Just a few years ago, the internet was very different. Companies were not engaging customers but just selling to a passive audience; people could not express their voice in a powerful way, and the overall communication landscape was very “top down.” The situation has radically changed. Today, websites are no longer static brochures. User-generated content is a must. And regular interactions on social networks are vital to any business success.
No matter the size of your business, they (prospects, customers, clients…anyone and, potentially, everyone) are talking about you. They are tweeting about your latest product, leaving a comment on your blog, posting a Facebook update about their customer experience, and much more. If you think you can skip this or if you think you can make it without taking into account people’s voices, opinions, and reviews, think again.
One of the most recent business commandments is “Be transparent.” Opening up to criticism and feedback seems to be beneficial for companies that embrace this new communication mode with their audience.
What does being “transparent” mean? Here are some examples:
- Allowing employees to talk about products and services publicly
- Establishing a 1-to-1 communication channel
- Asking for feedback
- Not hiding criticism, and addressing it publicly
Easier said than done! Most small and medium sized companies do not invest much on communication, and they struggle with this concept. As a result, their efforts usually are incorrect or inconsistent. Being transparent is risky. But in the long run, not being transparent is riskier. Online Reputation Management, over time has become more of a need than want. With the world going digital for everything, virtual space has become our reality. It is difficult to cut ourselves loose from the consequences of cyberspace activities. We all make purchases only the method has changed now, following the emergence of digitization making ORM a need of the hour.
Encourage customers to leave feedback and let them tell your story in their own words. Finally, get active with your community through a CSR program that aligns with your brand’s values. Building a strong reputation through genuine customer engagement is the best shield against potential negative reviews and comments. Following the trend we even see Search Engine Optimization Services in Kolkata taking on the factor of reputation management quite seriously.