Managing your reputation is important no matter where you lie on the scale. That means, even if you have a positive reputation, it is just as important to manage that reputation as it is for a business with a negative reputation. After all, you never know when your reputation is at risk of being tarnished. Additionally, if you have no reputation at all, you might as well have a bad reputation.
Because people like to know about the companies they work with, having a great reputation is vital—and here’s how to use customer service opportunities to improve your reputation. Keep in mind that reputation management can’t solve every problem—but it can solve plenty of them.
Let’s talk about Chick-fil-A and Starbucks
Have you ever had to wait more than twenty minutes for your food at Chick-fil-A? Do you know what happens when it takes too long for your food to reach your table or make some other kind of mistake? They give you a voucher for a free box of chicken bits.
Starbucks does the same thing. If they make a mistake or it takes a little bit longer than they find acceptable, you get a voucher for something free on your next visit. Now, neither of these companies have to do this—so why do they? They do this, because it improves their reputation. Instead of leaving angry (or even just mildly annoyed), you’re pleased with your visit, even if it didn’t go exactly as planned.
Companies like Chick-fil-A and Starbucks really go the extra mile when it comes to customer service, and it pays off, as they are two of the largest and most profitable food companies in the nation. Consumers love them.
How to Respond to Online Complaints, or How to Make Complaints an Opportunity for Customer Service
As a business with some kind of online presence, you already know that most of the people who leave reviews for you online are disgruntled customers. They leave rants about how terrible your clothes, food, service, etc. are, after only one experience that maybe wasn’t even that bad. This may lead you to want to leave an equally inflammatory comment as a response.
But your comments, whether they be on your Facebook page, your actual website, Yelp, etc. are going to be seen by future customers. Take this as an opportunity to make something right—or at least to attempt to make it right, instead of casting aspersions. If you see a negative review, offer to do whatever you can to right the wrong (even if it is only a perceived wrong). For example of how to do this, look through the reviews on websites like Modcloth—a rep personally responds to each complaint and gives the customer a number or email address to contact so that the company can make things right. That’s the kind of company people want to work with.
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