Surviving a Crisis: 5 Tips for a Reputation Management Strategy

4.3 billion people flood the internet every day. When one of those people have something to say about your business, the rest of them could hear that message in an instant.

That, in a nutshell, describes the massive issue that a problem with a customer or a company scandal can present. There’s no sweeping things under the rug anymore.

As a business owner that has poured their career into managing their company, the last thing that you want is one reputation crisis to undermine all of your work. These 5 reputation management strategy pillars will help insulate you from the repercussions of adversity.

1. Know the Number of a Great PR Person

The majority of the reputation management strategy tips that we’re going to give you revolve in managing your digital presence. Sometimes though, an issue goes beyond getting negative feedback on Yelp. Sometimes, a problem becomes local or national news.

To makes sure that you’re prepared to handle damage control on a massive problem, build a relationship with a PR agent today. That way, you know who to call if something explodes.

2. Always Aim to Manage Problems On-Site

If a customer has a big issue with something that happened while doing business with you, fix the problem immediately. Unless you have an irreconcilable aversion towards accommodating this customer, coming to a resolution is a lot better than that customer taking to the internet, exaggerating the occurrence and sparking controversy.

Train your team on conflict resolution and always tell them to call their manager if a situation gets out of control.

3. Be Proactive With Your Online Reviews

When people leave you reviews online, good or bad, respond to them.

When you respond to good reviews, you let customers know that you care about them which will spur more business. When you respond to bad reviews, you can apologize and/or educate the customer and the community about what took place which reduces fallout.

4. Control the Social Media Narrative

As your business grows, more people are going to start talking about it on social media. When they do, rumors are going to start spreading that may be untrue and counterproductive to your business’s success.

Monitor what people are saying about you on social media platforms. When false things are said, set the record straight in a professional manner. If you don’t, a misinformed statement could turn into something much bigger.

5. Don’t Just Be Sorry, Fix the Problem

Any time that you run into a problem with a customer, with an employee or even with the government, if you’re going to come out and apologize, make sure that you do so with the intention of fixing things.

Hire experts like Capital City Consulting or similar groups to help you forge better relationships with lawmakers. Bring in sensitivity trainers to help your internal team communicate better. Whatever it is that you need to do to avoid repeating the same mistake again, do it.

The public won’t forgive you twice.

A Good Reputation Management Strategy Means a Good Future

As a business owner, you probably want your company’s success to outlive you. If that is indeed your intent, take the time to hatch a solid reputation management strategy. Without one, your business is one misstep away from going under.

For additional small business tips, browse more of the content on our blog!

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.