This last week Starbucks had a terrible incident of racism on the part of an employee and customers. Starbucks quickly went into crisis management mode, closed their stores for an afternoon of training across the country, and apologized to the men involved.
The internet quickly went wild and soon there were reviews coming in about the store. Lots of them and they were not good. Yelp tried to figure out how to handle the response because online harassment of businesses is not their goal. Here’s the full article on Fast Company: HERE
What could your business tolerate? How do you protect your reputation?
As a business owner, you probably already know what your online reputation is. It’s common sense, isn’t it? It’s the impression your company gives, and what people think of you, when they do business with you. People on the Web check your reputation to determine IF they want to do business with you.
Your reputation is key to your business. Imagine, dealing with an incident and an online backlash. A nightmare for a business.
Let’s be clear, yes, Starbucks employees created an incident. Police mishandled it.
Do you really know what your online reputation is? Do you know what customers are saying about you and your product or your service? Do you know how to fix it if there is bad publicity out there about you or your company? And, maybe most importantly, do you know how to protect your online reputation from being tarnished?
There are now thousands, even millions, of ways for complete strangers to communicate and talk to each other online. Without your knowledge, these people could be posting negative comments about your company, writing negative reviews about your product or service, talk up your competition, or possibly even create a hate site regarding you and your company. How does this affect you?
The first and most obvious way is that other customers could see this and be turned away from your product or company based on just one thing they see online. But there’s even more to worry about than the customer. What if business partners saw a review posted on your alleged bad business practices? You could lose investors, and maybe even future income should that partner be so put off by what they saw that they pull out of your company. What if prospective employees researched your company and decided not to apply because they read a negative blog post posted by a former, angry employee? You could lose a great asset for your company simply due to a disgruntled employee.
Yes, your company’s online reputation affects it, and everything it does. And once you really stop and think about it managing, protecting, and building your business’ online reputation can be a pretty messy matter. But it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of resources out there that are available to help you and your company, and this report is one of them. Taken step by step, and little by little, your business’ online reputation can be managed, protected, and built into what you need it to be.
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