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Online Reputation Management (ORM) Guide

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Do you care about conversations about your brand in the online world? You better! Your customers will continue to talk about you and your competition. ORM is your opportunity to convert your customers in your brand ambassadors. We hope this Online Reputation Management guide help you think through and answer some of the key questions you may have related to building and nurturing your online reputation.

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Online Reputation Management (ORM) Guide

  1. 1. Online Reputation Management (ORM) Guide“Engage with Customers | Convert them to your Brand Ambassadors” Author: Pradeep Chopra (CEO, Digital Vidya) pradeep@digitalvidya.com | www.digitalvidya.com
  2. 2. ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT (ORM) Online Reputation Management (ORM) GuideYour customers and users will continue to talk about your brand andyour competition. To listen or not is your choice! How do you do that?Moreover, how about turning your customers into your brandambassadors? Interested? Check out the followign articles! 1. Beware of the Unhappy, Web Savvy Customer 2. How to Nurture Your Online ReputationAll of these articles in this guide were originally published at Wall StreetJournal India by Chief Mentor: Pradeep Chopra http://www.digitalvidya.com | info@digitalvidya.com
  3. 3. ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT (ORM) Beware of the Unhappy, Web Savvy Customer (Originally published at Wall Street Journal: Chief Mentor)I once had a problem with ICICI Bank. I visited the branch three times toget it solved but nothing happened, even after three months. I tweetedabout my case and the problem got solved in two days. The branchmanager even visited my home to resolve the issue.Here is the tweet that got their attention:“ICICI bank’s customer service sucks. 3 visits to the branch and theproblem is still there. Worst, they don’t even care about calling back.”In December of 2007, my Apple Macbook started giving me problems.Plastic was chipping off near the keyboard and the battery wouldsuddenly stop functioning. I gave it to an Apple service centre in Delhi.They promised to resolve the issues in three to four days but couldn’t,even after 15 days and despite my frequent follow-ups. They wouldn’teven take responsibility for the delay. Finally, I wrote a review onMouthShut.com and sent it to the head of Apple in India.Looking at the popularity of the review – today it has a view count ofmore than 58,000 – he offered me a new laptop. However, even with thenew machine the problems persisted. Finally Apple had to refund mymoney, even though I had been using the computer for two years.These two personal experiences teach us two things:1. The consumer really is king today – With the tools like Twitter,review sites and other social networking sites, an ordinary consumer has http://www.digitalvidya.com | info@digitalvidya.com
  4. 4. ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT (ORM)got many easy options to let hundreds or even thousands of others knowhis opinions and experiences.2. Brands can’t ignore their customers – More and more people aregoing to express their experiences about products and services with theother people in their lives. Brands need to monitor and leverage the newtools and technologies to continuously serve and satisfy their customers.They must start to listen and take responsibility.According to a report by SMC Capitals, there are over 3.1 crore activeIndian users on social networking sites. According to a report on retailingby FICCI’s B2B directory website, over 60% of India’s population isunder the age of 30, which means they are more likely to take theirthoughts and complaints on line.As these numbers are only expected to grow, keeping track of andcaring about what’s being said about a brand in the digital world isincreasingly important. Companies can spend millions of dollars topromote their brands, yet a single negative post can damage theirreputations.Earlier companies only had to worry about bad publicity in conventionalmedia such as print. Today, the power of media also lies in the hands ofregular people. The shift from conventional media to socialmedia makes every individual a potential journalist.The key to transforming customers’ experience in this open world is‘listening’. With tools such as Google Alerts and Twitter Search a brandcan continuously monitor conversations about it. If you really want toleverage the opportunity of social media to transform your customer’sexperience, start to listen before it’s too late. http://www.digitalvidya.com | info@digitalvidya.com
