How to do reputation management

How to do reputation management

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    REPUTATION MANGEMENT

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    The internet, for consumers, is a place where they exchange their experiences and views. This process contributes to the shaping of an organisation’s reputation.

    Organisations desire to have a positive reputation. However, most of them don’t understand that it can change from positive in such a short time. To avoid all these inconveniences, organisations need to manage them. 

    A proper reputation management strategy is a benefit for every organisation.

    The former US President Abraham Lincoln, a prominent public figure, understood what good reputation meant and went on to say:

    “Character is like a tree and reputation is like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”

    The tree is the essence of a subject, and the shadow is what people choose to make of it based on their perspective. The shadow may be accurate or dramatically distorted.

    Internet presence for every organisation is needed, but it doesn’t come without a price. A good reputation management action plan is essential. A reputation scandal can spread like wildfire.

    WHAT DOES YOUR REPUTATION MEAN?

    Using the oxford advanced learners dictionary for a definition; “The opinion that people have about something or somebody is like, based on what has happened in the past.”

    Reputation entails two things:

    Perception: how the company, is perceived by people outside and in it: and

    Reality: the truth about the company’s policies, practices, and systems.

    In addition to having good governance practices and transparency, companies need to be socially responsible and conscious to avoid or minimise reputational risk” — investopedia.

    Reputation is an asset that needs to be managed proactively. The objectives of reputation management are to:

    • Maintain a favourable reputation in the marketplace.
    • Enhance and build the organisation’s reputation. 
    • Establish policies and systems that will avoid reputation damage.
    • Establish guidelines to manage reputation risks
    • Equip management teams to take full responsibility for managing organisations’ reputations.

    REPUTATION MANAGEMENT ACTION PLAN

    REPUTATION MANAGEMENT ACTION PLAN

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    Changes in technology are taking place at a high rate, and information is more accessible than ever. As a result, strategies based solely on advertisement are no longer efficient.

    There is an acknowledgement that reputation is essential for organisations; it is crucial to maintain a positive standing. Here are some notes on how to manage your reputation the right way.

    DELIVER WORK, ASK CLIENTS FOR REVIEWS.

    When potential customers search your business name online, they will want to see more than just your website or social pages. They would like to get down to reviews left by those who have used your products and services.

    When you deliver work, ask your clients to leave reviews and comments. If most of these are positive, that could be a tipping point that could change a potential customer’s perception of your business. 

    BE INTENTIONAL IN CUSTOMER SERVICE

    Businesses are run by human beings’ errors. Sometimes those mistakes are small and don’t impact your business in a big way; however, grave mistakes can cost you your reputation.

    When a customer raises a negative review, follow it up. Engage in conversation with your customers, make a refund, offer assistance, and help where necessary.

    Make sure to do follow-ups on your customers, inform them of any new services and products and offer opinions on anything they are to get from you. 

    Doing all this gives your customers a sense of importance, which changes their behaviour and attitudes towards your business.

    RESPOND TO REVIEWS

    Customers love to feel like they are heard and seen. Many business owners sadly leave no responses, especially for negative commentary. 

    Response eliminates any thoughts of neglect to the customer, and future clients get to think that you care.

    Response catalyses better customer relations and interactions.

    LEARN FROM NEGATIVE REVIEWS

    Beyond the responses, get down to action and make necessary changes. Pay attention to what the customers say; if you need to change product descriptions, change them, offer training to your staff on handling crises.

    The bottom line is that there should be visible change.

    CONTEMPLATE DOING CHARITY

    Engaging in community outreaches has got to be one of the best ways of securing ‘love’ and appreciation from the general public.

    If you are fighting a reputation crisis, the best way to cover it up is by involving your brand and business in charity. A small act of kindness can change a customer’s perception of your brand in the most exciting way.

    ENGAGE YOUR CUSTOMERS IN YOUR BUSINESS

    Involving your customers in your business can generate loyalty and engagement. You can send out customer surveys, asking informal questions about their thoughts or soliciting their ideas.

    This type of relation builds goodwill and trust among you and your customers.

    BE TRANSPARENT

    Consumers value transparency. They would like to have all the details that they can get from you in whichever way. Customers expect a brand to be open to the detail of their services and products.

    Transparency shows that you are willing to be vulnerable, accept criticisms, and learn from your failures.

    Transparency will build trust with your customers; If you can demonstrate accountability when things go wrong and address your customers’ concerns, people will be more willing to do business with you.

    TRACK YOUR REPUTATION

    This step is the most important. Without monitoring what people say and think about your business, you really can’t make much progress. 

    This method is based on the presumption that you hear what people say about you and respond.

    Monitoring your reputation will give you leverage to know what customers, influencers, and even competitors are saying about your brand and make the right movies.

    Depending on what your brand represents, you can do this by tracking review sites, social media, and other forums.

    Final note

    It is a given that perceptions shape behaviours and drive results. There is no exact determination for ultimate reputation, but it is common knowledge that people and organisations need to know what is happening around their environments.

    Individuals need the information to make decisions or make an evaluation of somebody/something.

    Therefore, organisations need to have a good reputation; because it possesses the credibility needed to maintain and rebuild their relevance.