You are bound to read about some embarrassing mistakes companies make that cost them in an individual and corporate scale, ultimately affecting their company’s credibility and stability. Businesses are more transparent than ever largely due to the internet and owners no longer have the luxury of disregarding what the public is saying about them. People are talking about you and your business whether you like it or not and you have to take extra measures to ensure that your reputation remains intact. Here are a few ways to safeguard your reputation on the World Wide Web.
Most people go online to search for a business and if you are not listed, they will get the impression that you are not viable. Go to major online directories like Google Places and claim your business. If you think that being listed in a directory is sufficient, think again. All directories do is get information from company websites to create their listings without your knowledge. Make sure that they have their facts straight and that there is no negative feedback that you have not addressed. Once you have been listed in these directories, take note of their locations and other relevant details, as well as check back regularly to address any concerns, positive or negative.
There is nothing more disappointing than looking for a company online, only to find a less than ideal website. Consumers are getting more in tune with the internet and having a subpar website could do your business considerable damage. Even if you claim to have a great business, the mediocre appearance of your website will say otherwise. It should be a place that encourages customers to interact with you. Ask for their opinions and address any issues they may have. Make sure that you provide them with several ways to reach you be it an e-mail address, online form, or a phone number. Make sure these details are easy to spot. If you do provide these points of contact but decide not to respond, you are setting yourself up for disgruntled customers.
Any industry is bound to run into some misunderstandings or misconceptions about their business and owners will be questioned about the way they run it. If you see any press that is relevant to your company such as the rumors about RingCentral’s looming IPO, make sure that they are managed properly or else it might cause customers, present and potential, to question the integrity of your business. These clarifications may be addressed on your website or some other medium of communication but the important part is to tell your side of the story in a way that is not vague or cryptic. Your honesty may just win you more business.
This tool is for keeping track of your reputation online. Go to Google Alerts, set up an alert for your company, and wait for any e-mails that come in whenever your business is mentioned online.