The success of your event all comes down to whether your clients and customers actually want to attend it, and that could be based on their perception of you and your brand.
Reputation management is crucial when it comes to understanding how to manage the public’s perception of your brand. Here, Dan Rose, a director of British-based Event Insurance Services, shares insights from his company’s recent “Guide to Growing Your Reputation,” which is designed to help organization owners and event planners come to grips with managing their reputation.
Special Events: What is reputation management?
Dan Rose: Reputation management is the process of shaping public perception of your business. Improving your reputation in the public eye can be achieved through a variety of methods, whether that be responding to your online negative reviews or partaking in charity events. Reputation management is the process that proves to your customers and clients that you are taking responsibility to improve the way your organisation operates.
Q: Is it illegal for customers to speak negatively about your brand or organization?
A: No, it is not illegal for your customers to speak negatively about your brand online; as just like you, they have the freedom of speech to complain if they feel the need to. However, as a business owner, it is important that you understand when a customer may have gone too far and broken the law when expressing their opinion. Your customers must not use insulting, threatening or abusive language or behavior that may cause harassment, alarm, distress or cause a breach of peace.
If you feel that your organization is being wrongfully spoken about and that is having a detrimental effect on your brand, you should contact a reputation management lawyer specializing in defamation, confidentiality and privacy laws.
Q: How can you manage your reputation at your event?
A: When you’re in the public eye, having a reputation management strategy is most important. Your event is the perfect way to build up good relationships with customers and clients by showing off your brands vision and values.
These are just a few things you could do to improve your reputation at your event:
· Promote a charity that is relevant to your brand.
· Ensure your branded materials are consistent and look professional.
· Encourage your attendees to leave feedback about your event.
· Do everything you can to ensure others achieve their goals at your event.
· Film the event so you can share snippets online.
Q: What can you do to resolve a dispute with a customer?
A: Sometimes, for reasons outside of your control, a customer may become angry and start a dispute with you and your organization. Resolving the dispute as soon as possible is the best way to approach it. Create a dispute resolution policy which outlines the process so you and your staff know exactly what to do should a customer become disgruntled. You must take the customer seriously and use the correct tone and language when speaking to them so that you can communicate clearly that you would like to get to the bottom of the issue. Offering to compensate a dissatisfied customer is a great way of resolving a dispute and shows them you are committed to mending the relationship.
Q: What are the steps towards good reputation management?
A: Make reputation management your priority by following these key simple steps:
Train your staff: Your staff should know exactly what is expected of them in terms of professionalism, customer service and their behavior both offline and online. Ensure you offer thorough customer service training to your staff, include a strict social media policy in all staff contracts, and restrict access to harmful websites on work computers.
Mange online reviews: Managing online reviews is probably one of the most misunderstood aspects of reputation management. You may think that having hundreds of positive reviews will win over any potential customer, but by having just four negative reviews, you could lose up to 70 percent of those customers.
Keep an eye on your social media: It has never been easier for customers to post their negative feelings towards you online, whether that be on their own profiles or your business’s. Use Google Alerts or Mention.com to monitor mentions of your business so you can keep an eye on what people are saying about you. Make sure you respond to all of your reviews--good and bad--so that you are showing proactivity and that you care about your customers’ opinions.
Covering all the bases is the only way you can seriously tackle reputation management, and once you’ve sussed it out, your brand will benefit as a result. Planning your reputation strategy is all about taking the steps to prevent negative press and online reviews, rather than hiding them. Reputation management is all about being proactive in preventing and resolving any issues which could have a detrimental effect on your brand.
Dan Rose is a director of British-based Event Insurance Services, which specializes in insuring events. Rose and his team pride themselves on providing affordable, reliable insurance, tailored to fit the scale and style of the occasion--from conferences and weddings to high-profile festivals and events.