Despite trying to deliver the best customer service possible; maximizing a customer’s experience, and performing CSR activities, it seems not to be enough.
Brand reputation management is challenging. Customers’ behaviors are constantly changing, and the conversations about you on the Internet don’t stop. It’s time to take control.
You may be wondering if there is anything else you can do to boost your brand reputation. You can bet there is. We want to share some tips that might help you manage your brand image to the best of your ability.
Are you ready to give your brand reputation a little tune-up?
What is brand reputation management?
Brand reputation management involves all activities (a strategy) that the company completes to create a positive image around its brand. The activities include thorough analyses and audits to know which steps should be taken next.
Brand reputation management is an ongoing process of improvement and striving for a perfect image.
Brand reputation shows how recipients perceive your business, which emotions it evokes and how people react to it. It’s like a mirror that reflects the level of trust people have in your brand.
It has a significant impact on customers’ loyalty and bottom-line growth. What’s more, it helps you build and maintain your position as a leader in your industry.
Among the activities, that contribute to brand reputation management, are:
- Monitor: constantly tracking what other people say about your brand.
- Promote: promoting actions that can have an impact on your trust in your brand.
- Suppress: reacting to negative reviews and not being indifferent.
What makes brand reputation management so important?
The management of online reputation is essential as it allows businesses to monitor their standing regularly. Keeping an eye on what is being said about your brand can help you improve and react to any alarming signs – and as a result, protect your brand from unexpected failure.
Nevertheless, brand reputation management can be tricky – even a tiny mistake can have a major impact on your company. That’s why you need to act according to plan and not make any hasty decisions.
Opinions about a brand generally spread via word-of-mouth (spoken communication). This can make it more difficult to control, especially now in the digital age when thoughts spread faster than ever before and reach a much broader audience. Anyone can post anything, any time – and you never know when a negative opinion can turn into a PR nightmare.
Benefits of brand reputation management:
- Boosts sales
- Reduces risk
- Increases brand awareness
- Establishes trust and credibility
- Positively impacts a brand’s image
- Provides valuable business insight that enhances results.
So what can you do to get everything under control and start utilizing brand reputation management within your company? Let’s show you what we suggest.
Tip #1: Automate as much as you can
Have you ever come across online reputation management software? By using this kind of software, the organization is easier, everything you need is in one place, and a streamlined workflow adds a cherry on top. How does it work?
Businesses can monitor their customers’ online reviews and promote positive experiences through online review platforms. Also, such tools can be used to capture any negative experiences the customers have with the product. Simply put – they’ll give you a complete picture of what’s happening with your brand on the Internet.
There are many online reputation management software options, for managing your brand’s reputation, on the market – you can opt for products that allow customers to submit new reviews or choose a tool for monitoring and detecting any mentions of your brand. Some of them have many advanced features that can improve your management and speed of response.
One of these tools is Mediatoolkit. Its most important feature is that it keeps you informed about what is going on by sending alerts (which you set yourself). Also, it shows you whether a post has a positive, neutral, or adverse outcome by analyzing the sentiment automatically.
In fact, with just one click, you can access brand mentions and information that you would otherwise have missed.
Automating brand reputation management is a great starting point; it will reduce your workload significantly and thus lead to better results.
Tip #2: Work on your customer support
People make assumptions about your brand based on your presence on the Internet, social media, and any other touchpoints or interactions they may have with you. Nevertheless, your customer support team will likely be the only people from your company that customers have direct contact.
So, the way they work can significantly impact whether your customers stick with you, or buy from your competitors. But, there is good news: it is up to you to shape the perception of your customer support.
Happy customers will share the positive word about your brand, stay with you longer and give you a competitive advantage. It’s worth it – remember: customer retention is cheaper than customer acquisition.
Monitoring metrics can benefit and enhance your customer support – you’re more easily able to identify what needs improvement.
There are several metrics that your brand can work on. Which one should you focus on?
