Building trust between you and your customers and potential customers is something you can not risk. But how to manage your reputation online in case any negative comments or feedback pop to the surface!
Do you know what people think about you or your brand?
Whether you’re a restaurant chain, an agency, or a hot-tech startup with a host of clients, it’s essential that you understand what people say about you.
No matter how brilliant your products with powerful features, they should be as good as buyers think.
But here’s the secret: your brand reputation isn’t built by coincidence. It comes from comments, conversations, and reviews from your customers. That’s why you should ensure that your business is presented in the right light.
But you can make a huge difference by creating a hands-on reputation management strategy. Your process should focus on paying close attention to what your audience says. That’s how you can give a much-needed boost to your brand as a prestige.
That image factors as one of your successes.
To show you how this works, we will review how to monitor your company to protect its reputation and go in-depth to show you how to manage your reputation. That will be your ultimate long guide, so feel free to discuss other techniques in the comment section.
What is Online Reputation Management?
In the digital world, we should pay attention to what is going around, especially if it’s somewhat easy to track.
Online reputation management or ORM or any reputation management is a multi-faced concept with the purpose of creating a positive public perception of a business, person, or brand. And it’s pretty different from managing online reviews.
This methodology includes monitoring reputation and addressing customer feedback or content that might damage the brand image.
Why Should You Manage Your Reputation? Why Should You Care?
The research concluded that 85% of all consumers research a company online before making any purchase. Then they decided whether they should buy this product or not.
When potential customers search for your company on the internet, this will include any social presence you or your brand have. Also, they check out news and reviews that pop up when typing your company name into a search engine.
Additionally, they sometimes look for video reviews’ on Instagram, Tiktok and Youtube. Your success lies behind learning how to manage your reputation and understand how your customers use the internet to discuss your offering. Your website might be the last thing they visit to find out about you.
So, if they find anything controversial about your name, they will jump ahead, searching for your competitors.
Today, people are more conscious and savvy about marketing and ales from businesses. Consumers are beginning to listen to each other and value the opinions of other customers and reviews higher than anything you may have to say about your brand.
That leads us to the importance of influencer marketing.
Customers not only probe online comments but are willing to pay more for a product from a company with higher ratings and reviews.
But what is not interesting is people aren’t happy about how you’re running your business or making a pity mistake. They won’t just send you a complaint, write an angry letter, or call customer service asking to talk to the manager.
No. It doesn’t work like that now, and no one will bother themselves with so many calls. Instead, they’ll call out your shortcomings, open their camera, and start talking about how awful your service was before you even know it!
The result is that you have a PR disaster on your hands.
Social media gives customers the power to talk. It essentially becomes a giant echo chamber of views, so even small complaints can get out of hand in a matter of minutes!
Worse, when this disaster happens to large or public businesses, negative reviews can magnify in the blink of an eye!
We can list out a bunch of big names that have fallen into this trap before.
Building an effective plan to have a positive brand image is a life-death matter for your business in this customer-centric environment.
Here are actionable takeaways you can rely on to manage your reputation and online street cred.
Pro tip: we highly recommend you conduct online surveys or create a focus group to watch your customers’ reactions towards your company. That will give you, in a nutshell, what people are thinking about your brand. Or, for a tight budget, read comments and watch review videos about your customers’ experience.
How to Manage Your Reputation
Fortunately, there is plenty we can do. So we talked to our marketing experts and pooled their wisdom to write the list below.
The most brilliant advice comes down to creating your own content and updating and optimising portfolios to push offending content down to the third page in Google search results.
But what if this content comes to social media? Then continue reading.
- Search Yourself Online
Do a Google and social media search for your name. Use top hashtags related to your industry to find out if there is anything you should consider. Also, you can search for your brand name in Google Images.
Then, you might set up a Google Alert on your name to keep an eye on any relevant new content. You will receive notifications mailed to you once a day to avoid overwhelming your inbox.
During this phase, you can find out conversations about your business and discover what people are saying about your brand. Aim to seek out all different forms of conversions because all feedback is helpful for understanding perceptions and managing your reputation.
Then, you can conduct this audit from customer reviews on your site, and social media, by simply searching for your business on various search engines.
Also, don’t forget to search for business-related keywords or even the feed of direct competitors. Consumers are talking; that’s the reality in this case. All you need to do is to meet them where they already are.
As there are multiple platforms and websites to conduct your research, using only a high-quality tool will make the process smoother. Consider investing in BirdEye and Yext Reviews.
- Track Mentions of Your Company, Yourself, and Products
This step is a no-brainer. You just monitor mentions of your account, company, and product or service. Negative reviews travel at the speed of light but in the online space. If you’re not proactive in catching them and reacting on time, these comments can negatively affect how all audiences, including potential customers, view your business.
Luckily, many tools are out there that you can employ to make sure you never miss any mention of your brand name or product. Brand24 is a good example.
When someone mentions you, you’ll get notified immediately and get a chance to react.
For instance, if someone wrote a positive post about your product, you can repost and thank them or take a screenshot and save it on your Instagram highlights to showcase how awesome you’re!
Otherwise, you can respond to a dissatisfied customer before things become bigger and get out of hand. Then, you can get involved and offer a solution!
The key to effectively managing your reputation is acknowledging the mentions of your product so you can minimise negative feedback and amplify positive ones.
- Create a Management Strategy
Once you know the overall perception of your business, you’ll know where your weakness is and what you focus on to improve it in the short and long run.
For instance, suppose your audit shows that a conversion around your product is not affordable compared to value, or your brand is unfavourable to your specific segment. In that case, you will want to reorganise your marketing efforts or employ practices that will help you enhance people’s experiences with your business.
