It wasn’t until recently that people started gaining an understand of online reputations. Because it is such a relatively new concept, people have many different approaches in terms of handling it. As a result, there doesn’t seem to be a right way or wrong way to do things.
For instance, some companies will focus strongly on corporate transparency and customer engagement as part of their strategies. Others prefer to focus on online reputation repair by pushing negative reviews and brand comments away through search engine optimization practices.
There are a few companies that try to eliminate negative reviews. This is, however, an unethical tactic and one that you will get found out about. When you do, your reputation will become so damaged that recover is almost impossible. This may be a tactic that is out there, therefore, but one you should avoid at all costs.
What matters is that you use techniques that are honest and that work, and that is really all down to common sense.
It’s All About Frame of Mind
The golden thread or golden rule of reputation management is to be in the right frame of mind. There is no piece of software or secret technique that will make you look amazing in the eyes of your customers. Instead, it is about being honest and genuinely caring about what your online customers have to say about you. This isn’t the same as traditional marketing, where you speak to people. Rather, with reputation management, you engage in two way conversations with people.
Imagine yourself speaking to someone you know. You won’t sound almost robotic when speaking to them. Rather, you discuss things, listening to their points of view and throwing in your personal opinions as well. It is a genuine method of conversing, and one that people appreciate. Unfortunately, too many businesses forget about this and they have a range of standard answers to a variety of complaints. Consumers see straight through this and don’t appreciate it, as it makes them feel as if you don’t listen to them.
People are smart consumers, nowadays, and they have high expectations. They are looking to reinstate the old saying that the customer is king, or the customer is always right. They want people to listen to what they have to say, and they want to feel that they have the opportunity to speak to a real person as well.
Clearly, managing your reputation is about being human. Human beings are surprisingly accepting and understanding, even if they have high expectations. They know that everybody can make a mistake, and they also know how difficult it is to hold your hands up to that. Hence, if they make a complaint and they see a genuine response from you in which you explain your point of view and offer a solution, they will be very forgiving.
The goal of online reputation and online reputation repair is about building relationships of trust and mutual understanding.