The power of word of mouth marketing can’t be ignored. A new study has revealed that 67% of consumers are influenced by online reviews. Whether a bad review is justified or not, the point is that you are at their mercy.
It’s common that when you monitor your online reputation you are looking for trolls, spammers, and people who hold a grudge. But some online reputations are justified. If you have received a bad review, there’s a strong chance that it may have happened because you just suck.
You control what your business does, and therefore part of protecting your online reputation is through changing what you are doing.
The Value Proposition
Every business has a value proposition when they sell to a customer. Every time they deal with customers they are making an offer. They are making a promise that they are going to solve this problem or that problem through their value proposition. If your proposition promises one thing and delivers another, or worse doesn’t deliver anything at all, it’s no surprise that your reputation is taking a beating.
Think about what you are offering and whether you are actually following through on your promises. Startups are notorious for overpromising.
Customer Support Teams
Saying a customer is bad for business because they complained about the attitude of your customer support staff isn’t going to fly. You have to acknowledge that many customer support teams just get it wrong. The occasional whiner is no cause for concern. You can bury them with more positive reviews, but if it’s happening all the time you have to question whether this is something you can effect.
Customer support teams are at the forefront of your company. They can make a customer’s bad day great or they can make it even worse.
Go out of your way to train your customer support team to succeed. Invest in their training and place an emphasis on solving problems. The attitude of one customer support agent can entirely alter their perception of your company.
Your Marketing Campaigns
Super Bowl season is the time where marketers are switched on. As well as having a major sporting event they can use for their own ends, they are focusing on what the big brands are doing. They are doing this because they know they can learn a lot from them.
Every year, marketers learn what not to do. There are always ads that flop or offend, and not in a good way. Sometimes a healthy dose of controversy can enhance a company’s reputation. The Go Daddy ads have become notorious for this. But sometimes they can just irritate people.
Think about your marketing campaign and how it compares to the big brands. Are you potentially alienating a large portion of your audience through your actions?
Social Media Activity
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the rest of them all have the capacity to take your company to the next level. On the other hand, social media activity also holds the potential to destroy your online reputation. Before you post anything, take some time to think about the effect of that update on people.
You may well discover that it’s something that could annoy people or be taken the wrong way. Unless you are partaking in real-time marketing, write your social media updates well in advance. Then when you come back to them later on you can view them with a fresh pair of eyes.
This will go a long way to ensuring that your online reputation is protected.
Sometimes the only way you are going to defend your online reputation is by going on the attack. Employing the help of a professional online reputation company can go a long way. Just make sure they are using legal techniques so they don’t make things work for your company.
Negative feedback can be a benefit if it helps you to work out what’s wrong with your company. But a lot of the time it comes because of something you have complete control over. Improve the customer experience delivered by your company and you are going to get a better response from customers.
As you can see, there are many ways you can defend your online reputation. They all revolve around the quality of the business and what they are giving back to customers. Remember that you are in the business of solving problems. So make sure your company is solving problems not creating more of them.