We’ve been told since childhood not to be bothered by what others think of us. How many times have you heard, “Don’t worry about what other people think,” or, “Just be yourself, don’t worry about what anyone says.” Unfortunately, when it comes to business, judgment and opinions matter, and a bad reputation can be detrimental.
Word travels fast, especially now that social media is a buzzing environment with over 4.6 billion users. Prospective customers pay attention to what they read online about a brand. This is especially true if it’s a business they’re interested in or considering purchasing with. All it takes is a handful or even one bad review to deter that customer from conversion.
Often, your reputation will precede you, particularly if you’re a company that’s trying to make an impact on future customers. Bad press can be a detriment to your brand’s reputation but ignoring this negative feedback just adds fuel to an already unruly fire. Now that customers are regularly reading reviews and deciding to purchase based on the way you handle negative feedback, it’s become increasingly important to protect your reputation at all costs.
But what does it take to build a great reputation for your brand? How do you improve a reputation that isn’t up to par? With these eight tips, you’ll have everything it takes to curb bad press and create a stellar brand reputation.
Improve Customer Service
Your brand’s reputation is likely to stem from the way your employees interact with existing and future customers. In fact, customers that have a positive experience with customer service are actually 86% more likely to purchase from that brand a second time, whereas bad customer service experiences lose brands billions of dollars annually.
With this in mind, you’ll need to emphasize providing outstanding customer service at every touchpoint to ensure a seamless experience with every customer-to-brand interaction. Make sure your team is going the extra mile when asked for information or presented with issues. Coach them on how to be friendly when problem-solving and teach them how to recommend products and services that can enhance a customer’s experience with your brand.
Be sure to include thank you notes with your orders and follow up with invitations for customers to provide feedback about their interactions with your company. Make the customer feel valued, heard, and supported throughout the entire process and thereafter.
Establish an Online Presence
Your website will likely be the initial point of contact customers have with your business, so make sure it’s on point and offers a great user experience (UX). Some things to focus on are tone, voice, narrative, logo, and branding. Make sure they’re consistent across your site’s pages, as well as your social media profiles. This will help consumers get to know your brand and associate it with your core missions and values.
Write High-Quality Content
It doesn’t matter how much time you spend writing your content. If it doesn’t resonate with users, they will likely not identify or engage with your brand. Your content needs to give visitors (and the search engines) valuable information that improves their lives in some way. It should be:
While all three of these things can be difficult to perfect on your own, this process is made possible with the help of excellent and experienced content writers. Consider working with a digital marketing agency that can help you create meaningful, impactful content that works for your target audience to boost conversions and buyer retention.
Always keep your eyes and ears open for feedback and frequently asked questions – these are goldmines for content ideas that meet your audience’s needs. The more relevant posts you have on your site, the more likely your brand is to be viewed as an industry expert. This, in turn, helps you build a great brand reputation.
Be Honest and Open
If you’re looking for an “it factor” that sets your brand apart from the competition, identifying what makes your business special and unique is the first step. Pitch this to your customers as a unique value proposition with the promise and policy of being transparent with your target audience. Something like, “Trust is important to us. As the world’s first 100% sustainably produced clothing brand, it’s our policy to be completely transparent about the eco-friendly production process of our products for your peace of mind.”
Customers can smell dishonest pitches from miles away, and they’ll know if you’re trying to be something you’re not. To understand what makes your company unique, examine your value-adds or highlight interesting tidbits from your company’s history. This will help your customers connect with your brand far beyond the items that are available for purchase.
Utilize Social Media
Leverage the tools available to you to showcase and communicate your brand’s mission and values while engaging with your target audience on public platforms. Be sure you’re positively using your social media, letting followers know you’re an expert in your field while you communicate valuable knowledge to your target audience.
Don’t be afraid to use humor! People love a good laugh, and this can make your brand much more relatable. Just be sure you’re not trying to be funny about or make light of controversial or divisive topics.
Show Value in Your Products
People like to be shown, not told. This is a great thing to remember for a lot of reasons, including your brand’s reputation. Don’t play into the oversaturated, hyper-competitive situation that exists in the online marketplace today – consumers already know all the tricks. Instead, garner attention by bringing real value to your posts and develop a reputation for substance over style.
To do this, embrace marketing strategies that highlight the ways in which your products and services support your customers. Tell them why they should care while you focus on addressing their needs. Discuss their pains and problems, then offer a solution that’s been curated by your company.
Upgrade Your Technologies
If you want to impress customers who have already come through your door (and entice others to follow), you need to be sure you’re using the latest and greatest technology. Not only will this likely enhance your company’s operations, but it will also help deliver a more seamless experience from your customer’s perspectives.
Technology is ever-evolving, so it’s important not to become complacent with your current setup just because it’s worked for a while. You should be constantly in search of tools that enhance the experience people have with your brand. This may mean upgrading your website hosting, hiring a reputable marketing firm, or employing a platform that keeps note of your mentions online.
You never want to miss an opportunity to bring a new customer in because your technology is too outdated.
Actively Ask for and Respond to Reviews
If you’ve done the work to shape your online channels, your brand will have a digital footprint. This means people can post about your business (positively or negatively) on open forums. These channels play a major part in shaping public perception, even if the people reading the comments have never interacted with your company. If these platforms mention your brand, make sure you claim your business’s profile and start collecting reviews.
You do have a little control of the space where customers leave reviews and you can ask happy customers to share their experiences. Try to populate your brand’s profiles with recent, relevant, and positive feedback when and where you can.
No matter how or where reviews appear, be sure you always respond to them, even if they’re not as sunny as you’d like them to be. You don’t want to wait weeks or even days to address issues or thank commenters. Poor customer service turnaround can immediately cause potential customers to view your brand in a negative light. If you respond promptly, however, everyone will be able to see that you care enough to listen to feedback and respond to issues to deliver resolutions.
Bonus Tip: Partner with ZGM, the Brand Reputation Experts
If you’re on the hunt for a great brand reputation strategy, our team at Zero Gravity Marketing can help. Our skilled team of super sleuths will help you uncover all the tools necessary to identify the mentions, comments, and reviews your company is receiving online so you can optimize your digital footprint and make the most of your marketing efforts. Reach out to us and let us know how we can get your brand reputation management strategy on track and set up for success!