There are dozens of ways customers perceive and interact with your business. Your brand reputation guides these interactions and perceptions. If brand reputation management isn’t part of your strategy, you may be left behind.
Your brand reputation encompasses all aspects of marketing and engagement. You depend on your reputation to drive new sales. Your brand reputation is critical to loyalty and retention as well.
That’s because your reputation sticks with customers. They remember innovation and generosity. They will share their perception of your business to future customers.
Building a successful brand takes more than a great product. You will need to utilize every channel and resources to build one successfully. And managing that reputation is an ongoing task that will determine your success.
Understanding Brand Reputation Management
For small businesses especially, positive word of mouth is a life force. Marketing resources are limited, so your brand’s resonance must carry the weight of the message. Businesses depend on organic referrals in lieu of leads from expensive marketing campaigns.
Brand reputation management is critical for large businesses as well. When large companies behave badly, they can lose millions of dollars as a result. Conversely, a choice that people like can drive financial success.
Companies will face speedbumps when managing their brand reputation. Part of the job is overcoming those difficulties. Companies with successful strategies in place can do this quickly and effectively.
Managing your reputation doesn’t start with the first customer. It doesn’t end with a completed sale either.
It is the greatest part of your positioning strategy with the most lasting effects. You need to be proactive and take this matter seriously. And the best time to start is right now.
7 Strategies for Successful Reputation Management
Think of your brand reputation as a giant cloud. Your business is sitting in the very middle. That cloud touches all aspects of your business–new customers, existing ones, and your internal team itself.
The way in which you manage your reputation affects everything. Every customer touchpoint is affected as well. You can take steps now to turn your reputation into a win for your company.
The following seven strategies will help turn your reputation into a driving force for your business. You will turn your marketing and other internal teams into proactive reputation managers as well.
1. Improve Product Quality and Support
There is nothing more central to your brand than the quality of what you’re selling. Equally as important is the degree to which you service paying customers.
You already know you have a great product. But are your providing customers with necessary recourse? The experiences customers have during a service call will transform their feelings about your brand.
Ideally your happy customers are raving about your product. If your service experience goes above and beyond, those troubled customers will be raving, too. Ensure you give troubled customers what they need and more in a visible way.
2. Open New Communication Channels
There is nothing more frustrating to your customers than not being able to reach you. This is especially true if customers have problems with your products. It prevents you from delighting customers in new ways as well.
Your ability to solve problems and delight your customers reflects on your brand. You have to implement every technique to connect with them successfully. That means expanding beyond your website and traditional channels.
Use your social media presence to engage customers directly. Make your ability to delight them visible to everyone. Provide customers with easy ways to ask questions and report problems as well.
The easier and more useful your communication channels, the better your customer experience. Customers who see you going above and beyond will become advocates for your brand.
3. Develop a Proactive Content Marketing Strategy
Your customers need to learn about your brand before they can advocate for you. You need a compelling content marketing strategy to deliver that information.
Create an inbound marketing strategy that provides value to customers from the start. Customers who find your messaging compelling or helpful will have a better perception of your brand.
4. Be Generous
Few things are as good for your brand as generosity. Customers who see you as more than a merchant will advocate for you. That means altruism, environmentalism, or rewards for special customers.
Your values help strengthen your brand as well. If your ideal customers are progressive, advertise your progressive values on your website. Make sure all of the generous things you do are visible to customers.
5. Measure Your Reputation
Does ‘measuring’ your reputation sound outlandish? It’s not anymore. Companies have normalized measuring their reputations, and there are effective tools for doing it.
Social listening tools allow you to see how your brand performs against the competition. You can monitor digital conversations to qualify what customers are saying about your brand. This allows you to build upon successes or address problem areas directly.
6. Leverage Public Relations
Public relations (PR) is one of the more traditional forms of reputation management. PR gives you the advantage of having your accomplishments published on a third-party website. News organizations might cite your PR content as well.
Third-party recognition is a boon for your brand. It shows customers that you’re not just singing your own praises.
Don’t hesitate to share and PR recognition through your marketing channels. Set up Google Alerts to keep abreast of what publishers are saying about your brand.
7. Enhance the Customer Experience
You have a steady stream of customers coming in. Your existing customers are happy. But the mission is far from over.
You need to continue delighting existing customers to retain them as advocates. That means taking steps to award customers as they continue to buy from you. If you haven’t heard from them recently, give them compelling reasons to come back.
Your success is only as strong as the loyalty of your customers. Build a company focused on customer-centricity. As long as you focus on your customers’ needs, you can steer your business towards success.
Kickstart Your Brand Reputation Now
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Contact us to get started with your tailored solution today. An investment in your company’s future is one you’ll never regret.