Your company may have a lot of things going for it. You probably worked hard to hire the best personnel out there and, of course, offer quality products and services. Customer service is probably a focus as well. However, if you don’t make reputation management a priority, your business will never meet its true potential. It could also completely collapse from damage done to its status.
Many people make the mistake of thinking reputation management is just another name for PR. This isn’t the case though. In fact, the importance of PR is beginning to fade. Most experts agree that “message failure” has become a big problem in the digital age for most companies, simply because customers have become conditioned to not believe them.
Instead, you need a reputation management strategy that will allow you to look for those stories, testimonials and customer experiences that will allow you to present your business in the best light.
Lest you think we may be taking this a bit too seriously, consider that more and more customers are going online to check business reviews before ever visiting the establishment. In a recent survey, a full 70% of people reported that they would actually take the word of a perfect stranger when figuring out where to spend their money. If you don’t make reputation management a cornerstone of your business plan, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to any competitor who does.
Unfortunately for your business, this means just one bad review could cost you a large sum of money. Depending on how competitive your market is, it could also threaten the future of your company.
This is why reputation management can’t be something your marketing department engages in when they have nothing else to do. It must be something you pursue on a regular basis. With social media, you must show your market that you are always open and ready for a conversation with customers, even if it’s to address criticism. With online reviews, you must constantly be looking for customers who would be happy to leave a positive one for you. Incentivize them if you must, just be sure to get those reviews.
Reputation management could literally make or break a business. By making it a high priority in your company, you could have a banner year.