No matter how established and successful your business is, the continued effort to build and maintain a positive reputation is essential. Why? The internet and various platforms within have made it ever so easy for consumers to voice their opinions to millions with the click of a mouse. Imagine being rated number one in your industry and having it all be flushed down the drain because of a small percentage of customers were not happy with the services or products they received.
Sad, but true, consumer opinions have a major effect on your company’s reputation and brand development. Review sites, forums, and social media platforms have provided a means for consumers to have a voice that can be heard by millions. While positive reviews can mean more business, negative reviews can create a viral effect, which in turn means no business and a diminished reputation.
Online Reviews = Word of Mouth on Steroids
Before creating online reviews and social media opinions, customers had to spread things verbally. While word of mouth most certainly has its negative effects on a company’s reputation, it is safe to say that it wasn’t as bad as it can be today.
Let’s say you run a credit repair service. A customer comes to you hoping to get a few inaccuracies removed from their credit report as a way to improve their credit score. They provide you with the information on the inaccuracy and you reach out to the creditor.
You find out that the account is indeed the customer’s and the balance outstanding has not been resolved. You take the proof back to the customer and explain that they should try and negotiate a settlement to pay the balance off and then have the account removed from their credit history. The customer is not pleased.
The customer then goes on a reputable review site such as Angie’s List, and writes a review stating that you did not keep your promises and that they would never recommend someone use your services. A week or so later, a potential customer is recommended to your services, they search for Lexington Law credit repair reviews, and find testimonials from real consumers who have utilized the service. Valuable information is obtained.
Be Proactive in Managing Your Reputation
It is important to always consider how to build your brand in the most effective ways possible. Being proactive can be the best defense against negative comments and customer reviews. Businesses should consider:
- Monitoring top review sites and providing feedback to both positive and negative reviews
- Ensure that all outgoing information from your company is a direct reflection of your brand
- Invest in brand management services in the event that negatives outweigh the positives.
Brand development and reputation management should be an ongoing process for business owners from all industry types. No matter how great your company is, how your products or services could benefit your target audience, of how competitively priced your services are, you are not immune to negative feedback. Keep in mind, that if your customers can’t trust you, chances are they’re going to do business with your competition.