6 Lies You’ve Been Told About Your Brand’s Online Reputation

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Social Media
on March 19th, 2013

When it comes to a company’s online reputation, there’s really only two ways to handle what people are saying about your brand.

Either you can ignore what other’s are saying or you can take the bull by the horns and embrace feedback.

Zig Ziglar once said, “Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business.

I couldn’t agree more. However, the problem is that most business owners have been lied to about their brand’s reputation. Maybe they’ve been told to ignore or delete negative feedback. Or maybe they’ve been told to only respond to certain kinds of feedback.

Whatever the situation may be, many businesses are lacking in the customer service department that is online reputation management and failing to embrace what’s being said about their brand.

So with that said, here are six lies you’ve probably heard in the past that may have shaped the way you handle what people say about your brand.

Never ask for feedback

Many business owners fear receiving feedback because it means that somebody somewhere may air some dirty laundry about their businesses. But how will you ever know how your business is performing if you never ever ask how your customers feel about you?

Asking for feedback is not a scary thing. Getting feedback from your customers not only shows that you value their opinions, but it will also help you recognize the areas that are successful and the areas that need help. After you sell an item or service, follow up with your customers and see how everything went.

Ignore negative feedback

Have you ever Googled a company before making a purchase decision and then changed your mind because you read something negative that swayed your opinion? Responding to negative feedback is a great opportunity to change other potential customers’ opinions.

If a customer is searching online for a product and sees a negative review, their opinion may change based on that bad intel. But if they see that you’ve taken the time to respond to the review and offered a solution, they are more likely to give you a chance.

It’s bad for other customers to see negative feedback

Believe it or not, it’s actually a good thing for people to see negative feedback about your business. Before you call me crazy, let me explain.

Negative feedback means that your business is not perfect. If every review about your business was positive and there wasn’t a single negative review in sight, it can definitely come across as fishy. Customers like honesty and transparency.

That doesn’t mean you should seek poor reviews (they’ll come), but you shouldn’t be afraid of them. The important thing is that you address the concerns within the negative feedback that is said about your company online.

Ignore positive feedback

If someone is constantly giving you compliments and you never say thank you or compliment them back, will they continue to compliment you? No way José.

Your customers love to feel like you really hear what they’re saying. Thanking your customer for the shoutout will make them feel like their opinion is valuable and reinforce how they feel about your company.

Your customers want to feel like you really hear what they’re saying. So show them by responding.

It’s okay to respond slowly

Being timely is extremely important when responding to reviews – especially negative reviews. In a negative review situation, the customer’s wounds are fresh and the sooner you can respond to the comments, the more quickly you can repair the situation.

Simply Measured conducted a study of large brands who have people dedicated to responding to customer comments. On average, these brands responded to comments within 5 hours.

If you leave too much time between when the issue occurred and when you respond, the customer may not care anymore or may have moved on to another company. We recommend responding to negative reviews within 24 hours. Having someone dedicated to responding to (or at least monitoring) comments will help you respond in a more timely manner.

Once somebody is mad, they’re mad for good

Not all unhappy customers will be mad forever! Online review sites tend to be outlets for customers to express frustration, but these situations can often be repaired if you reach out to the customer.

Negative reviews are often the product of a customer feeling let down or taken advantage of, so offer a solution based on the concern of the customer. For example, if your customer was less than impressed with a meal they had at your restaurant or the experience they had was just terrible, offer them a free meal and another chance to prove the quality of your services to them.

Don’t be scared to hear what customers think about your business. Stop believing these six lies and start taking control of your brand’s reputation!

Are there any other lies you’ve heard about online reputation that you think we should add to our list? Send us a comment on Facebook - we’d love to hear from you!