Reputation Management: Build, Repair, Protect

You’ve heard that our greatest fears are death and public speaking.  In today’s world, we can add one more to the list “having our reputation ruined on the Internet”.  We live in an age where your hard earned personal or business reputation can be wiped out by just a few in the vocal minority.

The great news is that there is something you can do about it.

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Of course, best practice is to have everyone on your team in lock step to provide the best product and an exceptional customer experience – every time.  A practice that is nice in theory, but not always reality.  Sometimes a poor review or a one-star rating is hard to avoid.  Perhaps an employee did not represent you well, pulled the wrong color from the shelf, or your product was damaged in transit.

Don’t let it plague you for the rest of your days.

EVERYONE makes mistakes or can have something happen outside of their control. Your customer understands this. Making mistakes just reinforces that you are human. The difference is what you choose to do about it. Don’t hide from bad reviews or negative ratings, learn what to do about them.

You have the power to turn a negative into a positive. 

Recently, we had a client who stated repeatedly how much they HATE social media because of its ability to ruin reputations.  Their dislike was so strong that, prior to partnering with The Rooks Agency, they were seriously considering terminating their Facebook page.  Our recommendation, “Don’t do it!”.  Facebook and other forms of social media can play a significant role in the success of your business. Because Facebook is the largest social network world wide with over 2.7 billion monthly active users as of the second quarter of 2020, we’ll focus on this media for today’s blog. But don’t rule out others such as Instagram, YouTube, Twitterand more.

Back to the client.

Thankfully, because of our suggestion, not only did our client keep their Facebook page, they elected to have The Rooks Agencycreate and run a Facebook Ads Campaign. The Rooks agency crafted two ads and launched with a minimal investment. In only a few short weeks, between the two ads, 3,387 people were reached and 140 clicked through to the website. As Facebook algorithmes continue to identify what’s working best, this early momentum will continue to soar.

Techniques that work.

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After you deliver an exceptional customer experience, don’t be afraid to ask for a review. Grow your positive reviews fast by encouraging your employees to ask for reviews too.  Do not wait, you must capture your customer’s praise when the new purchase endorphins have just kicked in. Reputation management software can help make the process easy for everyone. We like Nearby Now,but you may find one that is a better fit for your business.

Respond to negative comments. Like our client in the case study above, too many business owners avoid responding to negative comments or ratings online.  Like many problems in life, running from or ignoring issues is rarely the best approach.  When you run, future customers jump to the conclusion that you don’t care.

When you see a negative review, reply quickly and positively.  Ideally have a person respond that it is not emotionally tied to the issue. Re-read your message before sending and change negative or defensive language into positive words and phrases.  Although you might get comments that are completely unfair, most people won’t write a negative review unless they believe they’ve been wronged or ignored.  Although negative reviews are painful, you should look at them as learning opportunities. Pay attention to everything your customer wrote. Small changes, such as improving a product description or providing better training may make a huge difference.  When interacting online, always  remember the 5th habit of Stephen Covey, Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.

Responding to negative reviews may be easier if you remember that you are writing for all future customers to see how you deal with negative posts. When written well, your comments can actually improve your website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization), have the opportunity to fix a problem you may not have known about, and help you stand out against your competition.

Have fun.

Always have fun when representing your brand.  Customer’s recognize forced and canned answers to their comments. Customers are attracted to companies that aren’t afraid to have a little fun. Companies that are genuine and vibrant will get noticed.  Make sure that your responses represent your personality.  You are taking time out of our hectic day to respond, it’s not an automated response, so make it a friendly one-on-one conversation that makes your current customer and your future customers understand that you truly value them.

Questions? Interested in boosting your business’s reputation into further success? Contact the Rooks Agency today!