Once upon a time, businesses could almost “get away” with a bad reputation. After all, unless their reputation was utterly terrible, this was something that was at least difficult for other people to find out about. Usually, it transpired via word of mouth.
Of course, the internet has changed all of this. Now, a quick search on Google can reveal all sorts of feedback about a business; both good and bad. It means that it is absolutely imperative for a company to stay on top of their reputation.
If your business has already fallen by the wayside in this regard, it’s time to read on. We’ve penned some tips to help you along your way if your company is struggling with its reputation.
Make data protection your priority
If there is one thing that can destroy a company’s reputation in a flash, it’s a lack of data protection. Over the years we have seen some significant cyber attacks against some of the world’s biggest companies, with leaked customer data being the main result. With some companies, like C5 Capital, set up by cyber security expert Andre Pienaar, making it their aim to invest in businesses that are entirely focussed around cyber security, it provides enough evidence to show that this is a topic that needs to be taken seriously.
Bearing this in mind, invest in any preventative measures as a matter of urgency. You may recover from some reputation setbacks, but a data breach is difficult.
The importance of monitoring
One of the easiest ways to control your reputation is to catch it before things take a turn for the terrible. If you don’t realise that your reputation is starting to fall, by the time you do take action it’s almost too late.
Make sure you track your brand mentions online and when some negativity does crop up, address it as a matter of urgency.
On the subject of addressing…
When you do come round to addressing the negative feedback about your company, the best advice you can take is to try and take this offline as soon as possible.
For example, if a customer has issued a public, strongly worded complaint online, try and pick it up with them in the offline world. The last thing you need is for things to snowball and before you know it, the whole of social media is against your company.
Tackle the problem head-on
While there will be some cases of a company’s reputation being unfairly tarnished, on the whole there tend to be very good reasons why this is happening. In other words, there tends to be a foundation within most complaints.
It means that you usually have to adopt the customer is always right model. By clearly apologising, and explaining what went wrong, you can prevent a simple complaint escalating too far.
In some cases, even if you think that a complaint might be a little on the harsh side, for reputational purposes it can be advisable to follow the above approach rather than contest the issue.