5 Ways Your Company is Harming Its Own Online Reputation

Today it is absolutely essential for companies to establish and maintain positive online reputations. This can take a considerable amount of time and effort, and the unfortunate fact is that it can all come crumbling down in a heartbeat. A single disgruntled customer who takes to the internet to complain about a company can do considerable damage to that company’s online reputation and create a need for serious damage control. But what few companies realize is that even while they handle those exterior forces that can harm their online reputation, they may actually be their own worst enemy–doing things that harm their reputation perhaps even worse than anyone else has the power to. Recovering from the reputation blows one deals to self can be frustrating and difficult–which is why one should avoid harming their own reputation at all costs.

Business Online Reputation Management

Among all online reputation management tips there is this particular gem: take steps to ensure that you aren’t doing anything to harm your own reputation. Need help figuring out what this means? Consider the following five ways that companies are most likely to harm their own online reputation:

1. Getting involved with politics. Whatever your political beliefs, and however well-received you think they may be, the fact is that there is always the potential that at least some of your customers, or potential customers, will disagree with you. By publically adopting a political stance you may very well alienate the very individuals you are seeking to form relationships with, which can harm your online reputation. And since things posted online can remain there forever, the damage caused by posting political views can very well be long-standing.
2. Lack of social responsibility. Environmental sustainability and the impact of the corporate footprint is a constantly growing concern among consumers and investors alike, which means that their spending and investing habits are largely based upon how they feel certain companies address these issues. Companies who fail to establish policies to address environmental sustainability and the impact of the corporate footprint can find their online reputation suffering as a result.
3. Participating in any sort of illegal, dangerous or underhanded activities. If a company is participating in any sort of activity that is illegal, dangerous or underhanded, it is bound to become public knowledge and adversely affect their online reputation. This includes anything from selling products that create health issues to cooking the books and everything in between.
4. Poor customer service. Whether this means delivering a substandard product or service, being rude or something else, poor customer service is one of the most surefire ways to harm your own online reputation. The vast majority of purchases made today are based on consumer emotion, which means they are attracted to positive customer service experiences and detracted from negative customer service experiences.
5. Reacting harshly to online customer reviews. It can certainly be frustrating to have customers post reviews about your company that only tell one side of the story, and conveniently leave out important details. However, reacting harshly to these reviews by attacking the customers who posted them can only serve to further harm your online reputation. It can make you appear hotheaded and uncaring, rather than concerned and customer service oriented.

Where you have worked very hard to earn a positive online reputation, it is understandable that you will want to do everything possible to maintain and even improve this reputation. This means not only continuing to deliver valuable products and services as well as excellent customer service, but avoiding doing those things that can harm your online reputation–sometimes irrecoverably.

For more tips and information about online reputation management and for help with business reputation monitoring, contact Online Reputation Management today.