The genie is out of the bottle. In this day and age, everything is public and visible. A plethora of information floats around the internet and trying to control who posts what feels like boiling the ocean. To make it worse, it takes so much time to build a reputation and only one bad moment to tarnish it.
These statements all ring true, but it is astonishing how many marketers and business people misjudge their implications. Their struggles often stem from common myths that distort perception and lead to tragic missteps. So, here are the most notorious of the Online Reputation Management Myths, fallacies that need to be debunked for good.
ORM Myth 1: There is no controlling one’s online reputation
While trying to prevent people from writing reviews is futile, you can react to them in a certain manner. For instance, it has been proven countless times that a timely and suitable response to a bad review or comment mitigates the damage it deals. That is to say that brands with quick response rates and feedback sensitivity will always have an edge. Like it or not, ignoring the problem only makes things worse. Customers are always right, so you are better off attending to their wants and needs and valuing their opinion.
ORM Myth 2: No reputation is better than a bad rep
At the first glance, this statement seems intuitively on point. Alas, lack of testimonials and reviews only raises suspicion and suggests you are either unworthy, too new, or a shady company. Modern consumers hold peer opinion in the highest regard and when it is nowhere to be found, it cannot be a good thing, can it? Negative reviews might do more harm than good, but they are at least an indication of your business legitimacy.
ORM Myth 3: A solid plan solves all problems
Detailed plans are not worth the paper they are written on unless you do everything in your power to see them through in practice. Real management takes place on the level of business practices and processes. Therefore, it is highly advisable to work out a thorough daily reputation management plan. Understand what the weak points are and address them. Do not hesitate to get in touch with the best outsourcing companies money can buy to conduct CRM and damage control. It would be a rather wise investment for the long-term. You just have to make sure to go through a list of outsourcing companies before choosing the one that’s perfect for your brand.
ORM Myth 4: I just need to delete bad online reviews
For better or worse, once published, online reviews are permanent. The confusion about this has been stirred due to the proliferation of services that offer aid in doing away with bad reviews. This is fishy business, to say the least. Valid reviews, in the vast majority of cases, cannot be deleted because they serve as trustworthy signals for people. The only way to revoke a review is to prove it is fake, full of false claims, or written by your competition. Presented with such a looming shadow of doubt, the review platform should be compelled to take another look.
ORM Myth 5: Reputation and customer service are separate
When it comes to digital plans, customer service and reputation management must work hand in hand. Failing to understand this creates a wealth of problems and impedes cross-department collaboration. Namely, without impeccable customer service, you cannot keep the avalanche of negative comments and reviews at bay. Likewise, you forgo the possibility of people altering their reviews. Brands like Zappos are well-aware of this and they work wonders with their integrated digital strategies.
ORM Myth 6: Reputation management is a resource-intensive hassle
Yes, pinpointing poor feedback and then responding manually to each customer would consume a ton of time. However, as technology advances by leaps and bounds, we have ever more sophisticated tools at our disposal. Take the example of Revinate Reputation, a platform that pulls all online reviews together into one central dashboard. It also sends notifications the moment a new review comes into being. As you can see, streamlining reputation management is more than feasible.
ORM Myth 7: It is difficult to get people to write reviews
Ok, nobody is overly eager to spend time writing a review, even if it takes a few minutes. Yet, often it is enough to simply ask, especially if you do it right after a successful interaction. Again, modern technology plays right into your hand: you can use automated post survey solutions to send email requests nice and easy. So, take action now to directly impact the number and freshness of reviews. Positive and detailed reviews go a long way, even when they are few and far in between.
Holding the reins
It may not feel like it at first, but you are in control of your reputation. Negative reviews do not spell doom for your brand, despite them being visible to every internet user on the face of the earth. To get the ball rolling, come up with a plan on how to steer clear of reputation nightmares. Bear in mind your reputation is never set in stone or defined by your strategic documents.
It all comes down to what you do and say.
Thus, react promptly to turn every bad situation around. Grow from your mistakes and connect with those who have voiced their discontent. Following these steps, you should be able to brave the tumultuous digital landscape of today and keep your image sparkly clean.