by Dee Allomong
Reputation is “the estimation in which a person or thing is held by a community or the public generally.” Reputation is determined by the perception and perspective of others, which is difficult to control and subject to vigilanteism – crowd rule or Groundswell. The Internet has provided an inexpensive and easily accessible forum for the consumer voice and businesses are increasingly occupied with managing and monitoring their online and offline reputation. As the popularity of social technologies grows, how does a business cultivate and maintain one of their most priceless assets – their reputation?
1. Establish a strong historical record of ethical performance. Your clients and prospects will consider the patterns you’ve established in the past when evaluating and determining the credibility of online and offline “buzz” about your company.
2. Consistently deliver quality products and services and always strive to excel. People like to do business with companies they can count on to give them what they need, when they need it. Create a foundation of consistency.
3. Acknowledge shortcomings. When issues arise with your products or services, face them head on, do not hide or evade the issue. If the issue is a valid one – own it instead of trying to cover it up or shift blame.
4. Be solution oriented. Don’t just acknowledge problems, identify solutions. Invite your clients and/or prospects to partner with you in the problem solving process. Come to a mutual agreement about the best course of action and then be faithful in following through on your promises.
5. Engage in the discussions. Be present and participate in the discussions about your company. Join the Groundswell conversations – be visible and be accessible.
6. Be sincere and care about the people you serve. Listen and respond to with respect, truthfulness, transparency, and genuineness.