In the business world, your reputation is everything. Therefore, one mistake or mishap can lead to several financial or reputational repercussions. Thus, the online reputation management industry is rapidly gaining traction in the post-pandemic digital age, with thousands of companies outsourcing this important business function to experts.
However, if you’re relying on your in-house marketing, PR, or social media team for this purpose, keep reading this post to learn five powerful tips for online reputation and crisis management in the new normal.
Crisis and Online Reputation Management in the New Normal – 5 Tips
1. Listen to Your Audience
In recent years, many companies have been accused of not responding to customers, especially following poor experiences, such as product defects, late delivery, refund issues, etc. However, in most cases, the problem wasn't their inaction but the lack of proper social listening tools to handle customer service products.
Therefore, our first tip for organizations is to equip their teams with tools to tune into social chatter, such as Sprout Social, HubSpot, Hootsuite, etc. By learning what your audiences are saying, you can respond to them and address issues before they escalate.
2. Preset Brand Expectations
If you’re a startup or small business with limited resources or time to respond to customer queries, let your audience know about it. By proactively letting them know what to expect in terms of customer service, you can keep their frustration in check and minimize rants related to your poor service. The simplest way to do this is by sharing an estimated response timeline – 24, 48, 72 hours, etc.
3. Respond Strategically
it’s easy to let emotions take over and respond harshly to negative feedback or reviews, especially when you don’t deserve it. Over time, you’ll have to get used to inappropriate comments from angry customers or trollers and respond thoughtfully.
So, instead of giving them your two cents, strategize and show that you care about their poor experience and are working to address the issue at hand. Winning back frustrated customers can go a long way toward building loyalty. For instance, you can reward customers with a freebie or discount on top of exchanging faulty products.
4. Hire a Crisis Management Team
Depending on the extent of the damage, you might need professional intervention for crisis and online reputation management. In extreme cases, you’ll need a team of PR, SEO, social media, and other subject-matter experts to help resolve the address issues before they blow up in your face. By outsourcing this function, you can also avoid disrupting your core business operations.
5. Post Moderation Guidelines
One of the best ways to prevent inappropriate comments is to create a moderation guideline on your social media accounts and website’s Terms and Conditions. This guideline will notify your audience what behavior will or will not be tolerated. The guideline will also give you the license to take down offensive posts and keep your pages clean.
However, don’t use this as a strategy to remove every negative comment, as this communicates that you either don’t value your customers’ feedback or that you have something to hide.
We have shared five effective tips for online reputation and crisis management that will serve your business well in the new normal. For more tips and information related to ORM, get in touch with RMG Digital Solutions. We are a leading online reputation management agency that can take care of every aspect of repairing or enhancing your online image.
We can help repair or build your digital credibility with our mix of tools, expertise, and SEO/PR/Content strategies.