Oregon businesses have recently shown the value of having an Online Reputation Management (ORM) plan in place. Businesses smart enough to have it as part of their strategy have overcome some trying times, while those who have not are still trying to keep their heads above water.
How important is it for a business to assess their own reputation?
A reputation audit of the company should be conducted at least once monthly. Although the ones that stay on top are monitoring their ORM daily. This will make the business aware of public perceptions which puts it in a position to recognize areas of improvement.
These results should be available to the leadership and shared accordingly with the management team. This information can be used to improve the company’s process and provide a plan of action for every level of the organization. It will also help ensure that the entire workforce, and any pertinent external stakeholders, are aware.
How has reputation in communications changed over the last decade?
We have seen huge changes in Online Reputation Management, most of this can be attributed to technological advancements and machine learning. The influx of search, social media, and new forms of communication means an increased use of advanced reputation and crisis management tools.
If the reputation mishaps by local and global corporations in just the last year are anything to go by (United Airlines, Pepsi, and Uber) is evidence that reputation management policies should be an essential part of any organization’s overall strategy – with a specific focus on ORM for the entire organization.
Due to the ever-changing digital world, as well as the effortless access to review and rating sites available to users on their mobile devices, your reputation management approach has also had to become flexible and adaptable.
These matters are not “Should I respond” it’s now “I have to respond a quickly as possible”, so the authorization of middle management must be implemented. No more waiting for approval from the CEO!
Not only should you respond quickly, you should also know how to respond. The best response is always to de-escalate and take offline. Be empathetic, acknowledge the problem, and give them an immediate way to contact someone with authority to solve the situation.
How important is situation planning when preparing for a crisis?
Situation planning is one of the most critical elements in preserving a company’s reputation, and in managing a crisis.
Your company knows where and what your pain points are, both internally and externally. This usually means that preventative measures can be taken.
Here are a few things you should do in order to find your pain points.
- Ask your employees what the most common complaints are
- Hire mystery shoppers
- Read all your online reviews
- Ask for feedback from current and past customers
- Hire a Reputation Management Agency
Derek Bachmann is the founder of MySocialRep, LLC. MySocialRep is an Online Reputation & Social Media Management Agency with over 15 years of experience helping companies build and maintain their online reputation and social reach.