Online reputation management is a relatively new field. But it has become absolutely crucial to most businesses since the advent of social media and online review websites such as Yelp. There are a wide variety of customer-brand interactions going on in the world today. The ability of brands and businesses to influence customer perception is critical at many business stages. And the sad truth is that not many businesses are even aware of where their current client dialogue stands. How many business leaders can confidently say how customers are discussing their companies?
Reputation matters for sales. It’s a time-honored fact that dissatisfied customers will share their opinions with others. But the growth and popularity of business review websites have given dissatisfied consumers significant power. They can now influence hundreds of people outside their natural spheres of influence. In some industries, even one influential negative review can decimate sales and profits.
International Reputation Management
Reputation for large, international businesses can be a tricky subject because consumer culture can vary widely in different international regions. Apart from contracting with an international reputation management services company, there are a few important items to consider.
- Always have a reputation management leader who is knowledgeable about cultural differences and expectations. Some of the biggest international reputation disasters happen when businesses ignore cultural sensitivities. Simply having someone at the helm who is aware of what local clients value can be a lifesaver.
- Establish brand presence on locale-specific social media. For example, having a WhatsApp presence is important in many parts of South America. And many consumers in Asia use wildly different social media platforms than Americans do. Have different international divisions engage in positive conversations on the social platforms your clientbase likes.
- Solicit reviews in a positive way. Often this task can be as simple as sending customers free product samples or other strong value propositions!
Startup Reputation Management
How can you build a positive public image when you have no reputation, per se? Startup reputation management, like building good publicity, is a powerful way to ensure your brand develops a supportive following. Then a few negative reviews won’t crush you right after you launch.
- Always beta-test your product with potential clients first. Never, ever, ever launch a product without testing it on your prospective client base. Ideally, you will give it away for free, only requesting your recipients to give their feedback so you can collate it. If you get any negative responses at this stage, address the root of the product’s problem ASAP.
- Aggressively pursue good customer relations. Try to build personal interactions with every initial customer. Reach out to your clients often regarding their experiences and thoughts. Outreach is especially important on social media so that potential clients can see your efforts to engage.
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