Does everyone hate your company and you don’t know why? No, probably not. That may be a bit extreme. But, there are probably some negative reviews floating around online, and they could be damaging your company’s online reputation. A big part of maintaining your brand’s reputation is having a dynamic action plan for crisis management. You may think that you already have good relationships with your customers or your business is too small to have to worry about. Not necessarily.
What is Crisis Management?
Let’s say your customers are generally satisfied, but what about the general public? What about your suppliers? Pleasing your customers is just one part of having a good online reputation. And, even if your company has a solid reputation, one misstep in crisis management could spell disaster. Take Kentucky Fried Chicken, for example. Families have been enjoying their southern-fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and coleslaw for years. But, did you know they once ran out of chicken?
Kentucky Fried Chicken, the nation’s second-largest fast-food chain ran out of the one item that is their business title. Many customers were dissatisfied with the company and did not hesitate make their complaints heard via social media. If a company like KFC can have their reputation endangered by a scandal, then imagine how much worse it could be for a smaller, less established company.
The Kentucky Fried Chicken Brand
Kentucky Fried Chicken was founded by Colonel Harland Sanders in Kentucky in 1930. What started off as a place called Sanders’ Court & Cafe’ ended up being a hugely-successful North American franchise. They eventually expanded to Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, and the United Kingdom by the ‘60s. The thing that set them apart from other fried chicken restaurants was the use of 11 herbs and spices; a trade secret that many have tried to imitate. They now have almost 20,000 locations worldwide in 123 countries and territories.
In recent years, KFC’s marketing campaign has been focused on having different celebrities playing the role of the beloved Colonel Sanders. Celebrities like Darrell Hammond, Norm Macdonald, and most recently Reba McEntire have appeared on tv and radio commercials encouraging people to eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken.
6 Ways to Tell You Need Reputation Management
- You don’t have a consolidated, real-time view of your online reputation. Perhaps, a customer has a negative experience with your business, and they write a bad review online. A reputation management team will be able to address the negative review and immediately resolve the issue with the customer. If you don’t know the review is there, how can you respond to the customer and alleviate their frustration?
- You’ve seen an increase in customer service issues. Have you been getting a lot of negative feedback regarding your customer service? A reputation management company can recognize patterns in reviews and help you address the issue.
- Increased Negative Sentiment. You have noticed a largely negative response to your online presence.
- Talking positively about your competition. Trash talking your competition in order to get ahead will reflect poorly on your business character.
- Your negative reviews are seen more than your positive reviews. It doesn’t matter if you have more positive reviews than negative reviews if the negative is all people can find online.
- Shrinking Leads or Conversions. Have you noticed that your sales team just hasn’t been converting as many leads as they used to?
5 Steps in Repairing your Online Reputation
- Encourage customer reviews! Make sure you give a little nudge to your daily satisfied customers and encourage them to write you a positive review.
- Quick Response. Be upfront with your customers about what went wrong, what you’ll do to fix the current situation, and how you’ll do better going forward.
- Start monitoring your positive and negative reviews. Again, it’s hard to manage your online reputation if you are unaware it’s been damaged.
- Invest in a good reputation management software.
- Make sure you are monitoring search engines for any business-related keywords daily.
Having an actionable crisis management plan in place is invaluable to any business, big or small. By staying ahead of any possible problem, you will be able to make decisions that will ultimately improve your online reputation, thus driving up your ROI. Did you know that every one-star improvement typically results in a net revenue increase of anywhere from 5-9%? You’ll also be able to keep track of your detractors and advocates and be able to capitalize on trends through this feedback.
When KFC experienced their chicken shortage in the United Kingdom, they responded quickly and with exactly the right attitude. They released a statement in the newspaper, with the company’s initials scrambled around to read “FCK”. Their social media account was transparent with its customers and kept a humorous attitude throughout the whole ordeal.
By having a reputation management company working for your business will ensure you are prepared for any crisis!