Marketing

How to Do Reputation Management Effectively

Four Steps to Managing your Online Reputation

  There are many reasons you want to be in the know with what people are saying about your business, but the most important one is keeping a positive online reputation. Without a doubt, having a negative brand image can be detrimental to the success of your business.  This can seem like a daunting task for companies big and small, but let’s break it down into the four key components you will want to address first:

reputation-management-picture

 

Circles with Numbers oneDo Your Research

Take a look at what’s out there: What are people saying about your products or services? Look at all the different platforms: reviews, articles, blogs, social media and pay attention to the negative feedback you are receiving.  Trackur is a great tool to easily monitor what is being said about your business online, regardless if you are a mom-and-pop shop or large corporation.  Trackur, among other tools available, is essential for Reputation Management because you can track any social platform interactions out there as well as reviews, forums, articles etc.   Remember that changing the customer’s negative view of your brand is the ultimate goal.  Other tools you might want to check out are Mention.net, Google Alerts, Radian6. (Advanced reputation management) All the tools above will do the job. It’s more of a personal preference of which one you feel more comfortable using and your need for an array of additional features.  Asher Elran wrote an article about the Google Alert tool and 5 alternatives to consider. You might find it interesting as well: http://www.semrush.com/blog/publications/google-alerts-dying-5-great-alternatives/  

Circles with Numbers 2Listen to your prospects

Aside from the complaints with little to no merit, the most important thing to keep in mind is to listen to what’s being said.  Gather as much information about each particular situation before you respond.  Some of the tools have the capability to tell you exactly how much influence each interaction has on your business.  On Trackur, for example, every interaction is given an influence ranking out of 100, so it’s easy to gauge how significant of an impact this person may have.  You also want to be knowledgeable about specific rules and company policies before you speak.  You represent your company name and everything you say should positively reflect that. Once you have identified the negative feedback and are ready to address the undesirable posts, put yourself in the customer’s shoes. By the way, for local companies, the reputation management can be done by using services like, Bridg.com or Grade.us.  Both will aggregate the review to one central location so you can address them more effectively. Also, for both services you’ll find the option to send an outreach email that can request your clients to complete a business review.

Think about…

  • What is the context of the situation?  Objectivity is the key, while a negative tone and insincerity will only add salt to the open wound.
  •  Is the complaint is something you truly need to change within your company processes or customer service area?  And yes, receiving constructive criticism will always benefit you ten times more than a thousand positive feedback responses. I always tell my family, friends, and clients, “I know what I’m good at. Tell me what I can do to improve.”
  • How can I change this individual’s opinion of our business?
  Reach out by messaging or emailing the unhappy consumers and offer them a fresh, positive experience with your company. With Trackur and Radian6, everything is archived making it really easy to bring up prior interactions on the web and complete any follow-ups necessary.  So, not only can you find everything that’s being said and exactly how influential it is, but they even archive the conversations and offer options to bookmark and share pertinent information.  After you have thoroughly assessed each individual interaction, focus on changing the naysayers into loyal brand advocates.  Streamline the monitoring of your online reputation by using Google Alerts, Radian6, or Mention.net for your name, URL, Competitors, and topic of interest. This is another way you can easily be notified and see in one place the adverse words that are floating around the web that are associated with your business. Make sure each of the search results listed on Google are positive and useful for consumers.  Strive to replace the negative opinions with happy, satisfied customer experiences.  

Circles with Numbers 3Outreach

Outreach campaigns are a great way to obtain business reviews (great for local businesses).  Easily engage customers and offer the option to review your business and their individual experience.  For a quick completion option, include a thumbs up or thumbs down icon for convenience.  You can also reach out by asking consumers to take a brief survey.  The survey should be concise with the option for additional feedback as well.  Building up a positive reputation is a process, but you don’t have to fear everything that is being thrown at you. You can maintain some level of control and choose to share the positive feedback from avid brand enthusiasts.  

Circles with Numbers 4Periodic Assessment and Repeat

Another essential element is to complete periodic assessment of the positive and negative feedback to keep tabs on how your business is doing.  Include monthly reporting using social and wide networks stats. Using Bridg or spreadsheets, depending upon the size of your company, you can easily report back to customers or within your company the stats.  These stats will include the positive or negative feedback that was said and how/when it was addressed.  This keeps everyone on the team (public relations, advertising, marketing etc.) in the know and on-board with what’s being said about the brand.   Take control and start with these four steps to begin the online Reputation Management process.  It can be tedious and time consuming, but it is most definitely worth the effort.  This is especially true if you are a small service-based business and you rely on referrals from satisfied customers.  Take back your online reputation and take charge of what’s being said about your business.
 
 

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