Thursday, June 25, 2015

Reputation Management for New Businesses

Whether you are a large corporation or a small business of one, managing your reputation should be high on your priority list.  Online reviews, word of mouth and customer opinions can make or break your company. It's important to know what is being said about you and what to do in case a problem arises.  Here are a few tips for managing your reputation.

Act Quickly – Set up Google Alerts about your company and do periodic searches for customer feedback to keep tabs on both praise and criticism.  Don’t just ignore the bad reviews or negative comments, address them quickly and professionally.  Customers want to be heard. If they know you are listening –  and more importantly doing something to address their concerns –  you may keep that business you almost lost.

Recognize the Positive - Let consumers know that you hear and value their praise. Consider featuring positive feedback and/or testimonials on your website to publicly show appreciation for happy customers. Highlighting the relationship shows gratitude while at the same time, builds credibility in your community and with prospective clients.

Take it Offline – Keep an eye on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and your own website.  If you hear negative comments being made through a social media site, address them privately, if possible.  Email or call the customer to address their concerns and see what you can do to make things better.  They will appreciate the personal touch and you will save yourself from getting into a potential online battle.

Follow Up – Once a concern has been addressed, make sure to follow up with the customer to ensure they are still happy.  This could involve a simple phone call or email, or perhaps offer a coupon or discount on services.  This will confirm you are continuously working to please your clients and that you do not forget about them even when things are going well.

Take the High Road – Remember you cannot please everyone all the time. Address an unhappy customer's concerns and attempt to fix the problem to their satisfaction. If they are still not pleased, offer an apology, remain polite and professional and do your best to leave the situation in a positive light.

Are you a rising new business less than a year old? Becoming part of the New Business Sponsor Program will help you build and maintain a strong reputation.

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Written by: Adam Koncius, Koncius Digital Marketing

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