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This post is one in a series designed to help SME businesses benchmark their business and create a best practice business improvement plan across all of their business processes.  You can find the links to the full series here.  

Image of word REPUTATION with a red anchor representing risk of damage to reputationIn this day and age, working hard and being honest is not enough. It’s a must nowadays to keep track of how your customers feel and what people are saying about you, especially online. One thing hasn’t changed and that’s the human element, particularly in circumstances where someone believes they are in the right and they demand to have their concerns responded to and acted on immediately.

Reputation Management is key to staying on top of this. The consequences of doing nothing or not even knowing in the first place can be enormous and in some cases devastating. Unfortunately, and it’s a bit like tabloids, people believe everything they read on the internet. That’s why it’s crucial to be on the front foot with the management of your reputation.

How does your business measure up?

Here’s a checklist to help you determine how well your reputation management processes meet this benchmark.

  • Our design & content has an identifiable voice and tone that aligns with our brand and the expectations we set for our customers.
  • We have a clearly defined business attitude and persona/s that align with our target market.
  • Our business employs and trains people who are a cultural fit to the attitude we portray to the market
  • We have a strategy for retaining customers
  • We have a unique way of rewarding loyal customers
  • We have a customer service philosophy
  • We have a customer pledge or guarantee
  • We have a well researched and documented understanding of what a ‘superior product’ is to our customers
  • We have a process to evaluate and measure customer satisfaction
  • We engage our customers across multiple online platforms in a way that seeks to learn from them and improve our product
  • We monitor all online communications and seek to respond in a timely manner to positive and negative feedback where appropriate
  • We have templated messages ready to respond to different types of customer complaints
  • We have a social media policy for all online communications
  • We regularly conduct staff reviews
  • We grow our staffs’ knowledge base by regular training sessions

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