Online reputation is important for all businesses. A reputation can determine the number of clients a business may have and their ability to retain those clients. Good online reputations can increase growth in your customer base on a global scale, create new business opportunities, developed higher trust amongst customers, and increased profits. On the other hand, a bad online reputation can be detrimental to a business. Some companies do not recover from having a bad online reputation. The business will lose customers, employees, and company morale. Inevitably, this will decrease growth in all areas and cause the business to downfall. Many businesses who suffer from having a bad online reputation may be surprised to know there are tips that they can use that may improve their online reputation. Here are 6 ways to combat a bad online reputation.
Create a presence on all social media platforms
Being visible on social media platforms creates an environment where the business and customer can come together and appear to be on the same level. This environment makes it easier to monitor what customers are saying about your brand online. The business will have the chance to have live feedback on posts, upcoming events, newly released products, and stay relevant to their customer base. Businesses can learn new data about customers to lower their risk when a new product is introduced. Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are typically the first sites that may come to mind when thinking about social media, however, other sites might be beneficial as well. Instagram, Flickr, and Pinterest can create a dramatic visually-oriented aspect of your business when it comes to marketing products. Having a social media presence will ultimately allow businesses to gain more clients while spending less compared to traditional methods of marketing (i.e billboards, radio, tv, newspaper ads, etc…).
Don’t neglect social media accounts – they must be maintained
Badly maintained social media accounts can negatively impact a business. By not maintaining your accounts, you will lose potential customers who may be interested in products or services when their requests for information go unanswered. A potential customer may lose interest in a business that does not seem to have an interest in its online customer base. Additionally, the business will lose its chance to influence the online customer and build rapport. That is why maintaining these social media platforms are important. Just like a flower or any living thing that needs nourishment to grow, maintenance is required for a business’ social media presence to grow. The ‘social’ property of social media should be of utmost importance to help your business to gain maintain a favorable reputation with customers.
Listen – Consider the bad reviews that need to be addressed
Having social media accounts can be a tremendous tool and yet many businesses fall on this double-edged sword. No company has made all of their customers happy all of the time. When a customer becomes angry or feels mistreated, they may find the business online and complain about them. This can be an intimidating situation for any business, big or small, and should be handled with care. Listening to what the customer is saying is a big step in the right direction. Is the customer complaining about a defect in a product? Or maybe there is a dangerous incident that could have been avoided with proper employee training. Whatever the case may be, the customer is providing the business with valuable insight from the consumer’s point of view. The information customers give must be taken into consideration when it comes to improving and cultivating the business. This is especially true if the complaint arises multiple times by various customers. The worst thing a business can do is to ignore all of the complaints and only look at the good comments. Some instances can even be solved for disgruntled customers if proper attention is given to them. If not properly addressed, the customer can be lost to other competitors.
Genuinely apologize if at fault. Reconciliation is key
No business is faultless. Sometimes a business can make a mistake where one or more customers suffer from that mishap. When this happens, it is the business’ responsibility to take ownership of that mistake and sincerely apologize to the affected party. After the apology, it is best to move towards ways to reconcile between the customer and the business. If there is no way for the situation to be reconciled, it is best to find a way to close the crisis so that it will not happen again.
Investment: If you don’t have time then hire someone else
A business will thrive the most when its employees are being used appropriately. Perhaps, the person who wanted to start a social media presence isn’t the best person to maintain the sites. If this is the case, a business may choose to invest in a service that can manage the sites and focus on responding to complaints/compliments, posting, and other aspects of social media maintenance.
Here’s the takeaway to improving your online reputation for your business. First, create a social media presence and include media platforms that are relevant to the growth of the company. Next, ensure your business can maintain your media presence to stay current. If your business isn’t able to, then invest in hiring the right team to manage your social media platforms. Once this is accomplished, your team must pay attention to your consumers, especially consumers who have bad comments or reviews. Lastly, address all issues, no matter how small, to avoid them becoming larger and out of control issues that cannot be contained. Remember, ignoring small issues especially in the digital age, can have detrimental consequences later on that can damage your business’s image and reputation for good.