Although most businesses know it’s important to manage reputation during face-to-face customer interactions, some may be overlooking the need to engage in reputation management through social media. Social media, after all, helps information spread quickly, whether its good news for your company or something you’d rather ignore. A 2012 article from the Huffington Post also found that 69 percent of respondents trusted information in an online review as much as a personal recommendation. Keep reading and discover practical ways to manage your reputation online.
Although it can take a significant amount of time to sift through the content on all your social media websites, it goes a long way in creating awareness about how people view you online. Also, don’t just go as far as checking out your social media websites. Take things further by logging onto review websites like Yelp and seeing what people have to say. Respond directly to negative comments and make it clear you’re open to feedback.
Try Not to Start a Debate
Displaying empathy is very important. Remember times in the past when you also had a less than glowing experience with a company, and try to recall how that situation was handled. Aim to get to the heart of a customer’s dissatisfaction rather than engaging in a public dispute. Failing to do that can make the conversation get off track, and even end up where you don’t get any valuable information about how to improve.
Give Correct Information
Sometimes, you’ll find that dissatisfaction mostly resulted because of a lack of understanding. In those cases, your efforts to engage with customers can build momentum for setting things right. Perhaps a customer was misreading the description of web site pricing at your development company or didn’t understand some of the details about a seasonal discount offer at a car repair shop. In times like those, your willingness to clear up any confusion could be all that’s needed to make the customer feel satisfied.
As you read reviews, think of them as learning experiences. Both good and bad reports give you an opportunity to praise employees for a job well done, or conversely, realize that problems need to be fixed before they get out of control. Use the backs of business cards or space at the bottom of promotional flyers to inform customers you’re listed on some of the major review websites and would welcome their thoughts. You can even offer a discount to those who can provide proof of writing a review.
One of the foundational principles of online reputation management (http://www.reputationmanagementconsultants.com/) is monitoring the Internet to spot instances of favourable and negative feedback, and then responding quickly and appropriately. It’s not difficult to do, and it could make a huge difference in your ability to keep current customers happy and attract new ones. Start using the tips above today and give your business a chance to thrive.