But how can you make this happen?
As such, the next step is to set up a consistent management strategy. No matter what your current standing is, your plans have to address the following:
`1. Who will continuously monitor online conversions?
Yes, it’s not a checklist strategy. Instead, it’s a continuous process. So, you must designate specific people in your company to be in charge of carrying out this research and monitoring any conversations about your brand online.
Just keep in mind to choose people who are already on customer-facing teams because they’re likely the most equipped to handle customers— people like in marketing, client services representatives, and customer service departments.
Either way, employees who monitor these activities and respond to comments must have experience doing so to understand how to speak with customers and manage your reputation.
2. Which comments, mentions, and reviews do you decide to respond to?
Let’s make it clear, not all things need your response.
Some people only intend to go viral by exaggerating situations or even trolling rather than talking about legitimate experiences.
However, these fake comments and conversations might create on purpose to ruin your reputation. On the other hand, most comments are based on real experiences, interactions, and thoughts about your business, both negative and positive.
Here is the thing: never never respond to reviews that seem fake! That’s why you have double efforts to investigate the validity of the feedback. Also, you have the right to spot and remove them even from Google.
In this context, you should respond to comments from real people, which is why it’s vital to understand what warrants a reply.
Even though it’s not possible to keep track of all of them and respond to each comment, so, maybe prioritising responding is key to managing your reputation to set specific requirements.
You might want to answer customer questions first! After that, it’s up to you.
The idea here is to dictate when a response is inevitable, both for positive and negative comments.
3. How Should You Respond to Comments and Reviews?
Nothing you can do if your reputation has been diminished. You should avoid this scenario at all levels.
To manage your reputation, build a tone guide for responding to conversions about your business to have a consistent voice that you follow.
Imagine that you respond to criticism harshly (something like that, “It’s not our problem!” but positive comments with returned positivity (something like that, “That’s sweet! Thank you, beautiful!”! Okay, it will do more harm than ignoring the whole thing.
Indeed, developing a standard tone guide, you summon anytime to respond is a lifesaver. So, stick to it. Also, it can be helpful to have a management-reputation plan in place within your crisis plan to take action during such situations that escalate very quickly.
Sometimes, controlling and leaving responsible parties stressful and frantic is difficult. However, adhering to standard guidelines will give direction to everyone.
- Handle Negative Reviews Delicately,
But how can I respond to a one-star review? What do I do when receiving this resentful comment?
It’s tempting to brush it off and pretend that it never happened. Then, you pray and hope it gets deeply buried in a sea of happy customers. But, unfortunately, it has already happened, and you can not just turn your back.
Ignoring bad comments is not recommended at all. They are here. They are public. They will probably be here forever.
Responding also gives you an opportunity to clear the air. Your unhappy customers deserve your attention, and you still have a chance to win with the right response.
So, what’s the suitable approach to take here?
We can sum up the answer in three words: Polite. Friendly. Professional.
The tone is always important. It will never help you to make things personal. It’s not the case here. Don’t take offence at every comment.
Alternatively, try to get to the heart of the problem while keeping a level head. Most customers expect you to wait to solve their issues. It’s understandable. But what is not justified is if you choose to take no notice of their concerns.
They need to know you listened and will do your best to find a solution.
So, make it clear. You’re listening.
That’s why one of the most effective approaches is to name the person responding. Customers need to feel they’re taken seriously when they receive your response.
Make it real as it comes from an actual human being—not an automated reply or a robot.
If you’re patient and try to find instant help, these interactions will be an opportunity to build rapport with your audience.
- Reframe complaints to your advantage
Customer complaints and negative reviews are almost always used as a lesson.
You should analyse any feedback even if you think this customer is a way-off base— they’re truly not the only one who feels that.
Again, your product is only as good as buyers think it is. I might seem repetitive, but that’s true!
So, if customers think your product needs improving, it does (in most cases! Or you might target the wrong segment, which is your fault as well; sorry!)
Let’s take this example: you’re going to a shopping centre and struggling to find a place to your car. So, you send a complaint that the parking lot is too small.
What are the odds of that being wrong? Probably 50%!
But what if the market owner received numerous complaints? Then zero.
Indeed, there is a problem. You have many options; renting extra space for parking or offering free rides home for shoppers who spent over a dollar amount on other parking lots! (Second is more creative, and Grovel has already made it.)
- Continue Conversations in Private
Now, try to find a balance. You should keep your positive interactions public. That includes situations that start with negative but where you can win a disgruntled customer over.
But if that is just not an option (the complaint is severe, or the commenter in question is past the point of handling in public,) ask for an email or any way to communicate.
- Time is Critical
Response time is a significant factor in recovering from bitter reviews. If you react quickly to help people who’ve had an awful experience, they’re much more likely to forgive you and change their position.
Actually, it makes sense! Even that first comment is made out of anger and frustration. Show people that you take them into consideration and that they have a point in their complaints.
To begin with, the earlier you can do this, the more influential the outcome will be.
How Can Profiletree Help You?
It’s never nice to receive negative feedback. But it shouldn’t ruin your reputation— it is much better to constantly work on improving your brand image.
Instead, with the right approach, you can have a chance to build trust, manage your reputation, improve your product, and leave a pleasant taste in people’s mouths and minds.
You don’t have to worry about managing your reputation online anymore— because our brilliant team will keep track of everything to know what people are saying about your brand, business, and yourself.
What’s more, we will perform a competitive analysis to find the gap and fill it in with the most relevant and innovative solution.
Build your online reputation management plan with us. Learn how to act—not react. Contact us now!