Reputation Crisis for Businesses
While it takes years, blood and sweat to establish a successful business, it can only take hours to bring it down. Many businesses have found themselves in instances whereby a customer was treated rudely/unfairly by an employee(s). Some customers take out their frustration and displeasure with the company online. Then a couple of other unresolved complaints come up (could be of a different nature) and before you know it, this becomes an exchange of bad experiences.
Don Winslow states that a positive review is great, but a negative one is worse, especially when unresolved. Some businesses employ quick strategies to fix the tainted brand and succeed while at it. However, other businesses become a sinking ship over time due to the bad reputation hanging on their brand. The elephant in the room becomes not the bad reputation but how to get out of it. What do you do as a brand?
Do not take this personally, separate your emotions
The rule of thumb is to always separate your emotions from your crisis. It helps one think soberly and faster. What happened to your business happens to many other businesses from time to time and it is a matter of how you get out of it victorious.
Get to the root of the damage
What really happened? Were we really on the wrong here? Or is the customer overreacting about an issue? Or is it a miscommunication? Sit down with your team to access the damage and get to the bottom of the problem. This way you know how to manage the situation.
Either way, Customer is always right
In some cases, customers are wrong in their overreaction. However, to save a brand’s image, take the blame as long as it doesn’t compromise on your core values and principles, apologize. Do it publicly. There are instances where explaining to the public exactly what happened (especially if the customer was wrong) is relevant. But even in this, apologize for making the customer feel dissatisfied, stressing the fact that it wasn’t the intention. Where the business was outrightly wrong, keep it straightforward with the apology.
Make it up to the customer
Action speaks louder than words. Go out of your way as business to make it up to the customer reasonably so. This should be done publicly for the same reason the apology was made. If the customer in question can accept it publicly it is a plus for the brand. Not only have you fixed the issue, but you have turned a negative review into a stronger positive review.
Share Positivity, throw in some humor
You can ride on this problem by sharing positivity. Talk about how you learnt lessons that strengthened your business processes. Talk about the positive changes that have taken place since the event occurred (and ensure you do make those changes in the processes). Throw in some humor because who wouldn’t mind a small laughter?
Hire Reputation Management services if this is beyond the company’s capacity
While some crises are manageable internally within a company, some are way beyond their capacity. These are ones that make other customers withdraw from your business and even go further by talking about it publicly. In such a scenario, hire reputation management experts to handle this. They have the tools and manpower to handle such cases, especially online.
Apply our Reputation Marketing Services
Via our partners, we have a proprietary system that can gather customer feedback and reviews via an online link that you can send to your clients. This way you are proactively seeking the customer experience and using this to continuously improve the internal processes to make it better for your customers. We help you BUILD, MANAGE AND MARKET customer reviews and help you maintain a 5 star online reputation. Ensuring that there are recent and relevant positive reviews online, in various directories and on your website, makes it easier for your potential customer to decide to purchase your product or service.
Reach out to us for more information on Reputation Marketing for your business.