Everybody knows that it is difficult to start a new business. In fact, entrepreneurs will tell you that those first few months are the hardest of their lives. A launch of a company takes over everything and requires a great deal of personal investment as well. An individual must be totally immersed in their own company if they want it to be successful.

For many, it feels like having to give far more than what they then get back. This is why they often overlook certain areas and focus more strongly on building revenue. One element that is often overlooked is brand control, which is the action of finding out what others are saying about the new brand and business. In other words, they forget about reputation management.

Reputation management, however, is vital to the success of a business. This is particularly true for those who use selling platforms like iTunes and Amazon, but even those who go outside of those platforms must be aware of it. This is found in surveys that have demonstrated that 90% of consumers now use online reviews to influence their decisions.

The Importance of Reputation Management

Business owners can make sure that a single critical comment or negative review does not destroy their image by being consistent in their monitoring of reviews, and responding to these as well. The information that exists about a business now extends far beyond the information they decide to put out there nowadays. This is why it is vital to develop branding guidelines but to also see if other people are following those guidelines, or whether they perceive the business in a different way.

A good reputation management company will tell you that it is vital to learn what other people are saying about you. It is also vital to respond to these comments. Essentially, businesses need to look for external champions and advocates of the brand.

Becoming an Engaged Voice

Every reputation management strategy should include a documented and well-defined response to comments that are made. This must be based on a solid foundation that determines the brand messages that the business wants to have out there.

It is unlikely that you will find a review website where you are able to have information removed, unless it is particularly inappropriate. However, you are almost always able to respond to a review. In doing so, by thanking those who are positive and communicating with those who are negative, you show the world that you are committed to engagement and customer service. Perhaps you will even be able to change the consumer’s mind.

Engagement is vital to developing a strong and positive brand image. It demonstrates that you care about your customers. Most importantly, it shows the same to potential customers, who use that type of information to decide whether or not to shop with you.

Measure Your Community and Monetize it

When you respond properly to reviews, you are effectively building a community of brand champions. This means that they will actually make further marketing efforts for you, freeing up some of your time for other important things.

Reputation management consultants recommends that each customer is asked to review the products or services they have purchased. The same should be asked if somebody had an experience with your customer service team, whether this was relating to an actual purchase or not. So long as you have delivered a positive service and the product was good, people will leave positive messages about you. If you do receive a negative comment, this means that you will see something that may need addressing within your company, allowing you to learn and grow publicly, something that other consumers appreciate.

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