In business today, no matter your industry, your REPUTATION is crucial to your companies success. Before the rise of social media, reputation management was much simpler. You were able to do your business with integrity and good quality, and handled complaints or issues as they arose . If proper protocols for complaints were in place, you could usually resolve the issue with a customer and stop any potential bad press. For a customer, there were only a few ways to make their ‘bad experience’ heard — report it to the BBB, call the business, or in extreme cases call media — and for the most part, their complaints were unheard by the general public.
Today, the picture is a bit different. Any Average Joe/Joanna that gets a cold meal, slow service, or bad customer service, can now just pull out their phone and share their negative experience on Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. Some phone apps let you do it all at once (like “woof”: the fake product on The Office http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wfG8ngFvPk)! Now ONE persons’ perceived problem, has been broadcasted to potentially 1000′s of people. What do you do? Here are 2 Easy Steps to Protect YOUR Business Reputation with a Pit Bull Mentality:
1. Be Proactive- It is proven that people are far more likely to share a negative experience rather than a positive one. People expect to be treated well and to have a great product or service, but bad experiences create emotions that make anyone want to take action and “give someone a piece of their mind.”
The way to be proactive is by asking for the experiences from your customer and making sure it is really easy and quick for them. There are a variety of products out there that you can use to help, but many are very expensive and require lots of setup time. My personal favorite is www.popclickle.com, because they do it all for you and the pricing is affordable. The setup is done with popular review sites, your social profiles and they are able to, in turn, aggregate all of your accounts together to make it easy for potential customers to review. Aftershock Enterprises signed up for a” pro account” http://popclickle.com/profile/advertising/aftershock-enterprises/, and what was really neat was seeing it take up the number 1 position on Google for keyphrase “aftershock enterprises reviews” in less than 3 days! Since Popclickle is mobile optimized, you can use a QR code that can be put on marketing materials that link right to your profile for customers to review from their phone quickly. By giving your customers an easy place to go and write a review on their preferred platform, it drives in many positives reviews which buries some not so favorable. In case studies with PopClickle, they have seen campaigns that see as high as a 94% of customers leaving a review that visited the profile.
However you do it though, proactively seeking reviews from your satisfied customers is a very effective way of giving your business a favorable viewing in the search engines and on social profiles. Do you know what your reviews look like now? Want to check? The easiest way to see your business’ reputation online is go to Google and type in “[Your Business Name] reviews.” Take a look at the first page of results and you will probably see: Yelp, your website, maybe even your Google Local page. On these sites, you will find your current reviews.
2. ENGAGE, ENGAGE, ENGAGE- The second tip to protecting your business reputation is to actively engage with the public on your business social profiles. Facebook Fanpages, Google+ business pages and Twitter accounts are all great to have, but remember, to be a credible source for you to add to your company’s reputation, you must have activity, and plenty of it. Although gaining a loyal following on your social profile takes time and exposure, the one thing that is well in your control is posting habits. Frequently posting, tweeting on and off topic subjects, pictures, videos and so on, gives customers and future customers something to look at when they stumble upon your profile. If they see consistent posts with fan and follower engagement, then they will hopefully become part of your social network so that you can now be in the forefront of their mind and part of their social experience. This allows you to have better control on how your brand is perceived.
We would love to hear your thoughts and strategies on Reputation Management, so leave a comment