Businesses today have a great deal to contend with and trying to maintain a positive reputation. Even when a business already practices upstanding industry policies and treats their employees and companies in line with best practices, there is still always a possibility of an upset customer or a disgruntled employee. This is especially the case when a company offers services or sells products to the general public, with such a large variety of tastes, personalities and expectations. Reputation management is necessary not only for products that sell online, but also for companies that do not sell online, but still may have to monitor and deal with online reviews and feedback written about the company on the internet.
There are steps that a company can take to encourage positive reviews, and post media,news and information about their business so that the reputation and information that is online accurately represents the percentage of happy customers and clients to the small ratio of upset ones. The challenge is always there that an unhappy customer is much more likely to leave a review than a happy or satisfied customer, so it is up to the business to make sure that all of the positive information is out there on the internet in the form of social media channels, a company blog, press releases, review sites, and any other industry specific sites to the business.
Social media is not only a great way to give a business a voice, personality, and presence online, but is a way to engage with customers. When the majority of customers are satisfied clients, then the company’s social media profiles will reflect that. Social media channels are also a great way for customers to show the public that a problem was solved, but fixing a problem and posting the resolution and answer to the disgruntled party. A social channel is something that the company is in control of, and while deleting or removing complaints is not the answer, featuring the more positive aspects of the company are a great alternative. The various social media channels also provide an essential presence on search engine results pages. When a potential customer is searching for information online, that company’s social media pages fill the results on the search engines rather than showing a lone complaint on a review site.
A company blog is another great communication tool for companies. The blog can feature positive reviews a company has received from customers and showcase them. One of the main purposes of a company blog is to post information about the company and the industry. Featuring products and customer spotlights all fill up the internet with positive information about your company.
Press releases are a great way to alert the media of achievements and special announcements a company wants to make. Press releases not only tell members of the media about a company’s news, but also publish information about the business that the company is in control of. Press releases are usually picked up by news and media sources and create more positive data about your company.
Review sites are often dreaded by companies because of the tendency for upset customers to post more often than happy ones. However companies should embrace the review sites. When a company claims the listing on a review website, the company can fill in the information and verify the company. Not all reviews are bad, and a mix of good and bad reviews will show the honesty and reality of the company. When a company interacts with the review site, they have the option of providing rebuttal to complaints and also supplying information on how a problem was fixed, or at least addressed. Do not forget to encourage happy customers and supporters of the business to leave positive feedback, and as long as the company is doing things right, then the feedback will reflect that. If simply asking customers to leave a review or feedback is not working, you can always offer to send branded gifts to all customers who leave any feedback. Remember that any feedback has to be rewarded and in this case, the company is still sending out a gift that is branded with their name or logo on it, which will also help with branding and keeping the company in the mind of previous customers.
When proactively doing the right thing and following best practices is not enough for a company, there are other methods of putting positive information about a company out there to drown out the occasional complaint from an upset customer or disgruntled employee. Of course, if there is a great deal of complaints about a company online, then it might be a sign of a larger issue and upper management needs to look into and correct it. Reputation management is something that should be an ongoing strategy for a company and not something that is only thought of when an emergency arises.