No matter the quality of your product or the services you provide, somewhere down the line you’re going to have to face the occasional dissatisfied customer. There’s nothing that you can do about it; these things happen. Back in the day, before news traveled at the speed of electricity, such incidents were much easier to handle. Today, though, when someone wants to let others know just how dissatisfied they are with you, your brand, and the people working for you, they can do so immediately.
Therefore, being able to carefully manage your online reputation has become more important than ever. You can no longer just go about your business, confident that your product or service will speak for itself. You will have to do a whole lot of speaking yourself, both proactively and reactively.
There are many effective ways to manage your online reputation, but we’ve determined that these three are by far the most crucial. If you choose to ignore them, you will be doing so at great risk.
1. Have a Presence on Every Platform
At the very least, your company should have Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. You should consider these big three the bare necessity, no matter what you do. But you probably won’t even want to stop there. Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to go deeper.
Is your product or service notably visual? If the answer is yes, then you will want to create a presence on platforms like Pinterest, Flickr, and the like. Are you honing a highly professional reputation that focuses on the people you work with? In that case, they should all get active on LinkedIn.
According to an article on negativeseoguy.com, a popular online reputation management company, the more potentially relevant lines of communication you have covered, the easier you will find it to deal with any unwanted drama.
2. Don’t Neglect Any of Your Platforms
Being present on social media is one thing. Being active, though, is an entirely different beast. And if you want to maintain a strong reputation that can handle the occasional loud and dissatisfied customer, you will want the latter.
If you don’t have an audience on a specific platform, then you effectively have no reach on said platform. What that means is that when and if someone posts a negative comment about you, you won’t be able to properly address it if it starts trending. It will effectively bury your response.
3. Apologize for Your Mistakes
“Don’t apologize” is one of the worst pieces of advice anyone has ever thought up. Instead, you should own up to your apparent shortcomings and those of your partners. In admitting that you aren’t perfect, you tell your customers that you not only value their opinions but are also ready to keep improving.
A sincere apology will go a long way in regaining trust and mending relationships. And in the world we live in, relationships are priceless.
Conclusion: Be Present, Think Fast, Consider Your Shortcomings
There’s no such thing as a perfect product or service. No matter what you’re providing, someone out there is going to have a bad experience with it. By honing your online reputation and not neglecting your online presence, however, you will power through the ordeal with minimal (or nonexistent) consequences.