Corporate reputation is an amalgamation of so many things. On first thought, reputation management for a corporation may only seem like having a few good customer reviews and 5-star ratings. But when you go deeper into the realm of reputation management, you realize that there is much more to it. Your corporate reputation management plays a few very important roles for your business.
- It builds brand identity and helps people relate your business with a certain brand value.
- It sets people’s expectations from your business, at present and for the future.
- It portrays you as a trustworthy and transparent enterprise that always puts its customers’ interests first.
Corporate reputation management requires extensive planning and strategy. Knowing what it takes to manage your online reputation is important but finding all the information in one place is often difficult. That is where this comprehensive guide on corporate reputation management will help you.
In this corporate reputation management guide, you will get to know –
- What is corporate reputation management?
- Why is corporate reputation important to your business?
- What are the factors that make up a company’s reputation?
- What are the steps involved in effective corporate reputation management?
- Decide your brand image
- Be consistent in your message across all channels
- Welcome negative feedback and use them to build credibility
- Be quick in resolving issues
- Adapt and evolve with the market
- Manage all your reputation risks
What is corporate reputation management?
Your corporate reputation is how your customers and prospects perceive you as a business. It is the values, ethics, and principles that they associate with your name. Corporate reputation management is a way of maintaining and improving this perception. Through good online reputation management for your company, you can reinforce people’s trust in your business and portray your brand in a more positive light.
Corporate reputation management serves to set people’s expectations from a company. For example, if you are an automobile manufacturing company, you would want your customers to relate your brand with performance, safety, fuel efficiency, and such traits. That is the reputation you are trying to build.
Or if you own a restaurant chain, for instance, your reputation will be built based on your service, quality of food, and ambiance.
Corporate reputation management online tries to highlight these qualities or values that make up your brand, ensuring that people see you like you want them to.
Why is corporate reputation important to your business?
Your corporate reputation or brand reputation has several critical roles to play. Your corporate reputation is what directly or indirectly influences people to be associated with you. Not only does a good corporate reputation ensure better sales and profit for a business, but it also attracts better talent.
These are the factors that determine your company’s future. A strong brand reputation will bring your customer loyalty and goodwill which in turn drives sales. With more sales, you are likely to capture a greater market share sooner and the overall market value of your company increases.
Apart from attracting new customers, a good corporate reputation will also attract more talent to the company. Everyone wants to be working for a company that has a brand value and a reputation in the industry. Candidates who apply to your company will consider their experience here to be valuable. Employee retention in a well-reputed company is also usually higher, as employees want to be associated with the brand for longer.
With effective online reputation management, all this can be achieved and any negative publicity about your company can also be tackled strategically.
What are the factors that make up a company’s reputation?
There are several ways of gauging a company’s reputation. Some common factors contribute to corporate reputation for most businesses. These factors include –
- Quality of products and services
- Attitude of employees
- Ethics and values
- Financial performance
- Workplace culture
- Corporate social responsibility
When a customer or prospect researches a company, they may be measuring its reliability based on all these factors and more. Not just the perception of customers but other stakeholders such as investors, partners, people in the community, media, employees, etc. also matter when you consider your corporate reputation.
With good corporate reputation management, you try to appease all the stakeholders.
What are the steps involved in effective corporate reputation management?
Here are a few key steps that you must include in your online reputation management strategies.
1. Decide your brand image
You first need to be sure of what you stand for. If you have to manage your online reputation, you must know what values and ethics you wish to reflect. You also need to know what are the things that you prioritize in your company. This could be product quality, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, social responsibility, financial growth, or something else. Whatever you prioritize is what you will focus on in your reputation management efforts as well.
2. Be consistent in your message across all channels
When you are trying to build a corporate reputation, you cannot afford to be ambiguous or fickle. You have to ensure that the message you are conveying to your stakeholders is uniform and consistent on all platforms. Reflect the same values and priorities in all your content online. It is also important to convey to all employees what message the organization is trying to send forth. This will help them maintain the same consistency and govern their behavior in all their interactions with stakeholders.
3. Welcome negative feedback and use them to build credibility
No business can escape criticism. No matter how big a corporation you are, there will always be a few disgruntled customers with some negative experiences. Reputation management does not require you to brush those negative comments under the feedback but to accept them and offer a solution. Wherever you come across a negative review or feedback, respond to it. Offer to resolve the customer’s issue and ensure that they will not be disappointed again.
A company that owns all the criticism it gets and improves upon it is always more trustworthy.
4. Be quick in resolving issues
A reason customers are forced to leave negative comments on public forums is that many businesses fail to resolve their issues quickly. If a customer has come to your business with a complaint, try to get it resolved before the issue gets online. Follow up with the customer to assure them that you are working on it. In other words, don’t leave them with no other option but to complain publicly.
5. Adapt and evolve with the market
Since innovation is one of the factors that affect your corporate reputation, your company needs to be aware of changes. The market and consumer preferences keep changing quite rapidly. If you choose to overlook the latest trends in the industry and continue what you have always been doing, you will soon be irrelevant in the eyes of consumers.
Your stakeholders need to see that you are evolving and growing with changing demands. Be it in the form of new products or new digital marketing campaigns incorporating ongoing trends. Staying on top of industry trends assure that you don’t lose your place or your reputation in the market.
6. Manage all your reputation risks
Your reputation risks are all the factors that threaten your corporate reputation. It could be legal issues like data breaches, non-compliance to regulations, fraud, etc. It could be related to product quality such as safety issues, product recalls, etc. Issues related to ethics like racial discrimination, harassment cases, social or environmental negligence, etc could also be reputation risks.
It is important to identify all these direct and indirect risks to your corporate reputation and ensure that controls are in place to mitigate them. There should also be a plan to tackle such risks in case a crisis does occur.
With this information, you should now be better able to assess your current corporate reputation management efforts. Reputation management for a business is a full-time responsibility where you need someone to be monitoring your online presence and activities of stakeholders round the clock. In this case, consulting good online reputation management services in Miami can be a big help to you.
Agencies that offer services in online reputation management in Miami can guide you on how you can improve your brand image among stakeholders. They can help with strategies to build, maintain and protect your corporate reputation in an ever-changing environment.