Simple, yet often overlooked, approaches to protecting your business’s reputation on the web.
Much like within a personal relationship, building trust is paramount to keeping a good business relationship – both off and on your website.
To help build relationships, consider your website users and customers as comrades. The ability to take steps toward trust-building comes easier. Trust is as easily built up as it is destroyed, and the web is such an open and interactive community that if there has been a misstep, it will be found and shared one one or more social media platforms.
The advent of social media sites has evolved the method that news travels from “word of mouth” into “the click of a mouse.” Anyone can find out anything, anytime they want to, so long as they have 3G, WiFi, or the like. This now makes it more difficult as a business owner because whoever wishes to find information about you as a person, or you as a business owner, can do so. A business owner must keep themselves honest as the face of their own company. Three quick rules can be considered:
- Keep your promises. People notice flakiness, but they also respond to dependability and as they grow to know and trust your website they will visit your site again and again becoming loyal customers.
- Tell the truth. Lying is bad, everyone knows this, but it’s easy to tell a small white lie to protect feelings. Even if it’s not exactly what someone wants to hear, they will appreciate the truth better than a lie, and your foundation of trust is strengthened.
- Address and fix your mistakes. Yes, it’s embarrassing, but mistakes are often unavoidable. Offer an apology and a correction. Remember that consumers can easily find out the truth with a simple Google search.
Customer issues are oftentimes mishandled due to the lack of communication between company and consumer. Form a plan to counter the negative responses and it can be much easier to cope with the issue. By not deleting or reacting harshly to negative comments on your social platforms and dealing with the complaint carefully, yet head-on, you also reinforce your professionalism and reliability to on-lookers.
If there was one issue handled gracefully, surely there will be more. Thus, trust is built between you, the owner, and customers not even involved in the problem at hand.
“Trust” image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net