Reputation management is an important part of maintaining a business. However, manually monitoring everything that…
Having a well-established reputation can do wonders for your brand. It can make you popular overnight, drawing the attention of new prospective customers and increasing your overall sales in next to no time. Before engaging with any brand, customers want to ensure that it’s safe and reliable. One of the first few things that help them understand a brand’s value is checking out what other people are saying about it.
Unfortunately, not every brand has a good reputation online. Keyboard warriors may attack their reputation due to a number of reasons – poor customer service, delivery of defective products, and so on. Building your online reputation is quite easy since you are starting everything from scratch. However, transforming your brand’s bad reputation can be a massive feat since changing minds isn’t always an easy task. But don’t fret if people are talking ill about your business online.
Follow our Extensive Guide on How to Rebuild Company Reputation Online:
1. Get Engaged With Your Target Audience
Have you been aloof or adrift with your target market? Well, that’s understandable. Not every online brand is aware of the importance of communication or engagement with their target audience. The question most business owners may ask is, “why should we communicate with our prospective customers? Shouldn’t they be doing the talking?”
Well, keep in mind that customers prefer to invest in a business they know already or have heard about. If they haven’t, it’s unlikely for them to purchase your products and services. This is why brand owners should make an extra effort to interact with their prospective clients, and more so if they have a bad reputation to break. Don’t worry if people are badmouthing you online – don’t lose hope. You can re-build your reputation by developing a nice and friendly relationship with users online. How?
· Put Your Audience First
Your brand can’t run without your customers, so prioritize them. Be proactive when dealing with your customers’ demands and queries. Try resolving their issues as quickly as possible. Don’t forget to follow up with your unhappy customers and see if their problems were resolved. If not, assure them that they will be fixed as soon as possible.
· Reply to Online Users, Even the Positive Reviews!
If you run a social media page for your brand, engagement is crucial if the goal is to develop a trustworthy and long-lasting relationship with both your prospective and loyal customers. When you share any post on your social media, make it a point to interact with those who comment on your post. Whether good or bad, interact with them in a friendly manner, and you will increase followers and leads like never before.
· Provide Accurate Information Fast
In other words, you need to be active online, especially on your social media. Communication is the only way through which potential customers can find out if they are being heard. If you don’t answer them, they will eventually get frustrated and look for better alternatives.
By not being responsive, online users, out of spite, may give you a bad review, which, in turn, can destroy your online reputation. So, when doing online business, keep a tab on online users, and provide them with correct information instantly when they ask. For instance, if you run an online store for skincare products and one of the prospective customers ask the price of a face cream via the comment section of your Instagram post, give out the information as soon as possible. Don’t delay or you may lose an important customer!
· Engaging Activities Online
This is the best way to refute any rumors that may be surrounding your brand online and clear your name so that people do not feel hesitant to invest in your products and services.
Social media activities, such as a Q&A game or going live on Instagram and Facebook and encouraging your prospective customers to ask you anything they want, is a great way to let them know who you are (your beliefs and values) and to know what your target audience may expect of you in return. These online activities can give you a second chance at starting afresh with a clean slate.
· Be Likable
No matter how you interact with your target audience, be nice and pleasant. Don’t talk rudely or be discourteous if online users are being mean or disrespectful. Often smaller businesses and brands clap back, which leads to an argument in poor taste. However, you should never stoop low; instead, maintain your grace and dignity in the face of bad conduct. By being likable, your brand will gain admiration and appreciation. Plus, you will be able to transform existing online hate into love and friendship, so it’s a win-win situation!
2. Be Consistent
Being consistent, bad days included, will have everyone saying the same things out your brand. There’s nothing more confusing than seeing different people having different views about your products and services. This type of inconsistency can push your prospective clients away from investing in your business. Therefore, you should make it a point to treat everyone the same. This will only be achievable if you present your authentic self.
Be honest and responsive to online users. Sometimes online businesses pay extra attention to their loyal customers while zero regards to mere visitors. However, this shouldn’t be the case. Be considerate to each and every customer. To evade the stain of a bad reputation, make it a point to be a tad bit kinder to your customers.
