Negative Reviews and Reputation Management in the Digital Age
Reputation has a direct connection with your bottom line. In fact, it is undeniable that reputation is an essential ingredient for the success of your business. If your business is struggling financially, odd are you have a poor online reputation or very little reputation at all.
We can help fix your online reputation and help improve your business.
One of the biggest challenges in reputation management is trying to catch up with what consumers say about you and your enterprise. In the age of social media, your brand is no longer defined your advertising and marketing but by what customers think and say about your brand online. Consumers can now comment on what you say online. They can like your posts and share it and they can also destroy you by going viral with their negative reviews. We have seen one upset customer get all of his friends (27 of them) write negative reviews about a business. That business took 12 months to recover from the impact.
Reputation management in the digital age is undoubtedly a serious task but the key to succeeding in brand protection lies in your capability to see and resolve negative comments about your brand in the fastest possible time. It is of course important to mention that success in social media has something to do with authenticity and this does not only apply when you are crafting posts for Facebook or Instagram but is also needed when responding to nasty negative reviews. Unhappy customers do not like reading robotic responses or ones that seem like they were written way before the review was even made. Sounding like a human being goes a long way in this case.
It’s not just about authenticity though or sounding human, it’s also about keeping up with instantaneous communications. Reputation management in the digital age is a 24/7 job and you must always be ready to respond in the fastest time possible especially if your business is currently experiencing a social media crisis or one that is offline in nature.
While protecting your reputation is of importance, it doesn’t mean that you should always play safe. You can’t be completely safe online to be honest so be sure to take your online presence as an opportunity to connect with your customers on a personal level. You should use social media to tell the world about your brand and to find out more about your target market.
7 Reputation Management Tips that Can Help your Brand
Our world is highly connected and the things we say in a public forum or on sites like Twitter, Facebook, and the like can travel real fast and real far whether we want them to or not.
In December 2013, a PR executive named Justine Sacco made an off-color joke that links Aids with race while on her way to Cape Town. Because of her tweet, Sacco was fired from her job and became a notorious Twitter superstar. Since Sacco was still on the plane to South Africa, the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet went viral. Sacco issued an apology later on.
With this in mind, it is best to take a look at reputation management tips that will help your business instead of it getting harmed.
- Social listening is as important as the message your brand wants to convey.
Keep in mind that social media is a two-way street and that it’s fast paced. When you post something, you are sure to get a reaction minutes or even seconds later so be sure to listen to your audience and get a feel of what they’d like to see on your page. This doesn’t mean that you should start asking them what they want to see though because that rarely works, your social listening should be subtle. Hint: Focus on what matters to them.
If you somehow post something that garners negative comments, don’t delete it. Transparency is of importance in social media marketing or else you’d have to deal with the Streisand Effect. The Streisand Effect refers to Barbra Streisand’s move to remove photos of her beach home online. With her attempts to remove said photos, she only increased their popularity. If you decide to remove a controversial post, web users will only screen capture the post and repost it on their own pages for their friends to see.
- Don’t ignore negative comments.
Negative comments are terrible but once they are posted on your page or on a review site, you should respond to them immediately. It is important to acknowledge these complaints not only because it’s rude not to but because it shows that you want to help. A response will win back your customer and will also win others who would be reading it.
- Don’t get angry even if the complaint is nasty.
Did you just get a nasty complaint complete with expletives? Don’t go on the defensive. Be polite even if they aren’t because all your responses will reflect on your brand.
- Set up a good crisis management plan.
Have a strategy in place so you are ready when a crisis happens. If you only have one customer service channel, for example, make sure that you have a backup so that consumers can reach you. It is also imperative to act quickly during such a time.
While it is difficult to plan for a crisis, make sure that you are fully equipped to deal with any kind of misstep. Train your staff for such events. In fact, you should have a digital communication policy in place too. Give your staff guidelines about the rules of engagement and how they should respond to complaints and what they can and cannot say. This guideline will also give them an idea on what to post and not to post in social media accounts that represent the business.
- Humility goes a long way.
When dealing with a crisis and everything else, be sure to be humble.
- Excellent customer service can save the day.
A negative comment can be dealt with through excellent customer care. Great customer care is needed for effective reputation management and it is also a channel for your customers to vent their frustrations about a service you provide.
For smaller businesses who only have staff that moonlight as customer service reps, you can have a feedback system in place where customers are encouraged to participate in. This kind of system does not only give your brand an insight on what your customers want but also gives them a place to air their complaints without them having to go to a review site.
Dealing with Negative Reviews
If you are struggling with negative reviews, it is time to consolidate all these reviews so you can respond to them one by one in one spot. We can make things easier for you because Review Fire has this capability. Effective supervision of these reviews plays a crucial role in reputation management and by extension, plays an important part in growing your business.
Responding to reviews, whether they are positive or negative, establishes your voice online. It means you are engaging in the conversation and effectively involving yourself in building your brand instead of letting consumers do that for you.
Having the capability to manage all your reviews and to respond to all of them within a short period of time will also make you more trustworthy. Sincere and credible responses will not only satisfy the people who submitted reviews about your brand but will also impress those who will be reading it.
Aside from tracking all your reviews, Review Fire can also help you get feedback from your customers for you get pertinent data on how you can improve your processes.
If you have any questions about our software, please do not hesitate to send an email to [email protected] or give us a call at +1 972 355 2525.