  5. 5. ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT (ORM) How to Nurture Your Online Reputation? (Originally published at Wall Street Journal: Chief Mentor)Continuing on my previous article ‘Beware of the Unhappy, Web SavvyCustomer’, in which I talked about the importance of managing youronline reputation, I would like to leave you with few ways to manage andnurture your reputation in the digital world.I would like to start by again directing your attention to ‘listening’, whichis the most important part of online reputation management, or ORM.Without listening you can’t begin your journey to build your reputationonline.Fortunately, there are numerous tools such as GoogleAlerts and Twitter Search, which simplify the job of monitoring theconversations about a brand. For examples at Digital Vidya, we trackconversations related to us by searching for keywords such as digitalvidya, digitalvidya, social media workshop, and Pradeep Chopra usingthese tools.First setup the structure to monitor conversations about your brand, yourcompetition, key executives and employees. Then your job is to taketimely and appropriate actions according to what you find.Here is a list of the key tactics to build and nurture a company’sreputation.1. Don’t be Defensive. http://www.digitalvidya.com | info@digitalvidya.com
  6. 6. ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT (ORM)Defending a mistake when someone genuinely expresses his or herdissatisfaction is the worst thing to do. A dissatisfied customer reallywants the experience of ‘being heard’ more than anything else. Myexperience is that the moment we acknowledge our mistake andpromise to take action, the person who has expressed that concern getsquiet. If you can’t do that then be prepared to encounter a never-endingwar of words. The smart thing to do is respond promptly and takeresponsibility.Nestlé was recently attacked by Greenpeace which posted a video clipsuggesting the key ingredient of Nestlé’s KitKat Bar (palm oil) is aleading cause for the destruction of rain forests and deaths oforangutans. Nestle tried to curb this video but instead it got a growingnumber of people who raised their voices against it.2. Be Easy to Reach:If you have a clearly communicated and easily approachable channel foryour customers to reach you, the chances of them contacting you firstfor the resolution of their problem is higher. Direct 2 Dell , an onlinecommunity by Dell to have direct exchange with its customers is aclassic example. In the India, ICICI Bank is doing a good job of creatinga similar channel through its ICICI Bank Care account on Twitter.3. Be Involved in Social Media:Given that more and more people are going to express their opinions onsocial media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, it is important thata brand is actively engaging with its customers on these channels. It willhelp the brand in fulfilling various objectives like, listening, resolving aproblem and leveraging search engine optimization, or SEO.4. Use Satisfied Customers as Brand Ambassadors:Your satisfied customers are the best people to help you build a strongreputation online. Although you should always be on your toes to dealwith negative conversations about your brand, you also have toencourage satisfied customers to spread their positive opinions. Thiswould include highlighting live testimonials on various social media. http://www.digitalvidya.com | info@digitalvidya.com
  7. 7. ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT (ORM)5. Leverage Search Engine Optimization:SEO is the process of getting your website or other online channelsranked high on search engines when people search for relevant termsrelated to your organization. A brand can leverage SEO to get betterresults about it ranked high on search engines. However, please notethat SEO can help only when you employ the other tactics successfully.My friend Arjun Anand, the founder of Verist Labs, captured theessence of SEO in ORM through his recent post on Facebook:“The difference between SEO guys doing ORM as opposed to ORMguys doing it is that SEO guys try to hide negative commentswhereas ORM guys resolve them.”For a brand to do a good job in successfully executing these tactics, itneeds to assign these responsibilities to their communication and PRteams. It also needs a simple but documented process which includesprinciples and policies on how to communicate with people.I hope you now understand the importance of listening about your brandand taking care of the conversations so as to continuously transform theexperience of your customers. Feel free to share your experiences, postyour questions and opinions, as comment and I will be glad to hear andrespond to them. http://www.digitalvidya.com | info@digitalvidya.com
  8. 8. ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT (ORM)Please keep in mind that your customers will continue to talk about youand your competition, the choice of listening to them is yours. How to Turn Customers into Brand Ambassadors (Originally published at Wall Street Journal: Chief Mentor)After I talked about the future of “search” in my previous article, lets nowlook at what a brand should do to win in the new “search” paradigm. http://www.digitalvidya.com | info@digitalvidya.com
