Archive for the ‘Reputation Management’ Category
Friday, April 19th, 2013
Samsung is in hot water. And the sad part is it was completely avoidable. All they had to do was – nothing.
Instead, someone in their marketing department thought it would be a good idea to buy fake reviews. Very bad idea.
Not only did they buy positive reviews of their own products, but they purchased negative reviews of the competition. That’s a double whammy. I’d like to take this time to save you the trouble and expense – indeed, the experience – that is affecting Samsung’s brand.
Don’t buy fake reviews!
Fake reviews will hurt your reputation. All it takes is for it to go public that you purchased fake reviews and you’ll lose trust among the very people you are trying to engender it with. Is it worth the risk? Perhaps you should ask Samsung. I think they would answer in the negative.
Once you break trust with your audience it is hard to get it back. You have to work three times as hard to win back trust that you’ve lost than you did to earn it in the first place.
That’s why you never want to purchase fake reviews. Instead, try to come up with creative ways to encourage your customers to post honest reviews of your products. If those products are good, they’ll get good reviews. That’s the best online reputation you can get.
Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
Amazon recently fired its security company in Germany.
It’s an interesting story because Amazon reacted quickly. As soon as the controversy reared its face in public, the company made a decision to end its relationship with the company. That’s hard-nosed. It’s also respectable, and I would argue it was the best decision for the company’s reputation.
The public isn’t very forgiving when it comes to allegations of abuse and discrimination. If there is any hint that your company is involved in anything like that or that you allow a contractor to get away with such abuse, then you’ll be in hot water. That’s why it’s important to take harsh measures early. In other words, you have to guard your reputation carefully.
Amazon seems ready to do that. Are you?
Here are three hard and fast rules about reputation management in the 21st century:
- If a negative event hits the media and has the potential to erupt into a full-fledged reputation issue, then you MUST act quickly to address any concerns the event brings up.
- Whenever possible, side with the public sentiment.
- Stand up for the abused, underprivileged, and disaffected. You can’t go wrong if you are defending the defenseless.
Reputation management is more than simply providing good customer service, though it does begin there. In today’s business climate, it means guarding your public image in every endeavor – including employment practices.
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
Reputation management begins with customer service. But with Amazon, the Internet’s largest retailer, it begins with the competition. That’s what I get out of the new Harris Interactive Reputation Quotient Study.
Last year, Amazon ranked No. 4. Apple was No. 1 and Google was No. 2. The Coca-Cola Company fell in at No. 4. This year, it’s Amazon, Apple, The Walt Disney Company, Google, and Johnson & Johnson rounding at the top 5.
The surprising part is why consumers see Amazon so positively. The results this year are based on the following criteria:
- Outperforms the competition
- Admirable and respectable
- Plays a valuable social role
- Good company to work for
- Good feeling about the company
What it really boils down to is, people feel good about Amazon. They’re beating the competition, people respect them (obviously) with their private information like contact information and credit card numbers, they make a good employer, and their company policies engender respect and admiration. Plus, they contribute to society.
We can learn how to make our own companies more respectable by watching the larger companies’ reputations and seeing what creates a positive perception in the minds of consumers.
So what can we learn from Amazon this year? I think it boils down to three things for Amazon: technology, customer service, and fulfillment. All of these things are intrinsically tied together – at least, from a customer service perspective. On Amazon’s social roles, I think it boils down to the company supporting good causes and not having any bad PR. Then, there’s the whole thing about being a good company to work for. If you can check ‘yes’ in each of those three boxes (customer service, social role, and employment satisfaction), then I think you can create a positive reputation for your company as well.
Sunday, May 6th, 2012
There are tens of thousands of perfectly legitimate honest businesses on the Internet now. When it comes to attracting sales, many of these businesses fail the most basics of customer tests – the customer can’t legitimize your business. Most people won’t hand over personal information and credit card details to just anyone. For larger businesses, reputation is all the proof required, for smaller businesses, you need to do more to prove who you are. Fortunately, the Internet makes this fairly easy; you just need to spend a little time legitimizing your business.
For most businesses, the answer is right there on their website. Having a well-written About page doesn’t take long to prepare, yet it can tell potential customers a lot about your business. Who you are, where you came from, and what skills and experience you and your employees have will help customers feel safer dealing with. Of more importance is your Contact page. This page on it’s own can help to legitimize a business. Where possible, don’t just use a generic email address such as admin@yourwebsite or sales@yourwebsite. A phone number that potential customers can use to talk to you in person helps as does a physical address.
Customers don’t trust businesses that only have an email contact – there’s something about a brick and mortar connection that help’s customers build that ‘feel good’ feeling about a business. If you do have a brick and mortar existence, be sure to claim your business through Google Places. This places you on a map (that you can include on your website if you wish) and helps to reinforce that brick and mortar connection.
Finally, make use of positive reviews. When potential customers see that others have had a good experience with your business, they will finally feel that you can be trusted. Do you have a good About page? Are your contact details up-to-date? Can I verify that you are who you say you are? If I can answer those questions, then I may well do business with you. If I can’t, I’ll be looking elsewhere, and so too will hundreds of potential customers. Don’t lose a sale because of lack of legitimacy – your reputation management starts with your About and Contact pages.
Thursday, April 19th, 2012
Reputation is becoming one of the most important factors in the success of any online business. For commercial entities, reputation is gained and lost in a number of areas. One of the most obvious is through consumer reviews. Whilst maybe not as important, the quality of your content in terms of good grammar, spelling, and layout can have an impact on your reputation – and that impact is often immediate.
I know from personal experience, if I am visiting a website for the first time, and I see a host of spelling mistakes, it immediately raises concerns as to the good standing of the business behind that website. With the number of commercial entities online growing rapidly on a daily basis, losing potential customers because of poor spelling, incorrect product descriptions, or just poor grammar is going to be costly. If an individual has found your website, you want to keep them online for as long as possible. In most cases, editing that content can help to stem the loss of potential customers.
This is where a good editor comes in handy. Having an editor review your content prior to publication is must in today’s online world. That editor doesn’t need to be a college professor – anyone who has a reasonable knowledge of the English language (if your content is in English) can edit your content. You can do it yourself, however, you would be surprised at how difficult that often is. You can read the same misspelled word a dozen times and your brain will miss the incorrect spelling.
If you do want to edit your content yourself, put it aside for at least a day. After 24 hours, that content is no longer fresh in your mind, so it will be easier to edit. You will often find that you have a different perspective as well. A word of advice, unless the content is wrong, or doesn’t read well, don’t be tempted to rewrite it. Just edit for spelling and grammatical errors, ensure it is well laid out, then publish. An independent set of eyes often produces better results since they are not editing for content, they are editing the content – and there is a big difference.
Product description are another area that concern many consumers. Try to avoid a simple cut and paste of another products description. Your product descriptions should be unique (to avoid search quality factors) and attractive to visitors. Having the same description with minor changes becomes boring for consumers, and a big turn-off. Even bigger is the failed edit where you have copied the description of another product, and not made any editorial changes – selling a small green widget with a product description for a large red widget is not going to build any confidence with consumers. It will certainly have a negative effect on your reputation. Reputations are hard to build and maintain – a good editor will at least ensure your content doesn’t undermine that good reputation.