Whatever else a business seeks to achieve through the delivery of their products or services, they must meet with success in order to remain in existence. Needless to say, their ability to create and maintain a good reputation is critical to their success and stability as it is the way by which new customers or clients will learn of them. A good reputation is established through a business’ ability to deliver high-quality products, services and customer service. It can also be established through their willingness and ability to immediately and professionally address and resolve critical reviews.
Today, customers and clients can immediately post reviews and comments to a business’ website, social media accounts and more. Unfortunately, if these reviews and comments are less than favorable, they can very rapidly destroy a business’ reputation. It’s here that most individuals think that reputation management comes in handy–at times of crisis. What then can be done to build and protect a reputation that isn’t in crisis?
Reputation Marketing vs Reputation Management
Whether or not it was initially intended this way, the fact is that the concept of reputation management today is commonly equated with “business crisis management”. While it may be true that businesses certainly need to be able to deal with and resolve reputation crises, this is not actually what the focus of a reputation managing team should be. Instead, they should be focused on marketing a business’ reputation and turning all mentions, comments, recommendations and reviews to the business’ advantage. Herein lies the basic difference between reputation marketing and reputation management.
Reputation marketing recognizes that a business’ reputation depends entirely upon what others say, or fail to say, about them. These customer comments have the potential to benefit someone enormously: either the business that receives them, or their competitor. A business that is focused on reputation marketing recognizes that it is to their great benefit to know what their customers are saying about them, get more customers to speak out about them, promote positive feedback as broadly as possible, and handle negative feedback as rapidly and professionally as possible.
Where reputation management can be likened to trying to patch holes as they appear, reputation marketing can be likened to constantly strengthening your ship so that holes either never appear, or are so small when they appear as to be essentially harmless and certainly simple to handle.