Fixing Your Online Reputation via Social Media
So you or one of your team members made a big OOPS! Whether you've had a verbal altercation with a customer, accidentally billed the wrong account, or even if you did something in your personal life that got out and harmed your business's reputation, we're here to say that it's not the end of the world!
Brands make mistakes and deal with lousy reviews and unhappy customers all the time! However, once a potentially reputation-ruining blunder happens, the key is to be proactive about the situation, which should allow you to reduce any backlash and mitigate any long-lasting damage to your company. So, how can you fix your online reputation after a significant PR incident? Below, we're exploring a few ways you can fix your brand's online reputation using social media. In severe cases a complete rebrand might be required, however. If that’s the case, here's a free resource to rebrand your company.
The first thing to do to fix your online reputation is to avoid panicking or reacting to the situation emotionally. Unfortunately, keeping your cool can be tricky, especially if you wake up one morning to a potentially reputation-ruining review on your social page. However, it's vital that you not react immediately and take the time to sit down and think about how you can resolve the issue without making the situation any worse.
It doesn't matter whether you're right and the customer is wrong, or vice versa, DON'T ARGUE!
We know this is usually easier said than done! But either way, it's essential that, as a business, you do not argue, and you do not fight about it, which will only make things worse. Again, it can be hard to remain level-headed when somebody says something negative about you or your business. But because there will likely be others following the situation, which includes both your current and prospective customers, you need to remain professional at all times.
Confront The Situation Head On
No matter what happened, after you've taken the time to calm down, it's time to confront the situation head-on.
To do this, it's recommended that you resolve a bad review or sub-par rating as soon as possible. You can do this by contacting the author of the negative review and asking them about the situation to determine its validity, all while keeping your communications as friendly, courteous, and as professional as you can.
The fact is that most unhappy customers will give your business a second chance if you're proactive in resolving the issue quickly. You might also want to use an application like Google Alerts to keep yourself informed about any times when you or your company name is mentioned on the web. This way, when someone does say something about your business, whether good or bad, you'll know about it and can act accordingly.
Avoid Using Fake Reviews
Unfortunately, we often see businesses using fake reviews to try and cover up any negative business mentions. While this may be tempting, it's best to avoid this practice entirely. Not only is it untruthful and misleading to your potential customers, but you can also land yourself in legal trouble for using false advertising practices. Instead, realize that one or two bad reviews aren't the end of the world, especially when you're talking about only a couple of bad reviews among dozens or hundreds of positive reviews.
Actively Release New Content And Move On
Finally, after you've confronted the situation, it's time to move on! The fact is that if your business is indeed trustworthy and reliable, to begin with, a single bad customer or review shouldn't be the end of your business. However, when a PR disaster happens, you need to be proactive, confront the situation, offer a solution whenever possible, and then move on by creating new content and promoting your brand to the world just like you were doing before!