Your brand is the most important asset your corporation possesses. More than money, more than real estate, more than anything – if your consumers cannot identify, define, or respect you, you are dead in the water. Protecting that brand is critical to every interface your organization faces. A brand defines your values, creates an emotional bond between yourself and your customer, and it is the anchor upon which you stand every single moment.
A plethora of voices
Anyone can jump on social media to criticize your products and brand. They can write a blog posting that ranks higher in Google’s search results than you’d like. Control has left the hands of the marketer. The issue is multiplied in the service industry, where review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor and Angie’s List – all designed to improve customer experience – can seriously threaten your brand’s credibility and identity.
The consumer has a direct voice to connect quality to value. Now branding efforts must address both macro and micromanagement strategies. Companies must be responsive to individual voices of dissatisfied consumers while focusing resources toward broader quality efforts and branding.
This is the price of doing business. Rightfully so, consumers can now put their mouth where their money is. The business community must do the same.
What can you do?
Successful companies leverage positive reviews into word-of-mouth advertising. This remains the single most effective type of advertising today.
If your company is being battered with negative reviews, what can you do? Here are a few ideas to start:
- Find them. Use focused social media searches to discover what consumers are saying about your company.
- Respond diligently. Once you’ve found complaints, don’t just dismiss them. These reviews are actively read by consumers. Consumers are often more likely to embrace a review than an advertisement. Respond to the feedback openly and solve the issue. Deal with it.
- Improve. Don’t just make empty promises. Empty lip-service is the worst response you can provide to a complaint. If you have an issue, deal with it. If you get called on the carpet because of poor service – deal with it. If the customer is upset – deal with it. Don’t dismiss the complaint, resolve the issue. Even if it costs you a few dollars and a bit of time – solve the problem. At this point, damage from the mismanagement of a complaint only escalates.
- Grow from your mistakes. Learn what the consumer wants. It’s that simple.
- Take feedback. Make this an opportunity to improve your brand – your customers will thank you for it.
Contact Colure’s marketing team. Discover the art of crisis management. Learn from a team that can help you properly manage your corporate image.