We all know that reputation is everything, both in life and in business. In fact, according to Ted Rubin:
“A brand is what a business does, but a reputation is what people remember.”
With that being said, I assume that reputation is such a fragile thing. It just takes one minor mistake to cause irreparable damage to your brand’s image. Now, this thing is especially true in a digital world where customer expectations are always high and you have to address every issue to save your image.
This means, that ignoring a strong public digital is definitely not an option for you. Every brand is required to communicate effectively in today’s digital age. Not only that, but it is also important to listen to your social chatter and then respond in a way that shows you a highly reputable brand out there.
But what happens when things go wrong and you find yourself in great crisis? How would you save your reputation in the growing digital world? Don’t worry if you don’t have any plan yet. Maybe this article helps you a lot in understanding how to manage reputation and crisis.
Handle Customer Service Problems Seriously
In the past few years when the digital era wasn’t much advanced, there were lots of companies that were focused to generate revenue and totally ignored concerns about faulty products or refund issues. They didn’t listen up to their customers and solved their issues. In fact, their social media presence was also poor, due to which they were unable to handle queries and concerns.
In the end, those companies got failed.
Unfortunately, in today’s growing digital era, not listening to your customers reflect badly on your business. You have to respond to every query. Even giving your audiences the right website link is quite helpful. When you listen to the customers and try to solve their issues, it shows how much you are concerned about them and can do anything to satisfy them.
Set the Right Expectations Upfront
If you have just launched your business or even have limited bandwidth to listen to the customer inquiries in real-time, then you really need to set the right expectations upfront on the exact time when people expect your response.
It’s better to be present 24/7 for your customers so that they have peace of mind that you will always be there whenever they need your help.
Always stick to whatever you say. If you say that you are available in the wee hours as well, then make sure you do it. Otherwise, it will badly damage your reputation and your customers won’t trust you.
Be Authentic, Accountable, and Transparent
We have seen many companies that have been guilty of deleting posts and articles that they didn’t agree with. Now when you ignore those posts or claim that you got hacked by competitor companies is totally a foolish thing.
Trying to cover up your mistakes may justify things, but there will be tons of negative comments that make people feel that you are ignoring problems or simply don’t care about the customers. It is extremely important, to be honest, and clear up all the issues that you are facing.
Also, never lie to your customers as it further creates a bad impression of your country. If make any mistake, immediately admit it and then apologize while doing everything in your power to make things correct. It sets you a real transparent company in the industry that takes account of its actions.
We are all humans, and we all make mistakes. The good thing is, that people don’t expect you to be 100% perfect, they agree that companies can make mistakes, so when you are transparent and honest, they will further respect you and think positive things about you. Just treat your customers like a family and a special part of your tribe. Do not betray their trust and consider them a priority.
Respond Wisely to Your Customers
If you make any mistake or there is an issue arising on your side, make sure you put some effort into creating a wise and thoughtful reply that specifically aims at addressing your customer’s concerns. Your reply should highlight how much you care about your customers and are willing to address issues. This simply wins your customer’s hearts and make them your fan in the long run.
Don’t Be Rude and Mean, or Attack Your Customers Socially
Sometimes we all are disagreed with our customers and believe that they are wrong. But being rude and mean to them or attacking them in different social forums is completely unacceptable and selfish. Do not blame them for anything and deal kindly and respectfully no matter what. Give them the best information you have and always do your best to cater to their needs.
If nothing helps and your customers continue to be rude, uncooperative, and mean, then just ignore them and move on instead of involving in a fight and harming your reputation. Because in that time, whatever you will do, will instantly damage your reputation and make people against you.
Have a Reputation Management Team in Place
Another awesome thing to manage your reputation and crisis is, to work with a reputation management team that has great expertise and knowledge to deal with the issues. The team can help you create a proper strategy and execute a plan according to the situation.
They will help set your company’s positive reputation and remove all the negativity in customers’ minds.
Remember, you can never please everybody. There will always be issues either with the customers or the management. But the wisest thing to do is, move on and try solving the things positively.
When you respond negatively to the situation, it will cause further damage to your reputation, and even sometimes a reputation management team can’t handle that. However, working with a team is still a great decision as they can ensure that your brand image is good and people trust you. It makes you credible and transparent. So, if your business is going through any bad phase, hiring a reputation management company is probably the right option to consider.