One of Your Most Important Assets: The Reputation of Your Business
The reputation of a business has always been a critical factor in its success. It is why we often see major businesses continuing to advertise aggressively. They understand both the value of protecting market share and their reputation. In the digital age, the reputation of your business is not more or less important than it was before. It is, however, potentially more fragile.
The days before message-boards, customer review websites, and social media, a disgruntled customer could be handled quietly and individually. While that is still somewhat possible today, one unhappy camper can also turn into a raging fire if left unattended.
This is why you must care for that reputation like the valuable asset it is. That requires responding to attacks upon it.
This starts with responding to emails and other avenues for customer complaints, including review sites. There are, however, rules of engagement.
- Acknowledge the problem without accepting blame or getting snarky. Responding to a negative online review by posting “Sorry YOU had a problem” or “We apologize YOU misunderstood our policy.” can be interpreted as snarky whether “YOU” is capitalized or not. Instead, you can start with “We apologize there was a problem” or “We regret there was a misunderstanding”.
- Take it offline. Never attempt to resolve the issue in an online discussion or unproductive back and forth conversation online. Instead, ask the reviewer to contact you personally to get details. Remember, others will be reading your response, and they are as important of an audience as the reviewer. This is not the time for passive aggressiveness. Handle complaints quickly and professionally.
- Customer Appeasement Is a Thing. If you are in business today, it can help relieve some stress to just realize customer appeasement is a part of business today. This doesn’t mean the customer is always right, or you have to give away the store. It just means you need to invest in protecting your reputation by having a follow-up system in place for those who have a less than perfect experience. This may include a written policy and even a budget.
Just as you should protect your reputation you should protect your business from liability claims and other financial losses. A well-designed business insurance program can do that. Connect with us to discuss your business and where you may be at greatest risk. We look forward to assisting you in protecting all the assets of your business.