Reputation – Marketing or Managing

When it comes to your company’s reputation, do you market your reputation or do you simply manage it?  Most companies are managing their reputation and are therefore missing out on a huge opportunity.  Some companies are actually doing nothing when it comes to reputation.  This is really the worst case scenario and can cost your company a lot of business.  Think about it.  What would you do if you ran across a customer complaint with no response from the company.  Most people would move on and look for another company that shows interest when there is a problem.

What do you say to customer complaints?

As already stated saying nothing is the worst response.  What many companies don’t realize is that no response is actually saying something to your customers, but it is definitely not the message you want to send.  Most successful companies will be concerned about their customers experience and will want to address problems their customers may have.  It is impossible for companies to avoid negative complaints but it is possible to let your customers and potential customers know that you do care.  The only way that you can make that happen is with an authentic response to your customers.  If a customers is being unreasonable with their complaint most potential customers will recognize their unreasonableness.  However, if a company is just saying sorry and moving on that is really not the customer service you want to present as your business model.

Owning the problem

Most customers are impressed with companies who are willing to own the problem and take necessary steps to satisfy their customers.  This requires an honesty coming from the management team.  Their are times when you just have to say we messed up but we are willing to do what we can to make it right.  Both customers and potential customers find this refreshing and appreciate business that are willing to stand behind their product and services.  Think about your own experience with companies that are willing to go the extra mile.  Even though you had an initial problem, how did you feel about the company being willing to work it out with you.  For most people I think it turns their opinion in a positive direction toward the company they initially had a complaint against.

Marketing Positive Reviews

It has been said if a customer is not happy with your service they will tell 10 other people of their bad experience.  If they are delighted with you quality of service they may tell one to two other people.  It seems like the playing field is a little uneven.  What if you could take you happy customers and let them speak to others for your business.  What if they could tell potentially thousands of people about their good experience and why they like doing business with you.  Do you think that would be beneficial to your present business?  I think the answer is obvious!  Happy customers speaking for your business telling them how great you are.  I hope you are beginning to realize the potential for Reputation Marketing!  Why not capture those reviews and then present them on social services that brand your business.  Rather than relying on your customer to tell the world about your great service, you take their review and promote it for them.  It sort of works in two ways.  It gives your customer recognition and appreciation for their positive review and amplifies it to others.  Some of those will be friends of the person who wrote the review.  If someone you know tells you about a positive experience they have had with a company, it goes much further than coming from a stranger!

Managing Comes First

However, before you can market your reputation you have to need a system to find out what your customers are saying about you and where they are saying it.  You want to be able to find both the negative  and positive reviews of your customers.