Crisis Survival Kit: 10 Steps To Maintain Your Online ReputationCrisis Survival Kit: 10 Steps To Maintain Your Online Reputation
Upholding the reputation of your business is crucial to keeping the customers you have and to attracting new business. It's particularly important online, where so much is out of your control.
February 3, 2009
Upholding the reputation of your business is crucial to keeping the customers you have and to attracting new business. It's particularly important online, where so much is out of your control.bMighty editor-in-chief and publisher Fred Paul has written about the ways that Web 2.0 sites, specifically Yelp, can be a double-edged sword for businesses -- alternately bolstering and eroding your online reputation and requiring constant vigilance. But user comments are just one of many online touch points where your business reputation can suffer if you don't mind the store (so to speak).
OrangeSoda evangelist and blogger Janet Meiners Thaeler recently offered 10 tips that could help you save your online reputation. If there's a theme here, it's BE PROACTIVE (many of these steps address issues before they can become problems). Make it easy for customers to contact you. Every page should have your contact information, including at a minimum, your phone number. Respond quickly to potential problems or customers concerns to keep them from growing. If your company has contracts, make sure the process of cancelling the contract is clearly spelled out. This is a common area where customers get upset. Clearly explain return or cancellation policies. Track what's being said about your business online. Set up Google Alerts on your business name and RSS feeds on your company name on Twitter using search.Twitter.com. Decide who will respond to negative reviews and how they will be handled. Give whoever generates the responses the authority to make quick decisions. Look for ways to turn negative feedback into positive. It may help to engage a PR consultant or agency for crisis situations should they arise. You might want to leave and respond to negative comments left on your blog. If ignored it can just fuel the anger and a disgruntled customer may go to many other sites. It's better to be the first to see and respond to the complaint rather than take that risk. Blog posts with your company name in the title can show up high in search results. Ask happy customers for a post. Make it easy for your customers to leave positive feedback online. It's not as motivating for a happy customer to take the time to do this as it is for someone who is angry. You could include links to review sites in e-mails to your customers and ask them to leave a review online. Just be aware that you cannot reward people for leaving a review. More From bMighty: Financial Crisis Survival Kit
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