- First response time: it’s a useful operational metric to ensure customer queries are being solved quickly.
- Customer satisfaction score (CSAT): it shows whether people’s problems have been solved. As a subjective measure, satisfaction does not always provide the complete picture. It should be used in conjunction with other customer support metrics.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS): a measure of how likely customers are to recommend you to friends, family, and colleagues.
- Average resolution time (ART): is the average time it takes your team to resolve and close problems.
Tip #3: Use social proof
A great way to expand your brand’s reach and improve its reputation is to encourage consumers to review your business. Before making a purchase, most potential clients look at reviews and opinions about the products or services. It might be the deciding factor in the final decision. So it’s key that you lead them to positive feedback.
How can you do that? By actively promoting reviews on your existing channels. You can use email campaigns to do this, or alternatively, put them on your website. You can also use UGC (user-generated content), especially on social media, and share images showing how people use your products. This can also function as an opinion.
However, it’s not so easy to encourage customers to write some words and leave their testimonials. Nevertheless, you can motivate them quite a bit by automating the process and making writing a review as easy as possible – e.g., by using a review funnel landing page.
You can also use tactics like targeting satisfied customers, personalizing the ask, or following up on your requests, and asking more than once. There is a learning curve in getting to know how to influence your audience, but after that, you will reap the benefits.
Tip #4: Personalize the way you interact with customers
Nowadays, providing personalized customer experiences is not a “nice to have” – it’s a necessity.
Customer loyalty increases when a brand treats its customers like special members. If you want them to feel that way, your communication must be personalized. Sure, you need to get to know your audience well first, since the language you use depends on the industry and many other factors, such as device, behaviors, or demographics.
What types of experiences can be tailored? Almost all channels that customers interact with your brand can be personalized. Among them are mobile apps, emails, online ads, chats, and call centers.
However, personalization can be tricky. Keep it useful, not sinister. Remember that people are very sensitive about their data, and they don’t want to share many details or feel like they’re being asked for too much information. You do not want to overdo personalization because they may become suspicious. Don’t cross this line.
More isn’t always better when it comes to reaching into a consumer’s personal space. Make sure you listen carefully to what your customers say so that you can offer them tailored experiences.
Tip #5: React to crises in real-time
Imagine that there is s a sudden fire and your brand is in trouble. In situations like this, time is precious. In most cases, the speed with which you react to the unexpected event is critical to whether you’re going to be able to stifle it, or whether it will do any harm.
Unfortunately, PR managers are very familiar with such situations. It is difficult to manage them, and sometimes it is almost impossible to detect them before they escalate.
Thus, you should constantly monitor what’s going on and keep a finger on the pulse. Manually tracking the whole Internet is nearly impossible. (not to mention time-consuming!). However, you can use tools that are designed to help you out with any crisis.
Mediatoolkit, the tool mentioned previously in the article, might be the solution you’re looking for. As well as helping you manage the reputation of your brand, it keeps track of all sources in real-time and lets you know as soon as anything begins happening.
If your tracked query starts generating more buzz than usual, you will get Spike alerts. Don’t you think that’s brilliant?
Even if you’ve never used such a tool before, you don’t need to worry about getting lost in it. It’s easy to use and will not cause you any problems.
Social media monitoring tools also have one more important advantage. By providing pre-made reports, they can help you with faster brand reputation management. In a matter of minutes, you will be able to draw appropriate conclusions and take action to save your business.
Amongst daily tasks, brand reputation management is sometimes put aside. However, by ignoring this important factor, there can be damage to the brand’s image that’s hard to repair. Repairing is expensive, time-consuming, and demanding. It is not worth it.
Look at the companies that have struggled with a scratch on their reputation. Some of them never recovered.
Keep your finger on the pulse and react as soon as something happens. Use tools that can help you maintain a positive reputation and use our tips to help your business grow.
Don’t want to be left alone with this? Why not use Mediatoolkit as a starting point? You know what to do next.