Recently someone “tweeted” about bed bugs in a large establishment in a big city. That establishment was taking part in one of the biggest events in the city – a Film Festival due to start this week. Many people would have seen that tweet and we know that bad news spreads “faster than the speed of light” on the internet, especially in Social Media.

Imagine the possible loss of business this establishment would have experienced if they had not seen that “tweet” or worse, if they had just ignored it. Instead, as a result of one tweet, they immediately contacted a pest control company and had the whole facility investigated for the pests. Guess what? They got a clean bill of health. But they didn’t stop there. They made sure the media in that city heard about the tweet AND  the actions they took to resolve the complaint. It became quite the hot news item on the radio and television for a few days. So they turned a negative into a positive and illustrated their concern and their desire to rectify the problem.

This is a prime example of “Reputation Management” and how to handle issues with customers. If you do not make a point of monitoring what your customers are saying about you – if you ignore customer service issues or worse still, do not make the effort to resolve those issues – you most likely will suffer some loss – the reputation of your business, customers, revenue and/or future growth.

Today’s consumers are very sensitive to customer service and in a challenged economy that we are still experiencing, it is hard enough to acquire new business:.don’t make the mistake of ignoring your past and present customers because referrals are the best way to gain new business.

Another example would be a manufacturer of locks for bicycles. They were the “crème de la crème” in the industry.   Then someone had an issue with how easy it was to actually break those high quality locks:..and the dissatisfied customer made a video and posted it on You Tube. Word spread fast and sales dropped. But the manufacturer was not monitoring their reputation on the internet. They didn’t know why their sales were dropping until they finally became aware of  the video.   By that time it was too late. Now, they would have to try to recover from this incident and earn back their reputation but probably will never rise to the status they experienced before when their products were highly regarded and trusted.

Do you know what your customers are saying about you?

Don’t make the mistake of ignoring the power of the internet and social media.  It can make or break your business in a flash!

Do you know that an experienced Virtual Assistant can handle that task for you? There are systems they can set up that will monitor what your customers are saying about you, they can alert you to problems so you can address them quickly OR notify you of rave reviews where you might want to offer  a special discount in appreciation of their testimonial.

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