Our online reputations are now more important than ever. This is especially true if you are an entrepreneur or run an online business. Your reputation is a reflection of your credibility and trustworthiness. If customers don’t think you are a credible and honest business then they most likely will skip over your service or product and head elsewhere.
That being said, it is highly likely that at some point you will encounter an attack on your reputation. The attack may come from a disgruntled customer, or someone who is just looking to trash your business for whatever reason. Either way, their attacks and negative feedback can hurt your reputation and you may need to learn these crisis communication tactics.
Here is what you should not do, when your reputation is under attack. Although it is highly tempting and almost reflexive, you should avoid responding in kind. Don’t get into the dirt with the person who is badmouthing your business or service. Instead try to address the issue as calmly and professionally as possible. This will send a signal to other customers that you are polite, courteous and want to address the needs of your customers. Attacking back will most often backfire and make you look unprofessional.
In a time of crisis with your reputation you should also reassure your existing customers that your products or services will be unaffected. This will reaffirm your commitment to existing clients and make them more likely to stay with you as you ride a crisis. When under attack, you may feel tempted to vent and lash out. A positive way of dealing with frustration and even anger at reputation attacks is by talking with a trusted friend, family member or colleague. This will allow you to vent in a positive way that will not damage your own standing or further inflame a situation. Feedback from your venting may also be constructive as well.
Sometimes, people will spread false rumors or lies about yourself or company. The attack may be from a competitor or someone who simply dislikes you. Whatever the motives, the info could be hard to remove and damaging. A reputation management firm can help you deal with this. Professional reputation management firms like Reputation Management Fixers can help restore your reputation if it has been damaged. They may cost you money, but it is often well worth it to restore your reputation.