What is Reputation Management?
Understanding reputation management is crucial to your business. So what is reputation management, and why is it necessary? Reputation management can be described as the process of monitoring, protecting, and improving the reputation of a company, organisation, product, or person. It is a way to influence what people think about your brand and how it is perceived in the world.
It builds trust and credibility as people rely on reviews for making purchasing decisions. The reviews can be online and offline through word of mouth. The internet has made it easy for consumers to leave negative reviews about companies, which can adversely impact their business. On the other hand, happy customers are highly likely to leave positive reviews.
How often have you been introduced to someone at a gathering, then gone on to check their social media pages, or asked a mutual friend for more information about them? What does this have to do with reputation? Everything. It’s also what people do when they buy a product or service.
Understanding and measuring reputation
For reputation management, there are several businesses offering media monitoring solutions. They will scour the Internet, TV, Radio, Print, and Podcasts daily for your company name and words related to your products and services. They will provide alerts whenever they find anything, and you can then decide if any action is required.
The same applies to email content analysis; some vendors can check what’s being said in an email and flag any concerns.
It’s worth considering these solutions as they help you understand how your business and products are perceived in the market and your reputation.
But what about the calls coming into and out of your business daily? Calls are generally with customers, prospects, and possibly suppliers. People who matter to your business could immediately impact your revenues and reputation if they were displeased with how an engagement went.
Wouldn’t you want to know what was going on in these calls? For example, were there any negative conversation trends in the sales calls or with a specific salesperson? Were there any products trending higher than other products? Was there a particular complaint occurring frequently?
Imagine phoning a car dealership to inquire about a car you’re interested in, only to deal with a salesperson who isn’t knowledgeable about the vehicle in question. They don’t know the mileage, the previous number of owners, or whether there is a balance on the service and motor plan, and they generally seem amateurish. Would you still be interested in buying this car from this dealership or looking elsewhere?
It’s likely you would be deterred from ever engaging with this dealership again. And even possibly you would tell others about this experience, discouraging them from buying.
If the experience was bad enough, you might even post something online.
A company’s reputation includes all the other factors that may influence how customers or prospective customers perceive your business. If you have a positive reputation, chances are customers are also amplifying the things they love about your business. Not only does having a positive reputation help you draw customers in, but it also makes them more likely to stick around with your company. On the other hand, a negative reputation may discourage potential customers from reaching out to your business to learn more.
While you cannot control what customers are saying or how they are saying it, you can be assured that people are seeing and hearing messages about your business. Without knowing what’s being said, you cannot fix it. Knowing what’s going on allows you to fix the problem and rebuild the reputation of your business.
It is up to you to decide whether your business has a good or bad reputation. The truth is that even if you offer the best products or services, your brand is only as good as your reputation. No matter how hard your business tries to promote its products and services, most customers will research your business’s reputation before making a purchase decision.
Many people may not know that proper reputation management can help a business improve sales. Positive reviews can lead potential customers to trust the company even more. Not only is reputation management critical to business growth, but reputation management also strengthens employee commitment and builds brand confidence for the benefit of the company as a whole.
Brand perceptions can shift daily, and while you cannot predict when or where each potential risk might arise, it is vital to review your reputation regularly.