  9. 9. ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT (ORM) It starts with listening, a simple act in the digital world the importance of which is yet to be fully understood or appreciated. Listening to conversations about your brand or product or service offers multiple opportunities. If people are speaking well of you, you’ve an opportunity to convert them to your brand ambassadors. If they are speaking ill of you, thank them for helping identify an opportunity for you to grow and to resolve an issue in a way that turns around their perceptions and experience. Don’t listen and you end up missing out on both opportunities above and you should be prepared to face a potential backlash from dissatisfied customers. For example, Vishal Rao, a frustrated customer of MakeMyTrip ended up creating a new site RuinedMyTrip.com to share his horrifying experience and it is prominent on searches for the company. For more on this, check out this Mint story. Tools such as Google Alerts and TweetDeck do a great job of helping a brand listen to conversations about it. Once a brand has laid the foundation to continuously listen, it can embrace some or all of the opportunities of “social search,” some of which are below: –Be present on relevant Social Media: Given that search results increasingly throw out more social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, SlideShare, and others, being present on these channels opens up new opportunities to be found by customers on search engines. Take a minute to search for your name on Google and observe the results. This article ‘Google will force all B2B companies to Tweet’ will help you further understand the importance of Twitter. –Turn your satisfied customers into brand ambassadors: Given that potential customers want to know about your product or service through the people who’ve already used it, the opportunity of leveraging your existing customers to bring in more customers is unmatched. But how? There are numerous ways to do it. -Recently, LinkedIn launched a new feature called its “Company Page,” where any company can list its products or services. There is http://www.digitalvidya.com | info@digitalvidya.com
  10. 10. ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT (ORM) no reason you should not request your satisfied customers to share their feedback about you. At Digital Vidya, we’ve been continuously making the most ofour LinkedIn Company Page to build credibility and generate more business. Similarly, you can request recommendations be placed on your LinkedIn profile. Today, Twitter is one of the favorite platforms for consumers to share their opinions. The question is whether you can encourage and inspire your satisfied customers to share their views about you. You can then use the stream of positive tweets about your brand as testimony to attract new customers. For examples, 24hoursloot.com has integrated a Twitter stream into their website in the form of “true testimonials from real people” to boost conversion rates for every campaign, which drives traffic to their Web site. Believe me, it’s also worth spending time in identifying and requesting some of your customers to blog about you. Let me share two examples from our social media workshops: Social Media Workshops in India: The one I endorse and Social Media and the ‘GURUs’ In addition to blogging, it doesn’t cost you anything to request your satisfied customers write about their experience about your brand on popular review sites such as MouthShut.com. Here is an example of another business for which we requested experts to review our products at JavaRanch, one of the most popular Java discussion forums. Likewise, depending upon your industry, you will have enough avenues to realize the opportunity of word of mouth. Please remember, if you are listening, you may discover a number of satisfied customers, who otherwise gets missed. While it’s important to acknowledge and encourage your delighted customers, it’s even more critical to take care of your dissatisfied customers. In the world of social media, nothing works better than making a public apology and taking responsibility of your mistakes. By resolving the concerns of your customers in public, you are likely to strengthen your relationship with your satisfied customers in addition to turning your frustrated customers into brand ambassadors. http://www.digitalvidya.com | info@digitalvidya.com
  11. 11. ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT (ORM) CafeCoffeeDay has an interesting case in which they smartly recovered from a short-lived crisis by appropriately responding to their customers in a timely way. By publicly dealing with the situation, as MakeMyTrip is also doing, you show that you are doing your best to improve customer satisfaction. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have on the tools and case studies discussed. Moreover, I invite you to share relevant personal experiences in the Comments. Pradeep Chopra is chief executive of Digital Vidya, a leading Indian digital marketing training company. He also runs a digital marketing community on Facebook. He’s reachable onLinkedIn and on Twitter @pradeepchopra. You can read his full mentor bio here. http://www.digitalvidya.com | info@digitalvidya.com