Making Complaints Count: Online Reputation Management

In the business world, your online reputation is increasingly important, but managing it can be a daunting task with the numerous outlets through which information is shared. However, new tools and tactics can make sense of the picture and help you to ensure that your online reputation is as positive as possible.

Businesses can use tools like Trackur, Reputology, Mention, and Reputation Defender, for a free option, Google alerts to track online mentions. These tools will send you an alert according to your preference when your brand is mentioned in contexts you decide on. You can then see the full mention and decide how to respond. Monitoring your mentions on Twitter is as simple as running a search, and can give you great insight.

Responding to negative customer reviews is a fine art, and one that requires both tact and restraint. The Oregon Business Journal offers some great tips, as does allBusiness. To sum up, your response to critical or negative reviews should do a few things.

First, take a beat before responding. We care about the work we do, so it’s hard to see negative reviews, and they provoke an emotional reaction. Taking some time to approach the issue calmly is a must. Next, remember that businesses can apologize to customers without necessarily admitting fault. It’s important to validate your customer’s feelings and experience, and make sure they feel heard. Going above and beyond to make a customer feel better about a negative experience can convert them to loyal supporters of your brand for life. So take reasonable steps to leave your customer satisfied. That’s more important than following policy to the letter. However, never respond to a customer more than twice – if you haven’t won them over in a couple of exchanges you’re probably just inviting more negativity.

Most importantly, remember that your goal is to leave a positive impression. Whether the complaint is about a real problem with your service or the customer seems unreasonable, a complaint is an opportunity to create a great relationship with them. Approach it with that goal in mind.


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