and reinforces your ability to consistently deliver. Conversely, failing to do so erodes your credibility and hurts your brand reputation.
Fulfilling expectations is part of brand reputation management best practices. Consumers won’t always remember all the good things you provided for them, but they’ll never forget every promise you fail to deliver.
To improve brand awareness and reputation, you must be able to effectively manage expectations. Never over-promise and under-deliver – be realistic about what you can offer and ensure to meet the expectations you set.
Tip: Enhance brand reputation by delivering on your promises each time.
3. Be Transparent in Your Dealings
One way to cultivate trust and build customer relationships is to be 100 percent transparent.
Consumers don’t appreciate fine prints and surprise fees. To avoid making your customers feel blindsided and to improve client satisfaction, be upfront about pricing, product features and terms and conditions.
Many customers can spot insincerity in branding messages. This is why brand managers should emphasize transparency across all official company communications and social media accounts.
Tip: Improve customer experience by providing full transparency.
4. Be Picky About the Brands and Companies You Associate With
Collaborating with other businesses is a powerful way to boost brand awareness and reputation. It expands your market presence and allows you to tap into their target market.
However, reputation management consultants advise ensuring that those you associate with align with your brand message. For instance, if you place a strong emphasis on sustainability, partnering with another company with a large carbon footprint may not be a good idea.
Note: Be wise and discerning about your brand partnerships.
5. Establish Systems and Procedures When Responding to Negative Reviews
Building customer relationships requires effective conflict management when your brand receives negative feedback. Your team’s response to critical comments says a lot to prospects and customers. Likewise, how you treat one customer reflects how well (or poorly) you treat others.
Here are a few actionable tips for responding to negative reviews:
- Promptly respond to negative feedback online: This effort requires extensive review monitoring. You can stay informed of what’s being said about your brand online by using online reputation management software.
- Always maintain a professional tone: It’s easy to get carried away by emotions when receiving criticism online, but there’s no room for flaring tempers in brand reputation management. So resist the urge to be argumentative and take a calm, professional tone at all times.
- Address and remedy complaints in public if possible. An email or phone call allows you to personally respond to legitimate concerns raised by customers. But it doesn’t let you showcase your crisis management skills to other prospects. So, where possible, respond to valid complaints on public platforms and offer an acceptable solution. You improve online reputation this way and build customer trust.
Note: Respond to negative reviews the smart way.
6. Practice Effective Review Monitoring
Businesses need to monitor reviews efficiently and regularly. You can’t create better brand awareness and reputation if you can’t track and respond to your business’s negative reviews.
If you’re managing too many tasks to handle review monitoring on your own, hire online reputation management services. The strategies employed here utilize online reputation management software that makes review monitoring and response easier than ever.
7. Encourage Customer Feedback
Customers are willing to pay 31 percent more for brands with outstanding reviews. If you want to enhance brand reputation and boost sales, encourage your clients to provide feedback after trying out your product or service. Part of building customer relationships is making clients feel that they have a voice, and giving them an opportunity to offer feedback is one way to do it. Encouraging feedback, positive and negative, lets people know you’re listening and willing to work on a solution to improve customer experience.
Tip: Generate as many reviews as you can.
8. Tell People Your Story
Brand storytelling is an essential part of reputation management. By humanizing your brand and sharing the motivations behind it, you let consumers connect with you in a way that no product pitch can. Relay your brand story by sharing the brand’s humble beginnings and emphasizing its mission, vision and core values. A brand story that resonates with customers’ pain points and goals is one that sticks.
Tip: Resonate with your audience with a compelling brand story.
9. Stay True to the Brand Story
Compelling brand storytelling is only half of the equation. If you want to build customer relationships – that is, lasting, profitable partnerships – it’s important to stay true to your brand. Hold strategy meetings with your team and evaluate your performance by asking alignment questions, like the following:
- Does this move feel and sound like us?
- Does our current strategy represent who we are?
- Does our planned activity align with what we stand for?
- If we make this shift, are we still staying true to our core values?
With every new branding strategy you’re planning to implement, make sure to stay true to the authentic company culture you’ve built. As your company grows, reevaluate everything and see if you’re still aligned with your core principles.
Staying true to your brand story will impact how you relate to customers and contributes to your business reputation.
Tip: Be faithful to the brand story.
10. Learn and Grow From Feedback
Finally, you can’t please everyone – that’s a fact. However, this is not an excuse to take customer feedback for granted. If you receive the same negative feedback from different customers, it’s an indication that you need to make a few changes. So use these reviews to find opportunities for improvement and incorporate all insights into your research and development.
Tip: Use reviews as opportunities to grow and improve.
Comprehensive Online Reputation Management Services
At its core, brand reputation management is all about the customer – brand expansion cannot happen without a consistent effort to improve client satisfaction. At Rize Reviews, we help you tackle customer experience with online reputation management and more.
We are a seasoned business reputation management agency offering comprehensive solutions for companies of all sizes. We provide reputation management software, review generation, review monitoring, review response and survey campaign management – everything you need to maintain a strong and customer-centric online presence.
Our reputation management consultants have worked with hundreds of businesses from different industries. Do you need ideas to expand your brand reputation?
Call us today for a free consultation.