There are a number of business consultants that offer services labeled “reputation management.” Rust Reviews, LLC, is a reputation leadership consultancy, so what’s the difference?
First, we recognize that in the age of Web 2.0 and social media, there is no such thing as controlling or managing your business reputation. There are too many independent voices and sources of reputation information on the Web to claim that they can be managed. The price of blog or of creating a review on Google is zero. The best reputation strategy for businesses is to develop programs for growing the numbers of loyal customers and shrinking the numbers of critical customers and then making it easy for those loyal customers to create evidence of your great reputation on the Web. You can develop positive Web Word of Mouth by making it easy for your loyal customers to leave public, online feedback and encouraging them to take the step.
Second, many reputation management consultants are focused only on expunging critical Web comments. They promise to unleash the power of teams of lawyers and armies of bloggers to DEFEND YOUR GOOD NAME! The problem with that approach is that these legal teams and blogger armies are very expensive and not likely to be effective. While the legal approach might silence a critic through the threat of litigation, the negative publicity associated with your attempts to crush a critical reviewer would likely do more harm to your brand than the critical comment ever did. Bloggers might leave lots of positive comments associated with your business, but new US Federal Trade Commission rules require that compensated bloggers disclose the fact of their compensation in their blogs. The blog posts produced by reputation management bloggers will look like advertising to potential customers and your customers will turn to your competitors.
Third, we strongly believe that the only way to thrive in the era of online reputations is to embrace the idea of building customer loyalty and benefiting from Web reviews and recommendations is a benefit of that loyalty. Loyal customers are a product of well-run, customer-focused businesses, and Rust Reviews can provide you with practical suggestions for improving your business operations and enhancing your customer focus. By operating a customer-centric business, your reputation is not merely managed — it will lead your business down the path of steady growth. Reputation leadership is about establishing and sustaining a leadership position for your business reputation.
If you’d like to learn more about our practical suggestions for your business situation, please contact Rust Reviews.