The Loud Customer – How to Handle Your Company’s Reputation Management

Customers are louder than ever before, thanks to social media sites like Facebook and platforms like Yelp which make it easy for customers to share their opinions on the spot. While this is a good thing for customers, it’s not always a good thing for the company. Sure, positive reviews and “likes” on the company’s Facebook page can greatly increase revenue and brand recognition. But it’s just as easy for a Facebook user to “like” the company’s page and then post nasty comments and horribly negative reviews all over the company’s wall, as it is for lovers of the brand to post positive things. And unfortunately, most unhappy customers speak more loudly than the happy ones.

This is one of the most challenging things for any Internet marketer in charge of the company’s reputation management. Very frequently, other departments and even supervisors may be giving you their personal opinion on how to handle the very public situation. While most of it is well meaning, you have to stick to your guns and often defend the best practices you have set in place for your department’s social media guidelines.

One thing that should never be done in regards to this bad publicity is deleting the post. This makes the poster get even angrier and louder than they were before. Instead, confront the complaint. Maybe a lesson can be learned and a change can be made. If so, admit this to the public. They appreciate honesty and it will help to uphold the company’s reputation, which will follow it for many years. It’s also best to meet every negative complaint with a positive fact. If the complaint is that the company’s product is overpriced, offer coupons to the public or begin a sweepstakes for free products. Make sure that consumers must “like” the Facebook page before entering in the sweepstakes or printing off coupons, because the more “likes” that your page has, the better your company looks. If Facebook users see that their friends “like” something, they are more likely to do so.

reputation management

The internet has eyes and it’s written in pen, so make sure that everything is posted follows the company’s policies and standards. Treat customers, even angry customers, as people and be as polite to them as you would want your telemarketers to be if the complaint was coming in over the phone. Criticism is going to happen and sometimes there’s nothing more that you can do other than apologizing that the consumer was not satisfied with your product. Every product is not right for every consumer, so it’s not going to please everyone. But any and all complaints should be taken into serious consideration.

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