Developing a game plan for online reputation repair might be on your list of things to do. But it is time to stop putting it to the side and start viewing reputation repair and management as a priority. A common assumption is that reputation repair isn’t necessary when everything is running smoothly, because what is there to repair when nothing is going wrong?
The thought process makes sense, but reputation needs to be seen as a proactive business practice rather than a reactive one. Simply reacting to problems with reputation is the best way to set yourself up for failure. Start thinking proactively instead; the first step is to follow this quick and easy online reputation repair game plan.
Fully Understand the State of Your Reputation
Before you can go about building your brand or repairing a rep, you must have a solid grasp on the reputation’s current state. In order to do this, set alerts to notify you whenever your company name is mentioned on the internet. This won’t just give you a good idea of public perception, it will also allow you to respond quickly to negative reviews or social media comments.
Reach Out, Don’t Wait to Be Reached
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your customers and ask for their opinions and feedback. You can even ask them to leave an honest review – the best practice of reputation building. Be proactive by reaching out to customers before they reach out to you. This shows that you not only value customer service, but also their opinions.
When Reputation-Related Problems Do Arise…
Sometimes it is impossible to react proactively, specifically when there is actually a reputation-related problem to address. In this case, you will need to react in the appropriate way. Follow these tips to do so in the best way possible, meaning no harm will be done to your brand reputation in the long run.
Don’t Be Afraid to Say “We’re Sorry”
Of course as a company owner or leader, you take pride in your brand – maybe you’re even personally invested in it. This can make apologizing to an unhappy customer difficult, especially when you don’t actually feel you’re at fault. But guess what, sometimes the customer just wants to know that you care, and you’re genuinely sorry for their poor experience with your brand.
Never, Ever Add Fuel to the Fire
Just as we said before, there’s a good chance that you are feeling a close connection and personal attachment to your brand. It’s great to show your passion for the company, just make sure you’re doing it in an appropriate way. In other words, never react aggressively to a negative review. No matter how tempting it is to fight back with all your might, don’t do it.
You need to consider customer service before pride, and the #1 rule of customer service is that the customer is always right. There’s a good chance that the customer is not actually right, but just pretend. Good customer service means acting as if customers rules the world, because in a way they do. Your business wouldn’t be possible without them, so never fight back or respond aggressively to negativity.