Some golden rules to deal with bad online reputation:
The bad online reputation is inevitable sometimes. Though your departments perform with a great care and responsibility, still there is always a risk / threat of the unexpected PR loss. In this fast and hi-tech age, the bad reputation spreads like a wildfire, and before you make a plan to deal with it, it may have created a big mess. So, how to deal with this situation, or how to prevent any such condition to arise. The given article is developed with the same purpose.
Following are the 9 rules or guidelines for considering during the PR damage control:
1. Don’t fight with the internet, don’t be aggressive:
The bad reputation can be regarded as a beast that is flanked by a community of users that sends you negative messages, spread their frustration with the peers. It never sleeps and waits for any of your mistakes, so it is suggested to not to poke with this harsh and angry beast. You need to avoid any chance of falling in its cross-hairs. You also should not respond to all the criticisms with a post in profanity. Never argue or insult who insult you. Showing your politeness and generosity, it is best to apologize and move on. You also can avoid them and not engage at all.
2. Don’t pick the open fight who loves to do so:
You may sometimes think about getting the hand in hand with the team of shouting internet commenters who actually pick a target to spend their leisure time and energy and give their best to make the other’s life harder. Don’t cause it is foolish. But, if there is a legitimate news source, a real news paper’s unflattering review about your products and service, you can engage with them in a tactful, respectful and diplomatic manner. It is also good to consult with the PR experts before taking any action. It is an emergency situation and the professional advice will surely help you. It is also an alternative to posting a press release against all the negative comments or the rumors, in a newspaper or Facebook. But still, “no comment” is the most considerable strategy.
3. Wait and watch the haters spoil their own credibility:
Though, responding and fighting back seem essential if it is about your reputation, but if you play patiently, strategically and stick to your battle plan, it can help you a lot. When you refuse to fight back, it makes your detractors angry and restless. Of course, they will behave more outlandishly. It will be their accountability to prove the truth in their criticisms. If you are right in your place, then you don’t need to worry about them. And also within a small time, people will also stop believing and considering them.
4. Silence is the best strategy:
While dealing with the harsh criticisms it is also necessary to judge the command or authority that your detractors possess. If they are not worthy or respected, simply ignore them. Giving any response will add the credibility to their side. If responding seems essential, engage them with a strategy. Think rationally and prepare your steps for better positioning of your company and recovery of the damage.
5. You also need to listen:
It is a general rule that if a single person is complaining; ignore. But, if there are many, it could be a fault on your side. Today, there is a well-set data for each and every customer behavior. While measuring high ratings, client satisfaction and reputation, you cannot afford the dissatisfaction of a group of your customers. Consistently observe the comment section of your posts and profile page. It is an opportunity to get the feedback on your brand or services. The corporate democracy lives in customer service and feedback. If a larger community thinks that the policy, product or feature must be changed or improved, maybe they are right.
6. It can be an opportunity also:
Accept the challenge to turn a criticizing customer a dedicated one. Hear them fix their problems and act like a human being. If a critic becomes your dedicated follower, nothing can be better than it.
7. Direct the blame away from you:
In most of the cases, companies and the organizations make an effort to direct the blame and outrage the away from them and onto somebody else. It is not the right thing. Accept and improve, the policy will certainly help you to overcome the damage.
8. If it is obvious, go to the court:
Sometimes, your good heartiness can be taken as your weakness or a fault. If there is a well-planned organizational strategy to down your reputation and harm your market and if the criticism is affecting your business, customers’ trust, moral of employees or the existence of the organizations, you must reply in a strong manner. It is suggested to hire a team of legal professionals and prepare a whole strategy to fight back. You need to file a lawsuit against the person, group or company responsible for your loss of PR. Gather evidence about your innocence, quality of products and services, your fulfillment of the laws, considering the clients’ interest and participation in development / well-being of the society. You can also hire an advertising agency to reply the commenters in their own language. With an effective ad campaign, you can bring the things back to your control.
9. Performance speaks best:
In the words of Steve jobs, “the best way to get away from a terrible PR disaster is: outperform it”. With the improvement in performance, quality, dedication, moral and confidence you can easily overcome the worst situations. If your product is the best one and enriched with the superb functions, nobody cares that what were the rumors and criticisms against you a couple of months or years ago. Re-plan your performance, implement it and something amazing will surely happen.
Last but not the least, as possible, avoid the situation to arise. Treat your customers well, offer them quality products and services, listen to their problems and fix them. And always be ready with a plan, so that if the disaster strikes, you can deal with it.
Above are some golden strategies to deal with a bad online reputation of your company. The real aim of creating this article is to show you how you can deal with a bad reputation. If you have any suggestions then share with us.