Due to the influence of social media and customer-centric review websites today, and people’s tendency to share their opinions and experiences on any and all cyber outlets that will allow it, upholding a robust image in the digital space has become critical for the health of your business.
To protect both your brand and bottom line, not only must you run your business in a manner that produces as many happy patrons as possible while maximizing profits; you must also have a plan for dealing with malicious, false, or unjustly disparaging customer feedback.
Below are some fundamentals to keep in mind when designing, enforcing, and revising your online reputation defense and management campaign.
The Internet allows news to spread fast, and bad stuff usually sticks
In cyberspace, any kind of data reaches an incredible amount of people within mere seconds of publishing. And while this speed of diffusion can mean instant exposure, your business will suffer just as swiftly if the information circulating is false, malicious, or harmful to your brand.
Practice promptness in your damage control efforts; the sooner your unflattering reviews are taken down, quashed, or handled and transformed, the sooner you restore your brand’s goodwill and good standing.
Deleting comments is a cardinal sin
Erasing commentary from disgruntled customers, however, is not advisable. Online, people want the full story about a business they are considering supporting or buying from, especially when it comes to customer service.
Instead, view real-time, honest accounts of customers’ adverse experiences with your company as an opportunity to convert these frustrated souls into your happy, loyal brand advocates. Ask nicely over direct message or email what the problem is and work patiently with them to arrive at a resolution.
A long-term, adaptable strategy is key
Since the search engine landscape is dynamic, sustainable online reputation management requires that you manage negative reviews constantly, while producing, optimizing, and marketing positive content about your brand that offers value to customers regularly.
Consistently creating and distributing positive content to subdue negative reviews safeguards against periodic search engine updates that can eclipse the positive press that you’ve floated previously to establish and protect your reputation online.