Building Brand Reputation In The Digital Age

By Tiara Ogabang

On the web, it's easy to forget about the "essentials" of advertising. I'm talking about the boring, mundane aspects of business, such as opening an account, dealing with a client, or what to do if someone complains.

It's important to understand what to do when a customer complains about a product or a service. To begin, it is imperative to be responsive to these complaints quickly and efficiently.

Additionally, it's important to make a great first impression, so the customer comes back to you.

Customer relationship management (CRM)

Customer relationship management (CRM) is the key to any good business. It's essential to understand what customers want and respond accordingly.

A good CRM tool will give you an overview of your customers and how they use your products or services. For instance, you might be able to tell that an individual frequents your store because they bought a gift on Black Friday a few years ago.

You also can put together a customer demographic that gives you an idea about what your customers typically like to buy. This might be a particular item, a new store near you, or what kinds of movies people like to watch.

Answers to your market research questions

Every business requires market research to gain an advantage over its competition. The first question you should always ask when doing market research is who you are competing with.

If you are looking to build a retail store, you need to know where your competition is located. Where will they be found? When will they be open?

If your business is operating online, you need to know what type of technology most of your customers use and how they prefer to conduct business.

Once you know your market, you can formulate a marketing plan. For instance, you might want to create a package designed for the customers who frequent your store.

Instead of trying to fit the ones that will never be in the store, you should focus your marketing efforts on those who shop there frequently.

The new Internet-era marketplace is dynamic and constantly evolving. The only way to stand out and prosper is to stay up to date and adjust your strategy.

Keeping an eye on your customers and their preferences allows you to tailor your marketing plan. The internet is now the most important marketing tool in your toolbox.

What does building brand reputation mean in the age of social media?

Well, according to these three points of view, it might mean this:

  1. Deliver real value to your customers.
  2. Create an experience that consumers look forward to, not dread.
  3. Respond to customer concerns as quickly and as effectively as possible.

You might have noticed that each of these points of view is a bit contradictory. For example, create an experience that consumers look forward to but dread.

Or respond to customer concerns as quickly as possible but don’t have customer service plans in place to respond to consumer concerns promptly. It is perhaps easy to see how this type of thinking could lead a company to develop poor customer service, disengaged employees, and a subpar product/service.

But is it possible to do this and still have a good brand reputation?

Develop your customers’ goals to serve them

Let’s say you’re a brick-and-mortar store and you want to improve your brand reputation. If you develop your customers’ goals to serve them, you’ll start to understand what they’re looking for when they enter your store and what they’re looking for when they leave your store.

You’ll also have a better understanding of what your customers think of your brand. So, in other words, you’ll know the problem areas in your customer service and your product/service.

Maybe you can’t solve their problem, but at least you’ll know what the problem areas are. Unfortunately, there are countless examples of brands that have done this wrong.

In fact, when you scan the media landscape, you’ll see an entire industry of brands that are bending over backward to please a small subset of customers that don’t actually care about what the company is or is not doing for them.

The CMO’s Guide To Building A Strong Brand Reputation in the Age of Social Media puts it this way: “Brand reputation has two essential components: What customers say about you, and what you do for customers. Because customers and their perceptions are more significant than a brand’s physical assets, a brand’s reputation must be built upon every touchpoint of the customer experience, including the company’s website, social media channels, and company-provided customer service representatives.”

A good way to start developing your customers’ goals is by conducting a 360-degree view of your customers. Don’t just check in with your top 5 or 10 customers to find out what they’re saying.

Instead, do an all-out survey that encompasses your entire customer base. In other words, reach out to a customer satisfaction survey firm or a market research firm and ask for feedback from a wide spectrum of customers.

The result will be a more accurate view of your customer base, and you’ll be better equipped to start developing your customer’s goals.

Hire people with the right skills to best meet your customers’ needs

It’s one thing to build a brand reputation; it’s another thing to ensure that your brand remains as positive and trusted as possible. What do you do when you get an email from a customer saying, “Hey, we’re not happy with our cable service”?

Or maybe a dissatisfied customer calls or stops by the store and says, “We’re not happy with our Internet service provider.” How do you respond to these questions?

You might do a quick Q&A with your customer, but your response needs to be more than a canned response if you want to create positive brand loyalty. An all-out and honest outreach program is a great way to go about maintaining a positive brand image.

What are some other ways to help ensure that your customers remain satisfied with your brand? To that end, you should also consider adding an employee discount. Being part of the company that is your customers’ preferred choice can be a great way to create brand loyalty and trust.

And since we’re talking about a potential reduction in your customer’s monthly bill here, giving your customers a small discount for that bundle of services might be a great way to start creating a good rapport with them–for example, $5 off each additional month of service, or $10 off their first month’s bill.