Does everyone hate your company and you don’t know why? No, probably not. That may be a bit extreme. However, there are probably some negative reviews floating around online.
Reviews that could be damaging your company’s online reputation. Maintaining your online reputation is a big responsibility. A big part of that is having a dynamic action plan for reputation management. You may think that you already have good relationships with your customers. Or, that 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. They did not hesitate to 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 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. They are 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. They have all been 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. 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. Doing things like trash-talking your clients or competition to get ahead will reflect poorly on your business character.
- Your negative reviews are seen more than your positive reviews. If the negative is all people can find online, they will focus on the negative.
- Shrinking Leads or Conversions. The sales team is converting fewer leads. This is despite increasing your advertising dollars. You’re losing your leads because of your reputation management issue.
5 Steps in Repairing your Online Reputation
- Encourage customer reviews! Make sure you give a little nudge to your daily satisfied customers. Encourage them to write you a positive review.
- Quick Response. Be upfront with your customers about what went wrong. Discuss what you’ll do to fix the current situation, and how you’ll do better going forward.
- Start monitoring your positive and negative reviews. You should be aware of someone damaging your reputation. It will be difficult to fix it if you’re not.
- 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. It doesn’t matter how big or small the business is. By staying ahead of any possible problem, you will be able to make decisions that will ultimately improve your online reputation. This will drive up your ROI. Did you know that every one-star improvement typically results in a net revenue increase of anywhere from 5-9%? You will be able to keep track of your detractors and advocates. And, be able to capitalize on trends through this feedback.
KFC did the following when they experienced their chicken shortage in the United Kingdom. They responded quickly and with exactly the right attitude. KFC released a statement in the newspaper. They did this with the company’s initials scrambled around to read “FCK”. Their social media account was transparent with its customers. It 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! Reach out to us for custom online reputation management strategies.