Protect Your Reputation Online | Blue World Web
The holidays are almost here, which should present a great opportunity for your business. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), sales in November and December are anticipated to rise 4.1 percent, which bring a slumping sales quarter from red back into the black.
However, one negative online business review could cancel out a really great holiday sales season.
Interestingly enough, the NRF states that 2015 holiday shoppers are very worried about price and value, and because of that, it’s expected that they will look for products they can get at a discount or reduced cost. But shoppers also take into account the reputations of the brands they buy.
Something to think about: In a 2011 study, researchers discovered that shoppers make many buying decisions based on the brand’s reputation, instead of the quality of the products they buy.
During the holidays, shoppers look to reduce down problem transactions. Buying from a brand with a reputation for top notch service and superior customer service might be an effective way to achieve their goals.
Obviously, you can’t fix negative reviews between now and the holidays end. There’s quite a bit that goes into reversing a negative online business reputation. and this type of work to be done in order for it to truly be effective. But there are things a business can do to make ensure your business practices don’t exacerbate your online reputation as the holidays are in full swing.
Here are our 6 top tips to ensure the best results for holiday season reputation management.
1. Staff up.
The holiday season is already a hectic time, and short staffing your company can translate into short tempers by both employees and customers. It takes only a disgruntled staffer to cause a negative review on your social media, which translates to an unnecessary reputation management mess for you to clean up.
A lack of the appropriate amount of staff can also equal frustrated customers who take their anger out on social media pages. Ensuring your customers can get the help they want in a timely manner is crucial. Shoppers might even post pictures of the long lines they’re waiting in at your store, to take their point home even further.
Staffing enough people equals fewer angry people waiting, and those who do meet up with staff will probably enjoy a transaction that isn’t overwhelming. It’s an investment that’s worth making, in terms of your brand’s overall customer service reputation.
2. Keep Your Brand Enthusiasm Going
In addition to managing your staff appropriately, you’ll need to set aside time to create content, including:
These little pieces of the overall content puzzle allows your business to continue to control it’s online presence, and to ensure that you’re continuing to maintain the high quality social media results when people run a search for your company. Content generation is a vital part of a successful holiday reputation action plan.
3. Monitor the chatter.
As consistent as you are in creating positive content, an unhappy customer may be working up content about your company or your brand that is not flattering. That will require you to keep an eye on all of the sites that might where negative reviews appear, including:
Your staff should review those sites daily so you can spot an attack early on, before it grow and builds momentum.
4. Have A Formal Apology Policy In Place.
Once a complaint is launched, take a moment to empathize with your customer. Is the complaint valid? Did the company policy fail? What solution you can offer that could improve or turn the situation around? If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, response accordingly and immediately to rectify the situation.
Admitting fault and apologizing right away sets the tone to rebuild the customer trust. After that, offering some kind of remedy to improve the situation, along with an explanation of what you’ll do to prevent similar problems in the future, makes customers feel you care and value their business. That level of customer service demonstrates that you truly value your customers, and it could overcome a small problem and your solutions could make your company stronger.
5. Keep The Situation In Check
Sometimes, shoppers are so stressed out they over react to companies irrationally. A bad day of shopping could leave a consumer at the tipping point and upset over minor errors your company has made.
When you staff finds themselves in this situation, and you’ve exhausted all resources to fix the issue, remember to keep a cool head. Maintaining a positive customer service policy will most likely cancel out any negative outcry, and is rarely anything to worrying over.
In a Consumer Reports study, researchers discovered that a company in California had a score of “F” on Angie’s List, while it’s Yelp users rating gave the company 2.5 stars out of 5. At the same time, this same company had an A+ rating on the BBB site.
Consumers reading hot and cold reviews like this (and they often do) will realize that certain comments aren’t correct. Consumers have become extremely savvy, especially when one bad review sticks out like a sore thumb. If the attack is totally unreasonable and isolated, they will move on from it. In short, that one review isn’t likely to be of detriment your business.
6. Ask For Assistance
On occasion, minute problems can get bigger before your eyes. One negative review can build momentu, becoming much more, in minutes or hours. Or a blog post you’ve written was not conveyed by you correctly, and is shared on other sites in a negative light. There are many modes in which your company reputation could be perceived negatively, during and even after the holidays have ended.
If a situation is beyond your control, don’t be afraid to reach out for assistance. Reputation management companies such as Blue World Web have the tools at their disposal that you simply don’t know about, and they are prepared to help your company recover from a serious attack, so you can emerge unscathed. Utilizing their expertise is an ideal way to manage your business reputation through the holidays intact, no matter what the hiccup.