4 Steps to Monitor Criticism and Seal Your Reputation
Criticism is a natural part of any company – but how you respond to criticism is what will mark your company as either a friendly, customer orientated organisation…or as a profit hungry, callous corporation. Having a reputation as a company that truly cares for its customers will draw in further customers as they know that, should something go wrong, they’ll be looked after; however, having a reputation as a faceless conglomerate that cares more for its shareholders than its clientele will put off potential customers that know, should something go wrong, they’d be out of pocket and on their own.
Complaints and social media go hand in hand, so use it to your advantage. Find where people are talking about your company, whether it is Twitter, Facebook, or even personal blogs…and read! The first step to solving a complaint is finding out what it is. Once you know what people are unhappy about, it is much easier to try and find a solution to appease them.
Control the situation
A simple but effective step is to bring the complaints to you. Monitoring feedback works well, but it works even better if you cut out the middleman. Create a prominent feedback/forum section on your website and encourage people to leave their comments – that way you may deter people from venting their frustration on high profile complaint websites and blogs, and you can use the opportunity to show that you take feedback seriously and are willing to try and solve their problems.
But remember: you’re not a dictatorship!
However tempting it may be, resist the temptation to censor people’s comments. It didn’t work out too well for the Soviet Union and the chances are it won’t work out too well for you either. Once people realise – and they will – that you’re removing unfavourable comments, people will distrust anything you say from then on. It’s best to embrace such comments and turn a complaint into a compliment about your customer service skills.
Act – and act fast
It is much easier to be proactive and solve criticism if and when it occurs than to allow events to snowball and have to face an avalanche of angry customers. Delaying a response will only make the situation worse. The customer will still be angry that the product wasn’t what they expected or wasn’t delivered on time – plus they’ll now just be angry that it took your company so long to offer a response. To prevent this from happening, consider having you customer service team work alongside your reputation management team (if you have one) because nobody likes to be told two different things from two different people.
Follow these simple tips and you are on your way to sealing your company’s reputation as a friendly, customer orientated enterprise and, with it, the hearts and minds of both existing and potential clients.
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