Tag: communication

They Did WHAT? Ways to Protect and Improve Your Company’s Online Reputation

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Before the Internet, it took years of good customer service and advertising to create a successful business. Now, with the addition of social media like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, LinkedIn and Pinterest, getting a company noticed is easier than ever before.

But with great power comes great responsibility, and while word-of-mouth used to travel slowly, the social media that makes advertising easier can also spread negative reviews lightning-fast. An angry customer who might have shared a bad experience with a few friends can now condemn your company to hundreds of people at a time.

 

Below are 10 recommended ways to protect and improve your company’s online reputation.

 

1. Start on the Inside—

Employees behaving badly on the Internet can destroy a respectable company, making it important to establish a “no Internet sharing” policy with everyone hired.

Have all employees sign a legally-binding privacy agreement to refrain from discussing anything about your brand online while employed—and if they leave.

 

2. Assign Online Representatives—

It’s important to have an online presence to promote your company, but make certain nothing is posted that might insult customers.

Choose or hire specific employees to monitor and establish your online reputation, and never leave this task to a single person, because what one person may find harmless can offend another.

 

3. Positively Use Social Media—

When used correctly, social media can brand a business and improve an image. Facebook and Twitter giveaways can especially enhance your status.

Be sure to post winners of contests in a timely manner so people aren’t left wondering who won. Confirming winners shows integrity, and is a great way to earn customer trust and respect.

 

4. Good Words Earn Rewards—

Because word-of-mouth is powerful, some companies offer free or discounted products/services to loyal customers willing to give them a review.

Ask customers to e-mail links to comments or reviews they’ve posted about your business on Yelp, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter or blogs, and offer incentives for these brand-bolstering words.

 

5. Own It—

If a customer complaint is posted on your company’s Facebook page, for example, apologizing and promising to try harder next time can go a long way. People are surprisingly forgiving of minor offenses as long as remorse is shown.

Offering displeased customers a free product and asking for a second chance can also win back a person in the process of walking away.

 

6. Use It—

Having a sense of humor about a bad review will occasionally work to a company’s advantage by showing customers you can have a laugh at your own expense.

One example of this positive spin would be the New York restaurant owner who wrote on the chalkboard sign outside of his restaurant, “Come in and try the worst meatball sandwich that one guy on Yelp ever had in his life.”

Because people realize that taste is subjective, the sign intrigued them by creating curiosity about the sandwich, increasing sales.

 

7. Consider Professional Assistance—

There are companies who specialize in search engine image protection who can increase the positive results for your company and reduce the negative feedback.

If your company’s reputation has been damaged beyond what you are capable of repairing on your own, a professional online PR company can reduce potential losses.

 

8. Always Be Available—

Respond immediately to any negative comments on your company website or Facebook page, because people perceive failure to respond as a lack of concern, which will only make them more frustrated.

If you respond quickly and kindly, it will also improve your reputation and image in the eyes of everyone else reading the comments.

 

9. Communication and Contact Count—

Good communication is crucial to a good reputation. Contact information should be easily available on everything representing your business on the Internet, and customer e-mails should be answered promptly.

Also: Consider hiring a phone service to assist customers so they can always reach a representative. This shows people that you care about their business, no matter what their schedule.

 

10. Track the Talk—

You can’t fix a bad reputation if you don’t know that you have one. Setting up a Google alert can help you find out what’s being said about your business.

Technorati and BlogType can also alert you to blog comments about your brand, and Twitter mentions of your company can be tracked via search engines like Tweetdeck.

 

The online threat of rapidly-traveling negative press makes it important to protect the image of your brand, and avoid making mistakes that might lose your company valued clients and money. Use the image-improving tips above to keep your reputation golden and your customers coming back.

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Go Team, Go! Business Bonding Tips to Boost Employee Morale to the Max

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Unity in the workplace is an extremely important and often overlooked part of the profit-making puzzle. Unnecessary employee drama, the forming of social cliques, lack of communication and poor management can destroy employee morale, making what should be a professional work environment feel stressful and disorganized.

Fortunately, if management can create an atmosphere of positivity, open exchange of ideas and mutual appreciation, employees will become team members working together toward the same goal, increasing job satisfaction and productivity.

Below are some top bonding tips to help boost staff confidence and create unity in any workplace.

 

1. R-E-S-P-E-C-T—

No adult likes to be treated like a child or spoken to in a condescending manner, yet so many managers take this approach to leadership without realizing how devastating it can be to morale.

Remember that all employees are adults who were hired because they had something positive to offer the company, and deserve respect.

Asking your workers to complete tasks, rather than commanding them authoritarian-style will go a long way in building a positive relationship. Trusting people to get a job done without micromanaging every detail is another way to let them know you believe in their abilities.

 

2. Communication is Crucial—

Make time for meetings with multiple employees to keep everyone on the same page, allow for brainstorming and the airing of work-related grievances. Sometimes there’s a simple solution to a problem that can be solved with this kind of sharing.

Group gatherings also give people the chance to know each other better, allowing them to bond personally, as well as making sure team goals are in alignment.

This can also eliminate work cliques when people are forced to step outside their smaller social circles to see other employees as humans, rather than gossip fodder.

 

3. Little Things Go a Long Way—

Listening to employee input, staying open to new ideas and giving creative thinkers proper credit are little things that will raise team morale in a big way.

Keeping the break room stocked with healthy snacks, bottled water, coffee and other pick-me-ups will eliminate low blood sugar-related lulls in productivity while making workers feel valued.

Occasional “just because” gifts, such as company coffee mugs, water bottles, T-shirts or free meals are other thoughtful gestures that can make employees feel appreciated.

 

4. Take It Outside—

Plan social get-togethers outside of work, especially family-friendly gatherings, to allow co-workers to get to know each other better. Picnics are great for those with kids, as are work-sponsored sporting events, bowling alleys and restaurants.

Watching someone commonly thought of as a bit of a dud at work come to life in a social setting can give fellow employees a new appreciation for a person when they see them in a new light.

Also: Consider off-site team building events for workforce bonding, with meetings to discuss business matters during the day and catered meals. Company unification can be amplified by evening entertainment such as an open bar and music to allow co-workers to have fun together.

 

5. Coach Your Team—

As the boss, you are hoping to be the coach of a well-oiled, cohesive and driven team that will play tough to the end of every game to win for your company. That means you’ll have to motivate them to give you their best performance possible.

Money and opportunities for advancement are obviously great ways to inspire hard work. Never being rewarded for consistent effort and results will eventually demotivate anyone, leaving employees feeling discouraged and wondering why they should bother trying.

Meet personally with all workers to set clear objectives, and reward them accordingly when they reach these goals. This kind of positive reinforcement will make employees feel like successful players on a winning team, keeping them focused on achievements and progress.

 

Employees with friendly co-worker relationships and respectful management have been shown to perform better, because not having to worry about interpersonal issues decreases stress, allowing them to focus on accomplishments. Use the tips above to create a positive work environment to boost employee morale, productivity and profits.