It is inevitable for humans not to err. However, you can fix your mistakes or make the situations conducive enough to make up for your mistakes, say through an apology. Seeking apology is an art and not everyone can do it right. Further, paying compensations isn’t enough to maintain your business reputation, particularly if you are starting out and have a limited customer base.
Here are 5 reputation management tips to protect your brand image and save it from being tarnished.
1. Content Marketing Strategy
Do you know that according to a report published by Google, 76% of the people who search for information about a local business on smartphones visit a local store in a day and the conversion rate in terms of sales for such people is a little over 25%? So, one of the first tactics to stay ahead of your competitors is to maintain a brand image on relevant web platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Medium.
Hiring famous local bloggers with knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to post innovative articles and videos relevant to your business is a great way to reach your local audience. It also gives a boost to your rankings on the Google search index. However, you need to figure out a content marketing strategy which involves writing content based on the buyer’s persona and maintaining the frequency of posts and reviews on various websites.
2. Customer Interaction
Building customer rapport is an art. So, it’s expected that you train your team to be polite and humble while dealing with your clients. Moreover, your company should be socially active on Facebook and Twitter. You can promote customized packages of your services taking the help of data analytics and communicating it to your target audience through SMS or emails or Whatsapp. Respond to queries on social media asap. You can also use chatbots on your website to automate answering to customer queries.
You should post links on your website to your review pages on Yelp, GoogleMyBusiness, Influenster or FinancesOnline. One can ask for consumer reviews that can help other buyers and also increase your brand presence. Today, word of mouth communication has a long way to go. A satisfied customer can rake in some more customers.
3. Remove Fake Reviews
Customer trust is important to build a brand loyalty. The trust of customers gets breached when your competitors post unauthentic reviews of your products and services on various platforms. Instead of getting into a heated internet battle, you should report instances of defamation to the platform moderators. Reputation management for businesses involves professional behavior and even if you are technically correct, there are nicer ways to reconcile.
If your company messes up or fails to deliver a service in time, make a genuine apology citing valid reasons and if possible, fix it. If there has been a negligence on part of your employees, do a fair investigation. In case, a refund can be made, do it and ask your customer to speak about it on the platform. Being transparent with your business practice can help in reconciliation with customers, build a brand loyalty and lead to effective crisis management. You can learn a lot from the apology statement issued by PwC for their Oscars best picture envelope blunder. Being nice can win you more customers.
5. Social Media Marketing Strategy
Merely creating a social media account is not enough. You should analyze the key statistics like user engagement with the help of third party tools powered by AI and machine learning algorithms like Klout and Kred. The right social media marketing strategy involves lifestyle marketing and using the right set of hashtags on Instagram. You should pay special attention to the UI/UX of your website so that it is interactive and easy to navigate to your social media accounts. This would help the consumers post their queries on these platforms before buying your services.
“Instead of focusing on the competition, focus on the customer.”
-Scott Cook, Founder of Intuit
Cook couldn’t have been more right with his mantra for business growth. Remember that you can’t impose your opinions of your products and services on your customers, even if you are 100% correct. Good luck with your business reputation management!