In today’s fast paced digital world of Google reviews and viral videos, your brand’s reputation is more fragile than ever.
While you are constantly being watched and monitored on social media, everything you do can either strengthen or undermine your company’s reputation.
In fact, one of Warren Buffett’s most famous quotes goes like this: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
However, even when you think you’re doing everything right in your business, a minor oversight can quickly take its toll on your brand’s reputation.
From disgruntled former employees who go rogue to irate customers you can’t assuage, many situations can tarnish your good name.
Unfortunately, it’s downright impossible to please everyone.
If you are currently facing a brand crisis, you might want to read this post all the way to the end.
It provides you with six simple, effective, and underrated tips to help you spruce up your brand’s reputation and douse the fire that might turn all of your hard work into ashes.
Table of contents:
- Respond to negative reviews
- Publish positive content
- Admit your mistakes and apologise
- Double down on customer service
- Offer solutions to fix your brand’s reputation
- Rebrand your business
1. Respond to Negative Reviews
Online reviews are the Internet’s word-of-mouth, influencing consumers before they even visit your website.
While positive online reviews are welcomed with open arms, negative reviews have the power to turn customers away and tank the reputation of your business.
In fact, one nasty review can seriously affect your brand’s reputation, making you lose customers and business opportunities.
This is especially true if the negative review has the ability to quickly catch peoples’ attention, such as a claim of discrimination.
Luckily, there are situations when Google allows you to remove false or libellous comments. However, Google doesn’t get involved when consumers and businesses disagree about facts.
In that case, the only option you have is to respond to negative reviews the right way.
In fact, 53% of consumers expect businesses to respond to negative feedback within a week (ReviewTrackers).
Don’t let negative online reviews tarnish your brand’s reputation beyond repair. Instead, you can turn the tide in your favour by implementing an effective strategy for counteracting the impact of negative reviews.
Spare a few minutes to read this post and learn how to tactfully handle negative reviews to turn them into positive marketing and repair your brand’s reputation.
2. Publish Positive Content
One of the most efficient ways to repair your brand’s damaged reputation is to publish positive content to replace negative search results.
This technique is called negative content suppression and it enables you to outrank negative comments in the search results by building up and updating positive, relevant content.
The goal is to get the positive content to rank on Google’s first page and push negative search results down.
This is because the results people see on Google’s first page can dramatically influence their perception of your brand.
So, the easiest way to push negative results further down in SERPs is by creating more of the content you want to be seen.
Be sure to also publish high-quality pieces of content with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) in mind.
Finally, you can harness the power of social media to push positive listings up in SERPs.
While Google rankings are not influenced by your social media traffic, having good social media profiles helps you boost your content performance, bring more traffic to your website, and gain more backlinks (which are an important part of SEO).
3. Admit Your Mistakes and Apologise
A few years ago, Starbucks was in the spotlight after two black men who asked to use the restroom were escorted from the coffee shop in handcuffs.
They occupied a table without making a purchase after they’ve been told that the bathrooms are for customers only.
For this reason, a manager called the police. The video of the arrest went viral, sparking international outrage for one of the world’s most popular coffee brands.
As a result, the Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson apologised to the black men arrested at the Philadelphia store, describing the events as “reprehensible”.
Whether your brand has had a small slip up or made a serious error, you can take the route Starbucks did by taking ownership of your mistake and making public apologies.
When consumers sense genuine remorse, they are more likely to forgive you and continue doing business with you.
Be sure to display empathy, acknowledge your part in the situation, and show that you will change your policy in the future.
Remember, simple words can go a long way. No need for flowery language. Saying “I’m sorry” may be more difficult than it seems, but a heartfelt apology can help clear the air and repair the situation.
4. Double Down on Customer Service
Poor customer service can massively impact your brand’s reputation and, ultimately, present and future sales.
Even the most forgiving customers are likely to jump ship if they repeatedly deal with long wait times, poor attention to detail, and unprofessional interactions.
For example, if you’re answering your own phone instead of delegating to a receptionist, you risk losing credibility and seem unprofessional.
In addition, you can’t possibly answer every single call, meaning that you are likely to miss customer phone calls and important business opportunities.
According to a Tollring research, 56.7% of consumers never call back when calls are left unanswered.
Apart from the revenue losses, missed calls bring serious damage to your reputation.
If you often deal with customer complaints, now’s the best time to look at gaps and find ways to improve the quality of your customer service.
The good news is that a reputation ruined due to poor customer service can be fixed without further damage to your brand, assuming you take action quickly.
For example, a friendly, calm, professional virtual receptionist can help you take your customer service to the next level and enhance your brand reputation.
When you have a talented, multilingual, 24/7 receptionist by our side, your business reputation reaps the benefits – and so does your revenue.
5. Offer Solutions to Fix Your Brand’s Reputation
After assessing the damage and measuring the impact of the reputation crisis on your brand, it’s time to offer solutions in order to mitigate damages.
If you have made a mistake, you should find ways to conscientiously manage the situation and compensate your customers.
Make sure they get an apology before you begin to actually offer solutions and deal with the mistake.
Even if you think that you’re right, do not shirk responsibility and pass off the blame to your customers.
It doesn’t matter whether or not they are giving you unfair criticism. All that matters is that you solve the problem before your brand reputation takes a serious hit.
For example, if you have charged your customers twice for the same order, you should immediately refund them and potentially give them something for free.
If you’re not sure what your customers want from you, then give them the opportunity to resolve the situation.
For instance, you could tell them, “If my offer doesn’t work for you, please let me know what will make you happy. This is important – to both you and me. So, I would be more than glad if we could work on a solution together.”
6. Rebrand Your Business
Rebranding is the process of changing your business logo, vision and mission to build a new brand identity in the minds of consumers.
Rebranding has the power to breathe new life into your business and drive a significant transformation which, in turn, will help you rebuild trust with consumers and repair your damaged reputation.
In addition, rebranding allows you to compete with new businesses and differentiate yourself from companies who sell the same products.
To enable consumers to see you in a fresh new light, it is essential that you rebuild your brand with elements such as website, logo, product packaging, and business cards in mind.
In some cases, it is also important to change your business details to make your company appear more trustworthy and reliable.
For example, if you’re facing a reputation crisis due to using your home address as a business address, you may want to change your business details to appear larger and more professional.
So, before launching your new brand, it is essential to show customers you have a professional business address in a prestigious location.
If you’re looking for ways to revive your brand and enhance your reputation, a virtual office in Melbourne will 100% add value to your business.
In fact, with a virtual office, you can greatly increase your reputation and sales and build a brand people trust.
For more details on how a virtual office can positively impact your brand’s image, please visit B2B HQ’s website.
Conclusion: It’s normal to feel helpless when your brand’s reputation takes a hit.
Especially when you work hard and have your heart in your business, dealing with a reputation crisis can be a tough challenge to overcome.
But as with all crises, there is an opportunity for learning and growing.
Regardless of how affected your business might be, your customers don’t need to shun your brand and move to your competitors – if you have a good strategy in place and know exactly what to do to restore sparkle after a reputation crisis.
Use the tips in this post to repair your brand’s reputation and show your audience the value your business holds.
Looking for simple and affordable ways to fix your business reputation and keep it pristine? All it takes is a professional virtual office that helps you improve your company’s perception and credibility and gain customers’ trust. For more information, do not hesitate to contact us – our team will be happy to assist you!