5 Steps to Avoid an Online Reputation Crisis
in Your Business
Managing your online reputation is necessary. It helps in promoting your brand. However, a negative reputation can turn people off. Worse, you end up with a reputation crisis, and there's no way to survive it. Hence, you should focus on finding ways to avoid these problems. Here are five steps to consider.
1. Don’t panic with one negative review
You might feel terrible after seeing one negative review. However, there’s no reason to panic at that point. A single review doesn’t mean a crisis. It’s natural for people to say something negative, and there’s no way to please everyone. Try to address the negative review and move on. There’s no need to dwell on it or keep explaining to one person your side. You have other people to please, and you might even say the wrong things. Instead of enticing more people, you push them away.
2. Focus on reputation management
Reputation management is about making sure you have a positive online reputation. It is about maintaining a good image for your brand, which can help improve your search engine optimization (SEO) ranking. When there are brand mentions, try to respond to them immediately. It shows how much you care about your target audience. You also can’t let false narratives win the day. Instead, offer counter-arguments and prove that you’re always in the best interest of your customers. Consider online reputation management tools to make it easier to check what people say about your brand. Compare the choices and decide which of them will help strengthen your brand and make reputation management easy.
3. Don’t display everything in public
Again, it’s critical to respond to reviews and comments. You don’t want other people to have assumptions about your business based on these comments. However, there’s no need to put everything on public display. Respond once or twice and drop it. If the other party didn’t feel satisfied, consider moving the conversation privately. Talk about the dissatisfaction in detail. You will be on the losing end when you keep arguing in public, even if you win the argument.
You may offer a few things privately, such as freebies and vouchers. If you wish to apologize for an unwanted incident, it’s the best way to appease the customer. However, it’s not good to always apologize publicly. It’s an acknowledgment of mistakes. It also shows that you’re not confident enough with how you run your business. These unforced errors will pile up and eventually ruin your brand.
4. Always be diplomatic
You’re making things worse if you respond and get nasty with the other person. It will lead to a full-blown crisis. Remember that you’re not speaking on your behalf. You’re representing the brand. If you argue like a regular Internet user, you’re going to turn people off. They will feel disrespected. They will also worry that you will treat them the same way if it’s their turn to raise issues. Instead of expressing disappointment, they would rather look for other partners. Diplomacy should be a priority, no matter how hard it is.
5. Ask for help
Online reputation management agencies are available if you need help in rescuing your company’s reputation. They can help you determine plans to boost your brand. They will also find a way to help you escape the current crisis faced. Since these experts have worked with other companies before, they know what to do. You won’t have to worry about how your reputation will turn out if you have them as partners. Consider applying their recommendations and see where it leads you.
Remember that these agencies will only advise what to do. You will still decide which tactics to use when facing a crisis. So take it easy and ask questions when unclear.
An online reputation crisis can happen to anyone. Even the most prominent brands face significant challenges. Make sure you know what to do during these instances. First, take it one step at a time and wait until you fully recover. Then, find a way to refocus your brand and make people forget previous issues. Think about it as rising from the ashes. A dent in your brand doesn’t mean things will stay that way forever. With the right strategies, you can move up and win people’s hearts again. It requires hard work, but you will get there.