Warren Buffet knows a thing or two about business, and he noted, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently.” What sets today apart from the 1950s when Mr. Buffet started out, is that your standing is now done, made or broken largely by digital means. Thus, online reputation management must be a key element in your digital marketing plan.
Here are our top tips for managing your online reputation:
- Make It Easy to Complain
Yes, you read that correctly! By making it easy for your customers to complain, you are also making it easier for you to monitor. Oftentimes people do not complain to a business when they are dissatisfied because they could not be bothered, do not think it will do any good, are in a hurry or even because they do not want to get an employee in trouble.
As many as 96% of customers who have problems do not complain – they just do not go back. Though they may not be talking to you, they are definitely talking about you.
- Respond Quickly
As part of your social media marketing strategy, plan how you are going to handle negative feedback. Then make sure that your initial response is sent immediately. Even an automated reply is better than hearing nothing when you are in the position of the seething customer.
Even if you are not at fault, apologize. Bottom line: you are sorry that someone is unhappy with your business. Make sure the apology is sincere and inspires confidence in the customer’s mind that you will resolve the problem.
In a non-defensive manner, ask probing questions to uncover the problem. Ask clarifying questions to reveal the cause of the problem. Only then can you offer alternatives and solutions.
- Ensure Closure
The problem is only resolved when your customer says so. Avoid making promises you cannot keep and be honest about obstacles you may encounter. Most importantly, follow up to make sure that your customer is completely satisfied – hopefully enough to write a glorious review of how you handled his or her complaint!
The Digital Marketing People
If you would like expert advice on online reputation management and other aspects of social media marketing, get in touch with the Digital Marketing People today.