Your reputation can vanish quickly and brutally. A single blog or video can go viral in a matter of minutes. To maintain trust, you need to realize that recovering from a negative campaign is important. With everything published online, it takes a shopper a simple search of your company’s name to see what others are saying about your service, products, or company in general.
Companies have never been under such scrutiny as they are today. Users now recognize that they have some power, and if something they say about you goes viral on the Web, they can negatively impact your reputation. If you’ve received negative comments about your company, it’s important to get to the bottom of it and understand why clients or customers are reacting this way. Just being angry about the negative comments will not get you anywhere. Address any flaws in your products or services. The Toyota recalls in 2010 stirred up a lot of controversy. Toyota had always maintained a strong image, but that image quickly unraveled once news of the recalls got out. To clean up the damage, it launched a television ad campaign featuring its many happy customers (emulating Microsoft’s “I am a PC” ads).
Many companies have moved into the social media space to mitigate complaints. Twitter allows companies to monitor any communication about them and address concerns immediately. The Facebook company page is another medium that can help you stay involved with the community. Companies are now hiring specialists to maintain a strong, socially connected image. One of the more recent successes has been with the Ford Motor Company, which has been able to successfully connect with customers like never before using social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Ford’s social media team is always monitoring and engaging the community in discussions around the company.
Many times you’ll find that negative comments about your company are coming from a dissatisfied blogger or some sort of discussion on a forum. It’s important to set up alerts to receive notifications whenever anything is posted about your company. Also, visit these forums or blogs and interact with the community there. Show members that you are not only aware of their concerns, but that you will handle the situation. Again, it’s all about being present. The more customers feel you are not a big-shot corporation that couldn’t care less about the little guy, the more you can deflate some of the anger and begin to connect with customers at an entirely different level.
Reputation management can be very expensive, online or offline. But to maintain trust, it’s important to consider setting aside some of your budget to handle these matters. We recommend that you hire experts to take care of the damages for you.