In the digital age, interconnectivity and ease of communication enabled by advances in ICT have empowered the consumer immensely. Every consumer has an online platform to voice their concerns or praises with online reviews delivery and rate your products’ satisfaction. Unfortunately, disappointment, anger, and frustration are great motivators than satisfaction. The imbalance in motivation can be destructive to the reputation of your business because a disappointed customer is more likely to take the time to review your service than a satisfied customer. According to statistics, a whopping 87% of execs believe that managing reputation is more critical than managing strategic risk.
With 92% of consumers learning about businesses through online reviews and 80% making purchase decisions based on the reviews, adopting effective reputation management strategies are more important today than ever before.
How to Conduct Reputation Management
For starters, you have to accept that you cannot fight all the battles. To focus on what is important, you need to adopt specific, attainable, and predefined ‘commandments’ to guide your engagement online and offline. The five most important ‘commandments’ should enable you to;
Build trust: Trust is not only the most perishable core pillar of business but also the hardest to regain once it is lost. By constantly communicating about trust, more and more consumers will attach this vital ingredient of success to the reputation of your business.
⦁ Transparency: Both online and offline engagement of your business should enhance transparency. For instance, when a customer levels allegations against your operations, be the first to respond and willingly provide truthful insights into your alleged operations. Going offline for months to an end with the hopes that the issue will die naturally with time is a gamble you can’t afford to take in the digital age.
⦁ Address criticism constructively: You can open a forum on the issue being criticized and invite consumers to share their opinion and solutions on the matter. Keeping your friends close and enemies closer is an effective strategy to avoid having the rug being pulled from under your feet.
⦁ Effective online engagement: When it comes to online engagement, you need to participate obsessively but constructively to be effective in managing your reputation. For one, you should join the groups that are most vocal about current issues in your industry and engage, reply, share, like, and so on. Whatever you do, don’t sit passively while your competitors are thumping their chests.
⦁ Targeted attacks: You should only attack the illegitimate attackers, but not each criticism leveled against your business. Some criticisms are legitimate and should be appreciated as a free consultation for improvement. But anyone who levels false allegations should be dealt with appropriately once and for all.
For you to execute all the five ‘commandments’ effectively, you have to overcome numerous challenges in managing reputation in a technologically-driven society. From Google search to Yelp posts, Swarm check-ins, and social media posts, managing how consumers portray your brand on the internet and social media platforms can be very difficult. You cannot manage to execute all the five ‘commandments’ in each social media platform and online review sites.
At Financbase, we offer WebVoice, which you can use to list your business on internet directories and provide a single platform for customers as well as other online users to air their views. With all the reviews directed to your directory, it will be much easier for you to employ the five commandments and manage your reputation.