Julian’s Business Tips: How’s Your Reputation?

Julian’s Business Tips: How’s Your Reputation?

A smiling face recently stopped me in the street and asked if I was that chap in ‘The Listing’, before telling me how they read this column every month!

It’s lovely to be recognised and to have a good reputation – but what happens when your business reputation gets dented?

Reputations are hard won, and easily lost. You must know how to protect all that hard work you have put into building yours!

Good reviews are great – but bad reviews can be very damaging – your existing customers will probably forgive you for it as they know you – but what about your future customers?

If you had simply made a mistake – take ownership (the internet never forgets), rectify the error, be transparent and up front. Apologise – and mean it.

If the problem comes from someone’s opinion, it’s best to contact them privately – never have a public war of words. Instead try to understand what made them do what they have done. If you remain reasonable and understand their point of view, it makes fixing the problem more of a possibility.

Even if they are being unreasonable, letting them get it off their chest will often help. You may be able to find out the true cause of their unhappiness – and maybe offer a solution that might help.

If they accept your offer, then urgently do whatever you’ve promised. Once you’ve delivered the solution, do follow it up. Confirm that they’re happy with it – really happy, not just ‘that’ll do for now’.

Finally, to repair the damage, your now-satisfied complainer may be prepared to revisit the post or online group and tell them what happened and how they now feel about it.

And that will build your reputation for fast, honest customer service – which is worth its weight in gold!