A lot depends on your reputation when you do business. First of all, we are talking about sales and audience confidence in the brand. Many things form a reputation: customer reviews, the availability of information about the company, the quality of the content it produces, the position in the search results.
So, reputation is the opinion of others about the company. And the management of this opinion today has almost 100% transferred to the network. It is on the Internet that users search for information about goods / services, monitor reviews, share positive experiences and, of course, broadcast negative if interaction with the brand left not the best memories.
Thanks to the Internet, the business forms a positive impression about itself and minimizes the negative, if it exists. Here is an article about it by the team from a digital agency.
How Negativity Spreads
Instantly. Thanks again to the internet and the tools available to everyone. Any disgruntled shopper with a smartphone who gets nasty at the supermarket can post a video of the scandal on social media and it spreads with incredible speed. There are many examples of how companies suffered from ugly situations.
And this is not only about small companies and businesses. Volkswagen lost billions of dollars and the credibility of the American market due to Dieselgate, StarBucks was forced to suspend the work of its cafes in many countries due to a scandal with two customers in one of the restaurants of the chain, United Airlines after an ugly situation with a passenger who was forcibly kicked out of the plane, got a global boycott to jail their employee. There are lots of examples, but the result is the same for all: an apology and serious efforts to restore reputation.
How to Prevent This Situation
Firstly, you shouldn’t think that nothing threatens your reputation. Even if you have a close relationship with your customers, no one has canceled your competitors.
Secondly, reputation needs to be managed systematically and on all possible channels. It is necessary to monitor the following:
- mentions in the media, social networks and messengers;
- reviews and comments on the forums;
- search results;
- professional communities, etc.
Thirdly, postponing reputation management “for later”, if everything is fine now, is impossible. Work with the good name of a company should be carried out constantly, since an image developed over decades can be lost in a few minutes.
Reasons for Loss of Reputation
As we mentioned above, company image can suffer due to bad staff attitude towards customers and a misunderstanding of employee roles in the company. A poor-quality product or service can do harm. Competitors are not asleep either – it is often in their interest to spread false information and cause negative news so that a target company will lose several positions in the search results.
Recently, cases of direct extortion by scammers have also become more frequent: pay money otherwise we will spread a lot of negative reviews about you. They can post a negative and offer to remove it in exchange for a ransom.
Fortunately, there is a universal reputation management scheme for any business and tools that allow you to automate this process:
monitoring reviews >> responding to reviews >> generating positive reviews and news. So…
How to Monitor
Knowing the tonality around your company name is extremely important. Monitoring reviews will help keep it under control. Simply type in the brand name and add the word “reviews” to your query. The search for reviews in social networks and on “Nigma.rf”, “Yandex.Blogs” and “Yandex.News” also works. It’s fast and free.
A very effective tool is Google Alerts. It will allow you to monitor mentions of your company on news media sites, portals, blogs, and in search. If there is a negative, the service will notify you about it by email.
Don’t neglect a tool like Google My Business. It will allow you to correctly configure data about your company, publish news, and also collect customer reviews.
The Medialogia service monitors reviews from more than 63 thousand media outlets and more than 900 million accounts on social networks and will study information in blogs, forums and even on the Darknet.
LOOQME will research the opinion of your brand in the media, social media and print media. If there is a negative, the service will identify the source, determine the scale of the problem and tell you what to do. The depth of data processing depends on the tariff paid.
YouScan is a social media monitoring service with the ability to analyze images. It studies more than half a million sources and carries out about 500 million operations every day.
RocketData examines reviews on maps, social networks and review sites. It features a single user-friendly interface that provides a readable picture of the situation.
Use those services that are convenient for you in terms of functionality and financial costs. It is better to use several, since none of them gives a complete picture and don’t neglect a manual search for negativity or closer communication with your audience.
What to do in the event of a Scandal
If an unpleasant situation takes place:
- respond to negative reviews correctly and politely;
- do not remove the negative, but work with it;
- do not respond with fake praise or comments;
- describe what was done so that the trouble does not happen again and tell how you improved the service / product;
- don’t ignore negativity;
- if you are guilty, apologize and offer to compensate for the damage.
Remember, satisfied customers are the key to your good name. Communicate with grateful customers, encourage them with bonuses, promotions and thank them for a positive experience. Publications about company events in the media also help to form a positive reputation. Regular posting of articles, news and press releases increase search rankings: companies whose sites are in the top search results suffer less in case of force majeure.