Modern businesses hire all kinds of experts: brand managers, services experts, and SEO sharks. With the development of IT and social networking sites, the news is spreading too quickly. You can be drinking morning coffee in Australia and reading the news of an unsatisfied customer in the US who has just finished using your service.
Companies have realized that reputation is the most valuable aspect. So, they are very generous with hiring managers responsible for brand integrity. All reliable companies do that, from WritePaper.com to major shopping platforms. Of course, they care about the quality of their services in the first place. But upholding their band’s reputation definitely comes as number two.
Let us look at this from the customer’s point of view. Of course, direct experience with the brand comes first. But what other factors can influence the perception of your brand?
- company’s philanthropy and activism
- its partners’ brand reputations
- internal employee policies
- feedback from influential people
We made a checklist of steps to take for a company that strives for an excellent brand reputation. Read on!
Aspects to Focus On
1. Social Circles
Your social circles are a reflection of your brand. So you should always be cautious about who you hire, work or communicate with. Make sure you establish relationships with people whose values coincide with your brand’s.
Your entire team should be on the same page when it comes to company standards. This is first and foremost. But also, the influencers who represent your company online should transmit the same messages. Only in this case can you have brand integrity.
Creating a brand style guide and shaping a great company culture are the most practical tips we might give you. You also need to have a public relations team who:
- manage the website and internal announcements
- contact local newspapers about major company developments
- submit press releases to distribution platforms
- secure your speaking engagements at related conferences
2. Conflict Management
If you are having the illusion of avoiding conflicts throughout your brand history, you should better get down to earth. No matter how great your product or services are, customer-centric brands cannot fully avoid conflicts. It is a myth.
WW1-WW2-WWW. Social media wars are embarrassing. Positive feedback does not cause a comment boom. When it comes to negative experiences, though, prepare for lots of virtual mud. Conflict management has some universal strategies that can help to prevent online mud wrestling:
- Respond to negative feedback promptly
Timing is critical here. Even if you need some time to address the situation inside your team, give a flash response. It is enough to thank the customer for keeping you posted about this case and ask to provide you with more time to get to the core. Otherwise, the absence of a response from your side can cause a new wave of anger and accusations of ignoring customers.
- Always remain professional online
People tend to exaggerate. Especially if they want financial compensation. They need to make it look a big deal if they want their money back. But no matter how absurd the situation is, do not post anything that can compromise you. Remember about the power of screenshots.
- Publicly address the situation
A call or a personal response is important. But if you feel the customer tackled an important issue, address it publicly too.
Both teachers and marketers know: people may forget the promises you kept. But they will never forget the ones you break. If you look at any company, for instance, a delivery service. It may seem that their purpose is transporting goods from one place to another. It is. But in the bigger picture of the world, they are keeping promises.
They claim your parcel is going to be safe. They also reassure you that it will be delivered on time. You rely on this company in your arrangements. So you will find it normal when everything works out. And naturally, you will be extremely disappointed if it does not. This is a clear example that brands do not only supply services. They also deliver on their promises.
4. Brand Identity
This is a very interesting long-term task. It gives an opportunity to unleash your creative potential. But, on the other hand, doing everything right is a big challenge. There are common mistakes e-commerce businesses tend to make. Check them out to avoid the unnecessary hustle.
In plain language, brand identity is a clear vision of what your company stands for. It should include the following elements:
- a well-defined company value statement, mission, and vision;
- a confident and pleasant brand voice;
- a cohesive visual language (logo, colors, and imagery).
We all know that if the customer is unsatisfied, they will definitely leave a review. If they are, the chance is slim. Unless you ask them to. But it is necessary to know the right ways of asking for feedback.
A verbal request is not good enough these days. Your customer will promise to post a review and will not do it in 99% of cases. Not because they are mean. Because they are a) forgetful or b) lazy.
Step one. If you see that the customer did not leave a promised review within 24 hours, send them a kind reminder. It is important to persuade them to do it while their positive experience is still fresh. Customer experience is like perfume: the more time passes, the more it wears off. Depending on how strong the fragrance was, it may even vanish.
This reminder should contain a link to a platform or a social networking page where they can leave their feedback. People are lazy enough to search for it themselves. And an active link is a call for action. It is best to include several options if they do not have Gmail or do not use Facebook.
The above-described approach works if you have a personal touch with a client. You know they were happy, and you feel free to contact them personally and send a reminder. This strategy is useless for big businesses with lots of customers. The good news is we know another one.
There are special services that integrate with your clients’ database and send automatic review requests. We understand your anxiety. What happens if an unsatisfied customer receives this message. It looks like you are trying to drown your own boat.
These applications were designed by people who know their job. They ask customers to rate their experience first. If the rating is 4 or 5 stars, the service suggests a link to a public review platform. If they review their experience below 4, they receive a request to tell more about their concerns. But only you as a business owner will see them.
The Benefits of a Strong Brand Reputation Strategy
If you play your cards right, you can get the following winning combinations:
- quicken your response to the competition
- gain more loyal customers
- stabilize your employee growth
- prove yourself as a trustworthy business that continues to thrive on a global scale
- become transparent
They are actually win-win combinations for your business and customers. Not for your competitors, of course.