When your company first starts it is normal for its reputation to be prim, proper and pristine. As time goes on, however, things happen to tarnish that once sterling reputation. Things like poor reviews and bad media cause this to happen. Although it is normal to hit a few bumps in the road when it comes to your company’s reputation, this can actually be avoided.
When you practice reputation repair or invest in the services provided by a reputation management agency you might be able to keep your once-perfect reputation intact. Even is something unfortunate happens – like an outbreak of negative reviews – try not to lose hope. There are measures you can take to rebuild your rep and get back on track. Here’s what they are.
Steps to take before you launch your company
Before you are actually required to invest time in repairing your reputation do your best to build up your defenses. This can be done before you even launch your company. Take the necessary steps to protect your reputation so that later on you don’t face a reputation-related crisis. Here are a few thing you can do to act preventatively rather than react later on.
- Create Google Alerts for your company, products, and top executives.
- Create social profiles on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Tumblr, and Pinterest.
- Create a public relations strategy and use it frequently.
- Create positive postings for the major social media outlets.
- Create a YouTube channel and populate it early and often.
- Create an online forum and closely monitor what’s being posted there.
Steps to take if you have to engage in reputation repair
Repairing your company’s reputation is a whole different ball game than managing it or keeping it stable. Reputation repair is necessary when something bad actually happens to tarnish the overall perception that your customers have of you.
Maybe you are tempted to respond to a negative customer review with a jab to their character. Do your best not to do this and even let the comment settle for a few hours before sending a response. Remember that the customer is always right – no matter how much of an idiot he or she seems to be – so respond in an agreeable way.
Maybe that person does not deserve an apology but give it anyways. If the name of your game is reputation repair here are 2 more things you can do to accomplish it:
- Own up to the accusations – If a scandal is on the loose regarding something that you or another company leader did, just own up to it! Sometimes that is all the public wants to hear. Obviously you need to do this in a professional way; your best bet is to get the advice of a repair management professional.
- Seek out the problem and destroy it – If there is a video, comment, story, or picture that has cause your reputation problems to your best to get it removed from the internet. Maybe people won’t stop talking about it but at least they won’t be able to access it anymore.