Managing online reputation

What is Online Reputation Management (ORM)?

Online Reputation Management (ORM) is a perpetual effort for maintaining, improving & countering opinions about brands or personalities. Consumers are increasingly becoming vocal about their likes and dislikes on social media, complaint forums and blogs. Brands are often at the receiving end of consumers who are unhappy with their products or services. Dissatisfied consumers find it worth their while to take their grievances online. Social media gives customers the opportunity of reaching an audience that goes beyond their social circle. Social media thus serves as an amplifier of thoughts and opinions. Shaping these thoughts and opinions is what online reputation management is all about.

Online reputation management or lack thereof can have a direct impact on a company’s bottom line. ORM plays a significant role for businesses which are looking to gain and retain their customer’s trust. Banks, Financial Institutions, Insurance companies and all other B2C players fall in this category. These entities cannot afford to lose their audience’s trust due to baseless allegations made by a few people or due to the failure of responding to genuine concerns. Not addressing these concerns in a timely fashion will unfailingly bring disrepute.

Such companies can’t afford not paying attention towards their online reputation. Reason being that consumers looking for information online will come across bad reviews and complaints. It is now common knowledge that consumers do their online research first before getting their wallets out. So whether they want to find the best accommodation for their holiday or the best car insurance policy, they do their homework online. Search engines promptly serve the best results for their chosen query. Needless to say, brands which fail to respond to the negative content directed towards them start falling off the consumer’s consumption radar.

Where to begin?

The number one requirement for managing a brand’s reputation is to have a dedicated online reputation management team. This team should then be armed with an ORM tool like Konnect Social. We have our own crawlers that fetch data from various news sites, complaint forums, blogs and social networking sites. Konnect Social’s clever code ensures that no conversation is left out.

The tool allows ORM team members to take action through the dashboard. They can classify conversations as negative, neutral or positive for periodic sentiment analysis. Competent team members can also directly react to customer grievance with an empathetic response. For conversations that cannot be dealt with immediately, users can assign it to qualified team members. Conversations can also be classified to better manage grievances.

Dos and Don’ts of Online Reputation Management

Let’s take a look at the don’ts first

  • Don’t let the negativity get to you. It is not uncommon to come across criticism that looks a tad too much and sometimes insulting too. It is wise to post a restrained response to come across as a professional company. Plus, you don’t to give an impression of arrogance.
  • Don’t let yourself come across as somebody who is making excuses. Your responses should be factual with a reassuring and apologetic tone. You want potential customers who read your comments to perceive you as a responsible brand.
  • Don’t wait too long to respond. As a rule of thumb it is best to respond within 48 hours. Any longer than that and you would’ve let the emotions simmer long enough for the customer to go ballistic. You definitely don’t want everybody else to think that you don’t care about your customer’s grievance. Our tool’s Turn-Around-Time (TAT) Analysis report and TAT summary dashboard help you stay on top of your response time.

Here’s a list of definite dos

  • Have a plan in place for addressing concerns and complaints. Let a team of qualified social media talent be a part of that plan.
  • Create avenues for customers to address their concerns. This could be in the form of a dedicated Twitter handle or complaint form on your website or Facebook page. This lets customers know that you value their opinions and are willing to address the inconvenience they may be facing.
  • Ensure that you have a dedicated presence on complaint sites and forums which rank high on search engines. Consumers who land on these sites should be able to see that you have been responding well to previous complaints. This would help build their trust in you.
  • Formulate a social PR strategy to engage influencers. This should be an indispensable part of your overall social media strategy. If you are a brand that has a lot of negative sentiment around it then you need this to create a positive buzz.

How can ORM save costs and increase a company’s topline?

Penny saved is penny earned. When done right, ORM will do just that for an organization. Imagine being able to address grievances faster as customers don’t have to wait in queue for the next available operator. Companies that rely heavily on addressing grievances through call centers can save a fortune by adopting an ORM approach. Such companies no longer have to maintain a big call center team, which helps save associated costs. Online grievances are easier and faster to manage thanks to Social CRM built into tools like Konnect Social. Our tool’s ‘Alert’ feature helps in reducing turn-around-times (TAT) by allowing maximum response overdue time to be setup. Konnect Social users can get alerts for conversations whose overdue time has been crossed. This goes a long way in ensuring that TAT benchmarks are adhered to.

Online Reputation Management is a combination of monitoring conversations, engaging customers and publishing relevant content. A tool that helps you do each of these social activities is key to effectively managing your brand’s reputation. Get in touch with us to let us show you why Konnect Social is an Online Reputation Management tool preferred by some of the biggest brands.