Regardless of the size of your company it really does matter what people say about you.
Some companies can afford to cheat ayt all the rules and fake a good reputation. Most of us can’t, so it takes diligence and paying close attention.
When first starting out in business it is important to take the time to build your reputation. Be sure to do it in a way that will positively propel your company into the future. By going out of your way to ensure you have HAPPY clients you will be in a better position than someone who is only out to make their money today.
People love gossip, and we love it even more when it’s nasty. Do your best to serve your customer and you have a better chance of minimizing the negative gossip mill.
“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on”
~ Winston Churchill
Once you have built a good reputation then you have to keep it up. Things like offering extra services or catering to your faithful customers will help keep them engaged. Focusing on a positive reputation will bring in new customers and keep the old ones coming back.
If for some reason your reputation takes a dive then you have to do what you can to recover from that. Don’t shy away from a negative review. If at all possible, try to fix it.
Keeping your reputation in check is a lot of work. It requires constant monitoring of the internet and paper publications. Being able to mitigate anything as soon as it happens is key to staying on top.
Where do you start with managing your business’s reputation?
First, start looking in all the places a client would be saying bad things. Facebook, free blogging spaces, Twitter, Pinterest, Online registers etc.
When you find negative feedback, be constructive and try and fix it. If you can reply publicly to them in the same forum, it will look to others like you are at least addressing the problem and expressing interest and concern.
Use social media surveillance and analytics process’s to gauge public opinion of your company or service. You can then tailor a campaign that will address any potential or existing problems you may have.
One idea is to create a ‘positive opinion’ campaign. This will help to raise the visibility of all the good stuff. A tower of positive reviews has the effect of diverting the focus away from the negative. At the very least it spreads a light of doubt on the negative review.
To do this all you do is simply by produce a quantity of positive and informative documents and social networking communications. Just participate in social conversations, publish helpful reports and initiate a PR news feed.
If you do find a particularly nasty review online, and can prove it is from a competitor, or have done your best to make them happy, there are additional actions you can take.
If it is just a “Negative Reputation Campaign” put together by a competitor, you can often have the remarks removed from the particular forum. Other times you can reply with your own proof of their dishonesty. Unfortunately, sometimes you just have to swallow it.
Engaging constantly in social networks is one of the most economical and effective ways of manageing your business reputation online.