Your brand’s reputation is more important now than ever. Maintaining a positive brand reputation increases customer loyalty, builds confidence in the market and helps position you as a leader in your space. With strategic brand reputation management tactics, you can easily improve your reputation.
Being positioned as a brand with a positive reputation is critical in today’s ruthlessly competitive business landscape. On average, consumers will read around 10 product or service reviews before making a purchase, which is why having a positive reputation is so important.
Key brand reputation management best practices
Below we’ll cover ten highly-effective brand reputation management tactics for improving your brand reputation and growing your business.
1. Excel at content marketing
Content marketing is a critical element of effective brand reputation management. A key component of inbound marketing, content marketing consists of producing educational content that solves common problems for your audience.
Rather than sales-oriented content, content marketers produce eBooks, blogs, infographics, etc., that educate rather than attempt to sell.
Once your content starts to make its rounds and people take notice, they will share it with their colleagues, expanding your brand presence.
And once consumers see your brand as one that focuses on empowering customers, not wringing money out of them, your brand reputation will improve significantly.
2. Improve customer satisfaction
This is a no-brainer. Satisfied customers stay with you longer, spend more on your products and services, and provide a long-term, reliable revenue stream.
Customer satisfaction is not only key to business growth, but it also directly impacts your brand reputation. Satisfied customers share their positive experiences with friends and colleagues, which is a boon for your reputation management efforts.
3. Focus on the customer experience
The customer experience is rapidly overtaking product and price as the most important variable in consumers’ decisions to purchase. If you don’t deliver a stellar customer experience, prospects will look for a competitor that does.
There are many ways to deliver a great customer experience. Those include, but are not limited to:
- Reaching out individually to each customer once per quarter (at minimum) to personally check in
- Sending customer surveys to identify areas where you can improve and then implementing their feedback
- Staying in constant contact with customers through email newsletters or other forms of company or product updates
- Delivering world-class customer support (see below)
4. Deliver world-class customer support
The quicker and more effectively you resolve customer support issues, the better your brand reputation will be. A help desk automation system can function as reputation management software and help you streamline the process.
Be sure to offer multiple support channels (phone, live chat, email, social media, etc.) so that customers with issues can easily reach you on the channel they prefer.
Make it a point to increase first contact resolution rate (FCR). FCR refers to the number of incoming help desk tickets that you resolve on the first attempt, without having to search for an answer and get back to your customer. The longer they must wait for a response, the more frustrated they will get.
Use dedicated help desk groups to ensure each customer support ticket gets handled by an expert and is resolved on the first attempt every time. Learn more about dedicated help desk groups.
5. Use social listening tools to respond to negative comments
When someone posts a negative comment about your brand on social media, it’s imperative that you respond as quickly as possible.
Negative sentiment spreads like wildfire on social media, so you need to put that fire out as soon as possible. You can do this by leveraging social listening tools — which are built into many all-in-one customer relationship management (CRM) solutions—to receive alerts any time someone mentions your brand (positively or negatively) on social media.
When you receive a notification, respond to the comment as quickly as possible and be diplomatic and empathetic in your response. After all, your response will be publicly-visible for the world to see. Responding in a helpful, humble way will help your company generate a reputation as a customer-centric brand.
6. Personalize your customer interactions
When you use an all-in-one CRM, you have access to 360-degree contact views. These provide insight into each customer’s challenges, needs, interests, products owned, past support tickets, and more.
Your sales reps, support agents, or anyone else who interacts one-on-one with customers can dig into that data before ever reaching out to a customer. This allows them to find common ground before the interaction takes place and deliver more personalized communication.
Personalized outreach makes customers feel valued and helps you form a rapport with them. This generates brand loyalty, customer satisfaction, and improves your brand reputation management efforts.
7. Increase employee satisfaction
Many companies overlook employee satisfaction when developing their brand reputation management strategy. That’s a big mistake!
Employee engagement programs do wonders for increasing employee satisfaction. According to the Institute for Employment Studies, engaged, satisfied employees perform 20% better than unengaged employees and are much more likely to become brand advocates (more on that below).
Satisfied, engaged employees work harder, have higher morale, care more about the success of your company, and will go out of their way to help satisfy customer needs. In short, satisfied employees deliver a superior customer experience, which is directly linked to a positive brand reputation.
Employee engagement is easy to coordinate. Start an employee volunteering program, develop a matching gifts program, survey employees about their workplace satisfaction and implement changes based on their feedback.
All of this will result in happier employees who truly care about the success of your company and that of your customers. When your employees are satisfied, they tell their friends how great it is to work at your company. Word will spread, and your brand reputation will continually improve.
8. Nurture brand advocates
Brand advocates are arguably the most effective tool in your kit for brand reputation management. They are satisfied customers, employees, or anyone else who loves your brand enough to speak positively about it and recommend it to others.
Deliver a great customer experience, maintain satisfied employees and customers, and they are likely to go to social media to recommend your brand.
That amounts to free word-of-mouth advertising, which consumers trust way more than traditional brand promotion. Brand advocates can elevate your reputation from average to exceptional.
Use social listening tools to receive alerts when someone mentions your brand. If the comment is positive, engage that person right then, and you’ll open the door for creating a new brand advocate. Learn how to create brand advocates.
9. Generate customer testimonials and success stories
Research indicates that today’s consumers place much more trust in product or brand recommendations from friends, peers, and colleagues than traditional advertising.
In a broad sense, all your current and potential customers are each other’s peers. Developing customer testimonials and success stories allows current customers to share their positive experiences with their peers (i.e., your prospects).
It’s one thing for you to tell the market how great your product is. But it carries so much more weight when a customer with nothing to gain from speaking positively about your brand says how great your product is.
10. Increase social media engagement
Experts predict that by 2021 there will be over 3 billion social media users, which will amount to around one-third of the world’s population. It’s logical to assume that the importance of engaging your audience on social media will continually increase.
A positive, upbeat, and active social media presence can be a key driving factor behind an improved brand reputation. But there are many nuances to properly engaging followers on social media—too many to cover in this article. To learn more, read these tips for increasing social media engagement.
With so much competition vying for consumers’ trust and business, maintaining a positive brand reputation has never been so critical to overall business success.
Use the best practices above to develop your brand reputation management strategy and implement it as soon as possible.
Focus on the customer experience, customer and employee satisfaction, and catering to all customers’ needs, and your reputation as a customer-centric brand will steadily grow.
Do you have any additional tactics that you use to enhance your brand reputation? Share them with us in the comments section below!