Companies spend years building a name for themselves or developing a brand or product without really understanding online PR. The brand is your product, reputation management is what and how you deliver your product. A great example of this happened to me lately, I used to drive a Honda and used the local Honda dealer in Perth Scotland. The garage’s customer service was fantastic and they always pushed the extra mile to help, however with our family expanding we had to get a bigger car so decided on a Discovery 3 Land Rover. So we bought from Stratstone, I have to say because we were spending a lot more on the new car and it’s in the luxury end, I expected the customer service to be fantastic like business class over economy in Emirates. Oh how I have been so wrong…
It was not until I was talking to someone else who also had a Land Rover that we started to discuss Stratstone in Perth and how we both avoided using the company. I can’t really fault the car, the Discovery 3 is an incredible drive, everything Jeremy Clarkson said about it is right, however I wont be buying another one if I have to deal with Stratstone, their staff are so miserable when you go into the showroom its unreal. The staff are so unhelpful, where other garages will ask do you need a lift home, these guys never offer it. You feel that they won’t bend over backward and will charge for everything. The next Land Drover dealership is about 1 hours drive away, so for this reason I will not be buying a new Land Drover.
It goes to show how a manufacturer can have the best product in the world but if the people representing and selling your product don’t have the best customer service it can effect your product badly. This can be very dangerous and effect the reputation of the product, look at how Tiger Woods effected the golfing world and how some people stopped buying certain brands because of the association with him.
Monitoring reputation management is a great way to gain feedback from customers and act quickly to any issues or problems that maybe arising. Sometimes if a negative issue is handled correctly it can turn to your favour and show that you are listening to customers and responding accordingly.
We have seen a direct correlation to how fast a company responds to a negative comment and the outcome from a negative thread becoming positive. More often than not companies will react when a negative discussion has gained momentum and started to work its way up the search results by which time the damage is done and very difficult to win the battle.
So don’t wait till it’s to late, get on top of your reputation management, listen and learn it could save and make you a fortune.