Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Business Reputation and Social Media Management (Part 3)

Social Media Lawyers: Business Reputation and Social Media Management (Part 3)

There are three simple steps that every business owner should take to reduce the risk of online damage to their reputation. These are:

1. Preventing
2. Listening
3. Influencing

Preventative Action to reduce the risk of online damage to your business reputation

For some business owners, writing bad reviews and spreading defamation over the internet about their competitors is as easy as for a snake to crawl over a stick.

There is not much that you can do about this desperate practice apart from taking appropriate steps to have these individuals exposed but the vast majority of internet reputation problems that business owners face on the internet still come from real customers who present genuine customer service issues that could have been prevented.


How to prevent online reputation crisis
Learn to treasure complaints. Respond to complaints quickly and don’t ever procrastinate

Preventing complaints from going online does not necessarily mean that your organisation's customer care must always be perfect. On the contrary, we learn very little from being told how brilliant we are.

Encourage customers to provide you with feedback. Actively ask them if there is anything that they are not happy about and try to do so during the course of delivering the service to them or very shortly after. I personally like the idea of randomly sending my clients requests for feedback and rewarding them for taking the time to do so. More than once in my career I have identified in this way issues that I was not aware of and that could have easily escalated into real reputation crisis. Over time you will learn to cherish your customer's feedback. They will sometimes tell you things they will not tell your staff.

Learn to treasure complaints. Respond to complaints quickly and don’t procrastinate. Follow each complaint through with a goal of satisfying your customer’s anger and frustrations. As the Dell Hell example shows, complaints stay private for a very short time. If not resolved promptly, they can soon be exposed to the entire world.

Don't ever be defensive. If you are in the wrong, simply admit it and make amends. Initially, all your unsatisfied customer desires is for you to put things right. But if you wait, your customer’s goals might change, and they might resort to airing their complaint to the entire world.

By this time, you will have lost control over the situation, leaving your company vulnerable to online attacks on its reputation.

Find out how listening can reduce the risk of defamation against your company in the forth part of this Business Reputation Management and Social Media series.

Read part 4 of the Business Reputation Management and Social Media series.
Read part 5 of the Business Reputation Management and Social Media series.
Read part 1 of the Business Reputation Management and Social Media series.
Read part 2 of the Business Reputation Management and Social Media series.



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