Better-than-expected UK retail sales figures helped to lift the pound away from its multi-month lows yesterday, with consumer spending holding up in spite of Brexit-based uncertainty.
Having a positive online presence is particularly important during the consideration stage of the buying journey as many consumers will spend time researching all the different options available to them.
Consumers will typically check online review sites, read any relevant company PR and explore your social media profiles.
If you want to attract new customers to your brand and keep hold of the ones that you already have, you need to be vigilant when it comes to protecting your brand reputation.
Here are a few ways to manage your brand reputation effectively…
Swiftly respond to any criticism
An essential part of managing your brand reputation is to quickly and effectively respond to criticism and complaints from customers.
Negative reviews and feedback can affect your brand’s reputation considerably, but a well-crafted and timely response can minimize the damage.
If the criticism is due to a fault on your end, the best thing to do is own up, accept responsibility and try to provide your customer with a solution.
Even if the issue was not of your making, it’s important to post a measured and well thought out response rather than attacking the customer.
Responding in a professional manner is essential, but you need to invest time in this – leaving a quick generic response can make the damage worse.
Take advantage of social media
Social media is a powerful tool and (if it’s appropriate for your business) it’s important that you take full advantage of the many platforms that are available.
Your first step should be to optimise your business profile and claim your brand name. By claiming your brand name you can prevent anyone from misrepresenting your brand and damaging your reputation online.
When using social media you should ensure that you have an active online presence. Keep your profiles up to date, share value-added updates and give your company a human, approachable face.
Responding to any comments/engagement will help build brand loyalty and improve the appeal of your company to any prospective customers.
If you look, you will be able to find plenty of stories of mishaps with brands damaging their reputation through controversial social media posts. Make sure you avoid posting anything that could damage your reputation!
Keep employee satisfaction high
You may have overlooked employee satisfaction when researching how to manage your brand reputation effectively. This is a huge mistake as a happy employee is much more likely to be a brand advocate.
When your employees are happy and satisfied in their jobs, they’re more likely to tell their friends and relatives how much they’re enjoying working for your company.
You will find that this word-of-mouth praise will spread and your brand reputation will grow.
Get customers to share their stories
Research has revealed that consumers will place more trust in your brand if they have been recommended to you by friends, colleagues and peers rather than finding your product through traditional advertising.
A good way to take advantage of this is to create customer testimonials and success stories. By developing these testimonials you’ll be able to share genuine positive experiences with potential customers.
Help and empower your customers with content marketing
Something else you may want to explore is positioning your company as an informative and problem-solving resource on the topics that your target audience is interested in.
Producing content such as a regularly updated company blog, white papers and industry research reports all raise awareness for your brand and give your customers a value-added experience.
Publishing guest blog posts from influencers in your sector is also a good way to get yourself noticed!
These are just a handful of ways you can effectively manage your brand reputation, but our best tip is to not underestimate its importance and to allocate adequate time and resources to maintaining your online presence.
Currencies Direct is one of Europe's leading non-bank providers of currency exchange and international payment services. Since we were formed in 1996, we've maintained our focus on providing innovative foreign exchange and international currency transfer services to corporations of all sizes, online sellers and private individuals. We have also expanded our services to provide dynamic and pioneering "business to business" solutions to help companies, tier 2/3 banks and other non-bank financial institutions to process their international payments. Our headquarters are in the City of London (United Kingdom) and we have operations in continental Europe, Africa, Asia, and the United States. Currencies Direct is jointly owned by private equity firms Palamon Capital Partners and Corsair Capital.