Tag Archives: online reputation management resource

Taking terrible customer service to the Internet

Thirty years ago, when a customer was upset with a company over their poor customer service they could spread the word by calling friends on the phone, sending a complaint letter, or could possibly go as far as to write an editorial in their local newspaper.

Today, letting others know about shoddy customer service is as simple as pressing the power button on your computer.

Case in point, this disgruntled customer and author at Gaebler.com:

If you are doing business these days, you have to recognize that the world has changed. As consumers, we expect good customer service. If we don’t get it, we don’t just forgive and forget. We never buy from you again. We tell our friends not to buy from you. We tell the world not to buy from you.

That’s right. In the days of blogs and search engines, customers have the final word. That’s why you need to bend over backward to keep them happy. Because the happy customers stay quiet. It’s the angry customers who speak up, and deter others from doing business with you.

After a terrible experience with a major computer manufacturer, this customer made it his “new hobby” to let everyone know about it. He’s estimated that his tactics could potentially move $500,000 in sales away from the company by not buying their product for his organizations and compelling others to do the same.

Whether he hit his goal or not will continue to be a mystery, but it still shows the lengths to which an angry customer will go in order to get their voice heard.

Training customer service representative to resolve customer complaints is essential to the success of your business. As soon as a customer feels like they have been mistreated, they can quickly get online to start telling all of their friends and online connections about it.

Always remember the tried-and-true formula that a happy customer will tell one of their friends, but an unhappy customer will tell three. If that unhappy customer is active in social media, they may be able to quickly spread their story to 300,000 of their friends in just a matter of minutes.

Technology is forcing customer service to reach new levels of satisfaction. Representatives must be aware that the customer on the other end of the phone can easily spread the word about their experience just minutes after the call is over.

But it doesn’t have to be all gloom and doom. When a disgruntled customer vents about their problem on the internet, it could give your company a second chance to resolve their problem that you may have initially overlooked.

Say you come across a blog post from a customer who recently had a terrible experience with your company, what’s the best thing you should do?

For starters, you could leave a comment on their blog as a representative of your company. Tell the customer that you’d personally like to help with their problem.

If you can’t personally do anything to remedy the problem, continue to work with the customer until they are satisfied. Connect them with someone else in your organization that could help and remember to follow up to see if their issue was resolved.

Listen to what customers are saying about you online with tools like Google Alerts. If what they have to say is positive, tell them ‘thank you’ for their kind words. If their words aren’t so kind, ask them how you can help.

When customers share their opinions about your company on the Internet it can either be good or bad (sometimes, really bad). It’s up to you to determine how to handle the comments once they’re made.

Time-saving search tool helps manage online reputations

There are lots of search tools out there that help you track what’s being said online about you or your business, but none may be as fun or comprehensive as Addictomatic. (And, who can resist that cute little robot?)

Addictomatic is a one-stop search shop that creates a customized page with all the latest buzz on any topic you have in mind. It brings information from every wonderful source on the web together, on one neat little page.

Addictomatic - Inhale the web

Addictomatic - Inhale the web

It’s like a social media dashboard that delivers the latest information from across the web on one organized page. Even better, after you perform your search, you can personalize the results page by moving the source boxes around. When the page is organized to your liking, bookmark it and return to your personalized results page at a later time.

Addictomatic is a quick and easy way to gather the latest buzz when you only have a minute or two to spare. Spend a few minutes today taking a snapshot of your online reputation with this addictive tool.

Are online reputation management services necessary?

Like we’ve said before, online reputation management is a must. Just one bad review can leave scarring wounds on your reputation, making it important to keep your online reputation clean.

With the rise of internet marketers, an industry of online reputation management service providers have followed. These services can help you bring attention to positive reviews and search results, and will work to bury the negative far down in search results.

When your online reputation has grown to be more than you can handle, these services may come in handy, but are they completely necessary?

Paying for a service that may not use ethical web practices can work against you and could actually hurt your reputation even more.

“Google, for its part, says there is nothing inherently wrong with reputation services, but ‘if you use spammy and manipulative techniques to get this positive content to rank highly, we may take action on it,’” according to a recent BusinessWeek article.

Small business owners should approach online reputation management with caution. Small “tinkering” with search results is ok, but not enough to salvage an entire reputation.

“You have to take partial ownership in fixing your online reputation. It’s not something that you can simply just provide a credit card number to a company and they can take care of it. While outside firms can help businesses influence results on Google, only the company itself can repair real damage to its reputation.”

Ask yourself – are you really muffling angry voices instead of fixing the real problem? Take a look at all of the negative reviews about your company or website. Are they legitimate complaints? Is there something you can do to fix the issue for future clients? Instead of trying to find the mute button, take a step back to look at the real problem and try to find a way to fix it.

Another online reputation management resource

Last week we told you how important it is to track your online reputation and today a friend sent me a link to this great list of resources from Marketing Pilgrim.

Titled “Free Online Reputation Management Beginner’s Guide,” the author goes through how your company’s reputation could be destroyed in just a few hours by a disgruntled blogger, or one angry customer on a message board.

“A company can dominate market share, throttle competition and hold the #1 brand in the world. It can also crash in months if it fails to listen to what its customers want.”

It’s your choice to ignore the voices on the Web or learn from them.

Begin with tracking everything related to your company including your company’s name, the names of key employees and all the names of your products and services. You should also track the same information about your competitors, advises the author from Marketing Pilgrim.

In order to do this on your own, you’d have to spend all day, everyday Googling these terms and sifting through pages upon pages of results. Fortunately, there are free online tools to do all of the work for you.

Marketing Pilgrims came up with an extensive list of online reputation monitoring tools and what types of pages you should be monitoring. Here are just a few:

  • Create custom RSS feeds based on keyword searches with sites like: Google.com/blogsearch, Yahoo News, Blogpulse
  • Use a RSS reader, like Google Reader, to save you some time reading through results
  • Track message boards and forums with BoardReader.com, iVillage, Yahoo Message Boards

Read the full list along with “short cuts” for online reputation management.