Reputation Management vs. Reputation Building
Today's consumers use online reviews and ratings to research products and services, which directly affect your bottom line. It's easier than ever to learn what others think about your brand, and everything a consumer learns has an impact on their feelings towards you.
Let's dig deeper, though. When we talk about "reputation," what we really mean is how people feel about your brand. Your brand goes much deeper than a review on Google. It has to do with our rational thoughts as well as our biases and unconscious thoughts. Can a few reviews easily damage that or will your management skills and vision have a greater effect on it?
According to researchers published in the Harvard Business Review, 70% to 80% of market value comes from intangibles such as brand equity, intellectual capital, and goodwill. Obviously, your reputation is tied to these things, which is why it's important. Rarely is the difference between reputation management and reputation building considered. Let's discuss.
Here's what reputation management looks like.
Putting lots of content on the web and paying money to get lots of traffic to it, so that Google won't show a negative article about the company on the first page of search results.
Initiating a lawsuit against someone who has lied about the company on Yelp.
Blogging or commenting under a phony moniker and saying lots of great things about the company.
Hiring someone to write positive reviews about the company (which could get the company into trouble).
Airing commercials on TV, to show how the company is making up for a mistake.
Having a vision, not coming up with a phony vision.
Paying close attention to the attitudes of the market and adjusting the company's operations as needed.
Proactively avoiding contentious or harmful interactions with the public.
Training managers and employees to meet the consumer's expectation.
Ensuring constant communication with stakeholders and customers in order to manage expectations. This can be done by creating advertisements, doing surveys and speaking to people directly.
In the end, yes, it is important to check your reviews and ratings. An unfair review can have an unfair effect on your business. If you've noticed any untrue allegations about your business online, you might be able to have them removed. However, there's more to your business than its online reviews. Your primary focus should be making sure every interaction between your brand and the consumers, from now on, satisfies them and gives them the inclination to keep coming back for more.
In other words, you want to cultivate loyal customers who won't be swayed by online reviews, or even by harsh words from a friend or classmate. If you're a startup, understand your vision and grow into it. If you're already a big enterprise, use the tools you have to evaluate your reputation. Then, design strategies to optimize it.
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