4 Tips For Protecting Your Online Reputation
Your company’s worst nightmare is to have a customer say, “I had a horrible experience with you, and I’m going to go tell all of my friends about it.” What happens when that nightmare becomes a reality?
It’s not too late to attack the problem! Whether you’re a start up or your brand has been visible online for several years, these tips will help get your reputation back on track.
Monitor Your Brand
Yes, taking that first look at what’s being said out there about your brand is a hard pill to swallow. But take that step and start monitoring! Never throw your brand out there and walk away, leaving it unattended. A full search of your brand’s reputation should ideally be done each week. Check out Yelp, Google reviews, Yahoo, Angie’s List, Judy’s Book, Foursquare and CitySearch for starters. Monitor your own social media sites daily to hear the buzz.
Respond to All Comments
I cannot emphasize this enough! When a customer is unsatisfied with your product, you still have a chance to turn things around just by making an extra effort to handle the complaint properly. According to Mark Nicholson, 90% of disgruntled customers will stay with a company as long as their complaint is handled promptly. 50% of them will even become an advocate of your brand!
Automated service centers have only increased customer frustration. When people are angry, they want a live human being to respond quickly and attentively. Think of this as building emotional equity: every interaction a customer has with your brand builds a platform of feelings that shape their buying choices. Connect positive emotions with your brand every chance you get!
Respond to False Claims
“But this negative comment just wasn’t true!” We hear this a lot from clients. Keep in mind here that a search engine doesn’t care if the feedback is true or not. It ranks search results primarily by the amount of incoming links. User generated content web sites – which are protected by the Communications Decency Act of 1996 – are not liable for what is posted. The best way to approach these comments is with a controlled and amiable voice; thank the customer for their valued feedback and assure them that the matter is being looked into. The key here is to avoid arguing or appearing combative. Remember, this review and response will linger and be read online long after you’ve forgotten about it. Build that positive emotional equity!