It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in business for a year or several decades. Inevitably something will go wrong and it will all come back to hit you like an avalanche. Whether it’s a disgruntled customer, or a media mishap, your brand reputation can sour quickly, which is why it’s so important to have a strategy in place to deal with dust-ups that can cause customers to flock to your competition.
So what can you do to not only successfully fight the flames but also prevent them? Let’s take a closer look:
Do a Deep Audit of Your Name and Your Business Name
The very first step in claiming (or reclaiming) your brand reputation is to do a deep dive on what’s out there about you and your business name. If something happened on social media years ago, don’t put it past a competitor or even the media to dredge it up and try to make an issue out of it, which can leave you scrambling.
Doing a deep audit of your name and business name can help you get a solid starting point to work from, and it’s never a bad idea to go beyond the first page of Google to see what’s being said. The last thing you want is for old comments to come back and haunt you!
Once you’ve figured out a good starting point (or even if you’re just getting started and want to avoid this kind of reputation disaster in the future, it’s time to take the next step and…
Claim Your Profiles
Claiming your profiles across all major social networks and search engines can help prevent other businesses from capitalizing on your good name or even worse, purporting to be you in an attempt to sabotage your business. Even if you’re not going to use those particular social networks or platforms at the moment, as your business starts to grow you may want to branch out and start marketing with them.
But even if you ultimately don’t, it gives your competition (or any disgruntled customers who want to sow discord and animosity) less of a chance to do so!
Avoid Emotional Responses
This can be the biggest downfall for even the calmest business owner. All it takes is one loud voice to stir up a crowd, and as a business owner who has cultivated their company starting from nothing, you likely have a great deal of emotion — both good times and bad — invested in your company.
For someone to then come around and start slinging accusations and causing a scene, it’s human nature to want to respond to them with emotion. However, your best approach is to reply with honesty and sincerity. If you truly are at fault, apologize and offer to make things right. It may not be to the customers’ liking, but trying to rectify the issue will go a long way toward helping to save your reputation and demonstrate to others that you are genuinely interested in fixing the problem.
Be Open and Transparent
Everyone makes mistakes. And if you’ve made a mistake, large or small, it’s important to be up front and honest with your customers and potential users. Word spreads faster than ever on places like social networks, so in being honest and transparent you show that you’re willing to take responsibility for the problem and work to help make it right.
Set Up Google Alerts
Since no business owner can be everywhere at once, one of the most helpful things you can do to help save and protect your brand reputation is to set up Google alerts. This will alert you whenever someone uses your name or your business name anywhere that is searched and indexed by Google. It’s a great way to find what is being said about your company even in places where you’re not directly part of the conversation.
Work with an On-Demand Team
Finally, if it’s all too much to handle, there’s no shame in reaching out to a dedicated brand reputation team. At Workdom, we’ve helped hundreds of business owners including helping to build or solidify their respective business reputations. Reach out to our experienced professionals today and let us help you safeguard what you’ve worked so hard to build!