All companies make mistakes that can tarnish their online reputation. And, yes, even the ones built from the ground up by women. But the proof that you are a great company comes with how you deal with the problems—and how you set up to protect against them in the first place. This guide will take you through some of the problem areas you might come across in your business, and will give you some tips on how to improve things. Ready?
Just like anything else in life, prevention is always the best medicine. Although ‘reputation management’ is a term that most people use to describe cleaning up a mess, it is a little more complicated. In fact, it’s about being proactive rather than reactive. And that all starts with how you are presenting yourself online, and how you build you reputation. The key to good reputation management begins with reviews. They can come in any form—a review of your product, or a social media post about your customer service. So, whenever you start a business, it is essential that you kick off in the right manner. Make sure your product or service is water-tight and good value for money. Encourage people to leave reviews on sites like Amazon or in industry forums—you could even give them a small discount for doing so.
How Offline Activities Affect Your Online Reputation
Almost all complaints online come from offline experiences. There are many things that can go wrong: the buying process, delivery of service, or quality of the product can all tarnish your reputation. So, to prevent those complaints escalating online, you have to address the area they are occurring from. Ensure that it is as easy as possible for customers to buy your product. You might benefit from hiring a UX specialist to help you design your checkout better. Also, make sure you have the right systems in place to deal with customer service, inquiries, and complaints. Are you picking up the phones speedily enough? Is it easy for customers to contact you?
The Delivery Problem
A lot of customer complaints come from inadequate delivery services. It is often the case that delivery drivers are late or leave parcels in unsafe areas. So, you need to be making frequent checks on the delivery company you use. It can be hard to keep tabs on independent delivery companies, so think about using your own fleet. Check www.communicatebetter.co.uk/fleet-management-solutions for an idea of how you can monitor your delivery rates. If you want to stay in control of how your products are delivered, you have to consider the adverse effect that using other companies might cause.
Using Social Media Channels Appropriately
Social media: regardless of how effective you think social media is, you still need to think about your presence on all of the different platforms. The obvious point to make is that it has never been easier to make a complaint about a business, and for a lot of your customers to see where you have gone wrong. It is important to deal with those complaints in a fast and efficient manner. Be polite at all times, and always take the conversation away to a more private setting. If you can approach complaints in a helpful way, other customers will see that you are trustworthy. That means the damaging effect that the complaint has had will be dramatically reduced.
Photo by Anton Ittlinger