Reputation Management and Reputation Marketing are complicated aspects of business ownership and management. Every business is susceptible to the complaints of irate customers who are quick to take to multiple platforms to post their disapproval. Reputation management and reputation marketing both give your business an edge when executed properly.
Some companies choose to hire out the reputation management side of things. Typically this involves either a third party, or an in-house employee who is in charge of any online problems. You should train this person on how to handle any negative feedback in a proactive and positive way. They need to be able to exercise diplomacy and resolve issues efficiently.
There are also companies that are hired for the reputation marketing side of things. Companies such as Portside Marketing in Dallas, Texas will help build up your company’s reputation. Reputation marketing involves building a good reputation for your company. It also incorporates sales strategies and customer education to create a positive image for your company.
More people have access to the internet than ever before. This has made traditional word of mouth advertising obsolete. The current version of word of mouth advertising happens on a much larger scale. Access to review platforms and social media makes it easy for individuals to express their thoughts and feelings about a company. One bad review can spread like wildfire on the internet. Once the negative review is out there and shared with thousands of individuals, there’s no taking it back. Even after you reach a resolution with the person who filed the complaint, many people may not see your response. This alone can make reputation management seem like an impossible task for many companies.
However, another shift is also happening. Businesses are starting to shift focus from being reactive to these negative reviews to take a proactive stance. The shift from reputation management to reputation marketing is proving to be an effective strategy for many companies. Now, a company’s reputation is viewed as an asset and is marketed the same way as products and services. Reputation marketing focuses more on monitoring, improving, and amplifying your company’s reputation.
It’s still important to practice good reputation management and respond to the negative complaints. However, now, more focus is on creating and growing your company’s reputation. This can be a difficult task for companies due to the complexity of reputation marketing. However, there are companies and resources that you can use to help accomplish your goals.
Reputation management focuses largely on monitoring. When changing focus to from reputation management to reputation marketing you’ll still need to monitor what is being said about your company. There are two primary ways that companies track and monitor online mentions of their company. Many review sites provide businesses with options to sign up for alerts. These notify you anytime someone posts a review mentioning your company. You can also use social monitoring tools. These tools will typically notify you of mentions anywhere on the internet and aren’t limited to social media.
Another part of the monitoring process is responding to the alerts as soon as possible. You can limit the damage done by negative reviews by responding to them as soon as possible. It’s important to not get defensive about the negative review. Instead, apologize for the bad experience and find out what will make the situation right. At this point, it’s not only about turning the customer around but showing other customers how you respond to complaints. By responding promptly and respectfully you show customers that you care about their experience and your brand. A negative review can actually shine a positive light on your company based upon how you respond and how others view your response.
Good reviews are assets. It’s common knowledge that customers are more likely to share a bad experience than they are to share a good one. Gaining new, positive reviews can be difficult. Rather than expecting customers to sing your praises on their own, ask them for reviews. This may take time, but you need to remember that if you don’t ask, the answer is always ‘no’. Asking for reviews reminds customers to share their good experiences. Making it as easy as possible for them to leave a review is equally important. People are more likely to leave a review if it’s easy for them to do so.
New customers take reviews very seriously then considering doing business with different companies. Many customers admit to shying away from companies with average or below average reviews. It’s important to think about how your customer reviews will also attract more business. Even if only a small percentage of the people you ask for reviews actually leave them, it’s still better than nothing. When it comes to reviews, they all add up.
Another big step in reputation marketing is amplifying the great reviews that your customers have given your company. A lot of customers don’t trust on-site testimonials. So rather than posting reviews on your website that you’ve found elsewhere, advise your customers where they can find your reviews. This allows them to see the original, unaltered reviews. You can post them on your site as well, but it’s a good idea to still include the link so that your customers can validate the claim.
Both reputation management and reputation marketing are important for your brand. However, by focusing primarily on reputation marketing you can stay ahead of the game. A proactive approach to your company’s reputation is vital for its success.