It seems that there are obvious things that you shouldn’t do if you want to manage your reputation. You shouldn’t have a bad product or service, deliver poor customer service, or be unprofessional towards your customers, for instance. But while it is easy to say what you shouldn’t do, it can be a little bit more difficult to find out what you should do, particularly if you are in need of internet reputation repair.
Internet Reputation Repair Is about Staying Calm
If you see yourself come under attack, you probably want to defend yourself. You want to react! But you need to just take a breather first, regardless of whether the complaint is deserved or not. How you respond will be a direct reflection of your brand, so you must appear genuine, courteous, and professional. Plus, you have to do it quick! Regardless of whether the review is positive or negative, people want to be acknowledged and preferably within 48 hours.
Meanwhile, you have to have a consistent response and it should follow best practice. This means:
Responding in time, within 48 hours as mentioned. This shows the reviewer that you are listening and want to resolve the issue.
Offering a private conversation with the individual so you can better understand their complaint and concerns, coming up with a personalized resolution.
Always reacting calmly and without becoming threatening. Try to see what is really being said, responding only to the facts and not to the customer’s particular emotions. You want to make sure that the reviewer knows that you are truly listening. You should never argue with them, because that will always make you look back.
You should also have an escalation strategy in place. There are certain scenarios in which this is necessary, including:
When the customer does not want to discuss their issue in private with you.
When the negative review encourages others to share their own and similar experiences.
Furthermore, it is best to be prepared and therefore have some response templates in place. Do not, however, copy and paste these as responses. Each reply should be completely unique. If you’re a small business you can compete with big businesses through your great reputation. You should also consider having drafts available for the different platforms on which reviews can be left, such as Google Plus or Yelp. Doing so means you are efficient in your responses.
There Is a Silver Lining
If you receive a bad review, you may feel like it is the end of the world. However, they do say that there is no such thing as bad publicity. You need to learn how to turn a negative into a positive, therefore. When someone complains, it is because they want to give the company a chance to make things right. If you manage to do that, the negative review will actually boost your reputation. A good example is found in JetBlue’s response to a Twitter complaint about delayed flights. The silver lining of a negative review, in other words, is that it is a chance for you to show yourself in a good light by making an appropriate response.