3. Don’t Offend Anyone While Responding to Bad Reviews
Customers can be quite forgiving if you compensate them for bad service or mismanagement. The trick is to respond to them with empathy and in a reasonable amount of time. Make sure to apologize to them to make things right.
For example, if a delivery got delayed despite being promised that it would be made in due time. This may frustrate your customer, and they may put up a bad review online. Don’t ignore or delete the comment; it will make things worse. Respond to your customer right away. Apologize to them and resolve the issue. In this case, give a discount or an extra free service to compensate for the poor customer service. This is common sense. No one expects you to be perfect. But where you make an error, try to win back your customer so that they consider you in the future as well. Also, when you turn a dissatisfied customer into a raving fan, make sure to ask for a positive review, or at least ask them to clarify that a previously bad job done was rectified.
4. Talk About the Elephant in the Room
If your brand has been the subject of a huge controversy in the past that led to shame and disgrace on your part, talk about it. Don’t be afraid to own your past. Come clean about it and start afresh. As we said earlier, customers can be forgiving if you are honest with them. Acknowledge the fact that you made mistakes in the past, and you have learned from them and are ready to move forward.
Giving a genuine explanation to your target audience can do a world of good to your business. Furthermore, apologize and promise to serve better to your customers. Don’t stop there, though. Fulfill your promises. Make sure you implement what you have said practically as well. Doing so will help you develop better relations with your target market – and nothing could be better than that!
5. Take Negative Conversations Offline If Possible
As we all know, negative criticism on social media can be quite disruptive for your brand. And since it’s all done in the public eye, it may motivate others to pitch in, too; so what may be just between two parties becomes public drama, maligning your brand’s name further.
If you have suffered this in the past and do not want to fall into a similar pit again, try to take customers’ complaints offline whenever possible. This will prevent the situation from escalating. You will be in a better position to resolve your customer’s problems while keeping your brand’s name protected at the same time.
6. Personalize Your Response
Nothing is more exasperating than when your complaints are met by an automated response. You feel undervalued and unheard altogether. Therefore, you should always deal with your customers’ problems hands-on without turning on the automated response. Customize the response in relevance to the issues of your customers. When responding to complaints:
- Use a conversational tone
- Include the name of the customer in the response
- Explain to your customer how you are going to resolve the problem
- Take ownership and apologize if it’s a mistake
- Empathize with your customer’s situation
- Ask them if they have any further query
7. Get User Feedback
One of the best ways on how to rebuild company reputation online is by having people rave about your products and services online. Public feedback will act as online proof of your improved reputation. People who may have been reluctant to invest in your brand in the past will begin to trust and invest in your business – all thanks to your enhanced reputation. Some of the best ways to get positive reviews from your customers are:
· Politely Ask Customers for their Experience
Once your customers have purchased or used your product or service, politely ask them to provide you with their feedback. For that, you can ask them to fill an online survey form or drop their personal review on your website or social media page. Make sure the process is easy and straight forward, or else your customers may leave the procedure in the middle.
· Ask Customers to Fill Review Forms Via Emails
Through email automation, you can ask your customers to provide their reviews. Don’t be pushy or annoying when asking for customer reviews. Be friendly while asking them to fill the form. Also, ensure your review forms are interesting, so they hold the customers’ interest for as long as needed.
· Have Positive Reviews On Various Platforms
You should have glowing reviews on several online platforms (wherever your target market hangs out the most) – Facebook, Instagram, Google My Business, and so on. This will allow your reputation to remain consistent in the whole online sphere.
Having positive reviews on every platform will help people forget your previous cryptic reputation and replace it with a favorable one. Also, an increasing number of customers will start to take an interest in your brand and will happily invest in your business. They won’t even have to think twice before choosing you over your competitors. When many people leave positive feedback online, Google will move you up the ranks on its search result pages. This will drive more traffic to your website and social media pages and help expand your business in no time.
Conclusion on How to Rebuild Company Reputation Online
These are all the clever tips to fix your brand’s bad reputation online. Following this guide will help you develop and grow your relationship with your customers in a way that lasts forever. There’s no doubt that building your brand’s reputation is hard work, but maintaining it for a long stretch demands doubly hard work.