Online Reputation Management: Prevention is better than Cure
Today, not only doctors subscribe to this mantra. The Internet is a very fertile ground for negative
publicity. SEO firms know that a crisis is always looming in the corner, waiting for the perfect time to
explode, especially with the advent of social media which encouraged people to talk, no holds barred.
It should not come as a shock that online reputation management has become indispensable for
businesses with an online presence. Actually, even those who do not have an online presence are still
vulnerable to online attacks. The goal of online reputation management is to manage damages once
push comes to shove, but wouldn’t it be better if crises don’t happen at all? Clearly, your first priority
should not have an effective push-button crises management plan, but to prevent them even before
Trust is Everything
The chances of a consumer-generated crisis are significantly reduced if your relationship with your
customers online is founded on a strong base of trust.
Do not overpromise and then under-deliver. Avoid making unrealistic claims. When setting
deadlines and due date, be realistic. Deadlines are sacred and if you cannot keep them, you
have to inform your stakeholders in advance and offer a valid explanation.
Trust and credibility are two closely related concepts. SEO firms can build the latter through
subtle tactics such as getting affiliated with credible organizations and getting a testimonial
from them. This will discourage negative publicity or people will consider it as a rumor
because of these supporting testimonials.
One vital element of online reputation management is clear, honest and constant
communication. Most crises are actually just miscommunication blown out of proportion.
Taking the Extra Mile in Customer Service
You cannot please everybody and not all your customers will be happy when they leave your store.
Sometimes, these types of customers just need to feel extra special. So, if it’s special treatment that
they want, go ahead and give them the most special treatment you can. Part of online reputation
management is actually exceptional customer service.
Hear them out. Your SEO firms should be trained to answer queries online and be sensitive to
customer needs. Most irate customers feel that no one is listening to them. So, listen and
intelligently and compassionately respond.
Always have a grievance system in place. People won’t rant in their social media accounts or
blogs if they have someone in your company they can relay their complaints to.
Offer warranties and service guaranties. And if you do, honor your word and uphold what you
If you can, have third party associations vouch for your products and services. Customers are
always pacified if they know that a third party organization is looking out after their needs.
Why wait for a crisis for you to respond? SEO firms are realizing that managing your image online
begins way before a problem erupts.
Author is working in an Internet marketing company as a San Francisco SEO. He likes to write
informative articles on various topics related to Internet Marketing. Through this article, he wants to
share his knowledge with people who are about to hire an SEO Company for their businesses.