Home Forums Marketing mastery Reputation matters, take time to work on it

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    Today I got a couple of doorknockers selling a solar power scheme. I was happy to listen to them as I had been looking into getting solar power on the house some time ago but couldn’t find someone who offered the scheme I wanted, which this company did offer.

    I made an appointment to see their rep tomorrow to discuss it and maybe sign up.

    As usual as soon as I got in from work I got on the computer to research their company before making any decisions. I found only a few reviews (I would have preferred to see a lot more) that were either very good or very bad. This is not worrying as often the only people who bother to write reviews are those who are either very happy or very unhappy with the service (assuming the good ones are not just fake ones).

    What was worrying, and what caused me to cancel my appointment, was that there seemed to be no effort on the part of the company to write and explain the problem and solutions offered with regard to the poor reviews. In my point of view if a business does not care about their own reputation then it is likely that they also do not care about their customers.

    All it takes is a bit of PR and time to look after your online (and offline) rep, after all your reputation is everything. If I can’t trust you because your online presence doesn’t inspire confidence then you have lost a valuable customer, as well as valuable word of mouth promotion. It is always disappointing to see this and it is far too common.

    Paul – FS Concierge
    • Total posts: 3,128

    Rowan, I agree to an extent but I have found it difficult to find good examples of suitable replies made by businesses to disappointed customers.

    The replies either seem to blame the customer or be standard or form replies.

    • Total posts: 712
    Paul – FS Concierge, post: 263051, member: 78928 wrote:
    Rowan, I agree to an extent but I have found it difficult to find good examples of suitable replies made by businesses to disappointed customers.

    The replies either seem to blame the customer or be standard or form replies.

    A quick search will find a business plenty of advice on how to respond to bad reviews, here are a couple:

    But it was not just the negative reviews and lack of response that concerned me, it was also their seriously bad online presence that made them look like fly-by-nighters, like their FB page that was totally ignored and unpopulated for example.

    • Total posts: 840

    I agree completely with you Rowan that reputation is everything.

    In fact, I just had such a problem with my bank recently that, not only did it inconvenience me, but my inability to access my accounts affected my relationship with someone I owed money, and couldn’t pay in a timely manner. The article I am about to write ain’t going to be nice, and my complaint has reached the banking ombudsman.

    I know I am not necessarily representative of the norm, but I simply don’t trust anyone until such time as I have either gotten to know them, or experience their actions, specifically what they do when something goes wrong. I don’t know someone from reading their embellished story on a website.

    I still believe online/tech is nothing but fluff when it comes to dealing with others doing business. At some point you deal with people and all the good reviews, great reputation management, means absolutely jack if I am the 1 out of 10 that has a problem and it is not resolved.

    On the other side, I am also not a believer in people using social media as a tool to complain, unless it has got to the point where there is no other choice than to publicise the issue. I don’t agree with the article you listed when it says to “offer to make it right”, by offering freebies etc., unless it is truly warranted. There are plenty out there who have found social media a great way to vent whenever they feel slighted, rightly or wrongly, and I have no problem with a company pushing back when the complaint is unwarranted.

    • Total posts: 712

    I hear what you are saying but sometimes you aren’t able to get get to know someone before using their services so reviews can be a valuable tool. But my point is not about trusting online reviews but how a business responds to complaints either online or offline. I don’t trust any business if I can’t find out more about them than is on their website.

    I am not saying that every idea in those couple of link examples is right, it all depends on the circumstances, and sometimes giving freebies to mollify a customer is the right thing, and sometimes not. often just admitting fault is enough.

    If, in my case, I sold some seed to a market gardener and it didn’t germinate well then my customer might be not only inconvenienced but also out of pocket as they might have now missed their sowing window or be forced to fail to meet a contract. In that case I would definitely offer more seed of something more expensive that they can use to make up the shortfall, both to compensate them and because my reputation with other growers would be put in jeopardy, let alone wanting to keep a current customer.

    As a rule I always research online any business I want a relationship with, whether as a customer or a supplier simply so everyone is on the same page when negotiations begin and no misunderstandings occur later on. It makes things so much easier.

    • Total posts: 24

    Hi [USER=28171]@Rowan @ GardenLarder[/USER] .

    Reputation is about trust in your business, and what you say you are going to do is actually what you do.

    Unfortunately, there are times where things don’t always go right, such as [USER=34822]@Johny[/USER] experienced. This was out of his control and negatively affected another relationship, however it is important to consider that something similar may have happened further up the chain. In the end, the important thing is did they try to make it right, and was there good communication in dealing with the issue.

    Maintaining an eye on your reputation, and responding to people who review is important, for both negative and positive reviews. I do agree with Johny that sometimes it is easy for individuals to complain about issues that were not really issues, however it is these cases that are usually the most important to deal with. Some pushback can be warranted however care should be taken with the specific language used to do this.

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