Online Reputation
Nick Gold, Managing Director, Speakers Corner.

In this ever-connected world which promises instantaneous information, businesses have to be proactive in dealing with their online reputation.

Cyber trolls come in multiple different forms, but the one which affects businesses most prevalently is the negative online comments.

From TripAdvisor reviews to Google rankings, there are many different platforms it can exist in, but a company’s online reputation needs to be carefully managed or it will haunt and hinder the business in the long run.

At the best of times, negative feedbacks are difficult to deal with as they’re already out in the public sphere before you’ve had the chance to manage the situation or voice your opinion on the problem.

As we’ve seen with platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, personal reviews are held in incredibly high esteem and a company’s’ reputation is very easily damaged if the situation is handled badly.

The online world is a difficult melting pot to manage and you must be very cautious as every information you put out into cyberspace will be immortalised forever. However, this can be managed quite easily as long as you stick to some few key principles.

Every organisation has its own values and ways of dealing with issues that its representative of the type of business that they run.

For example, a company that puts its customers at the heart of everything will always send them a refund, following a bad experience. While another company believes it is more important to turn a negative experience into a positive one, by going above and beyond to provide a personal apology to their customer.

Whatever your company’s reputation when it comes to customer service, I firmly believe that the way a business reacts offline, should also be mirrored online.

This being said, the online world is very different because of its aforementioned ‘fast-paced’ nature. Therefore, if you don’t react in a timely manner to a negative online comment in a timely manner, then it will most likely fester and snowball in a very ugly way.

I would suggest that the faster the response the better – This has a two-fold positive effect.

Firstly, it will help to get the particular customer back on your side, as they will see you prioritising them and taking the necessary steps to fix the problem.

Secondly, it will send out a positive message to the online world that you value your customers. By responding quickly, you will also appear favorably to future consumers.

Above all, honesty is often appreciated. Those commenting online know that they are speaking to a human at the other end, and no one is perfect.

Blog Post – Nick Gold, Director, Speaker’s Corner – A Leading International Speaker Consultation & Booking Service