Importance of Reputation Management
Starting a business is one thing, and sustaining it is another. Many people make the big mistake of consolidating the two concepts. This will in many cases prove disastrous. Modern businesses are turning to the Internet to reach their target market. Unlike the traditional “brick-and-mortar” store where a business would interact with a customer physically, the online platform is based highly on trust. The company website is not only the face of the company, but also a virtual branch. Online reputation management (ORM) is therefore quite important.
What Is Online Reputation Management (ORM)
Reputation management is essentially the monitoring and management of the trust which a customer places in a firm. The customer will transact business with the firm based on its reputation or credibility. An organization’s reputation is one of the most important resources it possesses. Negative or bad reputation will weigh heavily on a company, hence the need to always uphold its reputation. A credible company will always provide assurance on its products and services. This makes the customer have more confidence in the business entity. Reputation management ensures that customer loyalty and trust is continues to be built and maintained over time.
How to Enhance Reputation Management
There are several avenues used in reputation management, with each method having its own advantages and disadvantages. A winning strategy is one which consolidates the best strategies while minimizing the negative effects. Monitoring and responding to any adverse situation is at the forefront of reputation management. It takes a long of time to build a good reputation. However, eroding the reputation can occur very quickly, particularly in the online world where bad news travels fast. In order to safeguard your hard-earned reputation, it is essential to adhere to the following:
A good reputation management service should always look professional. A company’s website always gives a customer the first impression. It is therefore essential to make certain that each component of a company’s marketing plan fulfills the company’s desired reputation. The best approach entails proper planning, execution, and regular analysis. Any negative aspect is ironed out as quickly as possible along the way. The reputation manager also needs to put in place corrective counter measures to deal with any situation head-on, quickly, and concisely. In addition it is imperative that plenty of positive information is disseminated through a variety of channels quickly in order to put the situation in the past.
A good reputation is never static, but keeps on changing from time to time. Due to its dynamic nature, it is necessary to always have an idea of where the company stands. A firm might assume it is riding on its good reputation, only to realize when it is too late that there was a turn of events. Reputation management tools should alert the company of any changes whether positive or negative. The reputation should also be quantifiable in terms of statistics and customer feedback.
Although there are many strategies, some may cause more harm than good. In trying to improve reputation, it is necessary to avoid internet marketing tools that might irritate your customer. The reputation manager needs to consider aspects such as target market, age, gender, cost, and much more. Popup screens are a very popular online marketing tool. However, some people might find the popup annoying; a better alternative might be to use an opt-in offer, giving away something of high-perceived value in exchange for a prospect’s name and email address.
This is one of the most important factors that is too often ignored. Even the best reputation can easily get eroded if one is not constantly alert to what people in the market are saying about your company. Getting back on its feet is always a big challenge. Prevention is the key. Reputation management should at all time have a backup plan, or alternative strategy in case the company’s reputation is threatened. For instance, one bad review can go viral in a very short time. This means that even you’re most loyal and trusted customers get wind of the information, their perception of you could be tarnished. Such a situation can only be corrected by addressing the situation squarely and directly. Doing so will help greatly in bringing back market confidence. The sooner it is done, the better for a business.
Coming up with a good plan for reputation management is not a one-off exercise. It requires a lot of research and exercising due diligence. Negative events should not be dismissed immediately. Rather, they should be used to offer insights on the cause and effects of the situation. Maintaining a good reputation requires dedication and hard work. The biggest benefits will be achieved by having a reputation manager who constantly monitors all the online channels and ensures your good reputation is safe and secure.