Being Up-Front and Forthcoming: A Smart Approach In Maintaining Reputation - Page 2
But again, the key is communication. When a company chooses to be proactive in communicating when potential issues arise, it typically provides credibility in the eyes of the consumer. No one likes to feel mislead or be in a situation where they have no information as to why an issue or problem has arisen, regardless of the product or service. At the end of the day, they want to know as soon as possible what the issue is, or that someone is on top of finding out.
Another reminder in light of the Sony incident is the idea that news can spread like wildfire on the Internet, so one negative comment can go from a small flame to a wildfire in a matter of hours or days. And from an online perspective, this can be damaging to search engine rankings in addition to turning people away who read even one negative comment. In fact, a recent survey by BrightLocal verified that 50% of US consumers are more likely to use a local business having read positive reviews online, and 67% of respondents trusted online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Our point here is not to be for or against Sony and their choices, but that it’s an incident that reminds us, especially small local businesses who don’t have the larger resources (so losing even one customer can have a big impact) of the value of maintaining a good business reputation with transparency and disclosure when communicating with our clients and consumers on a regular basis. And in the event that an issue does arise, respond immediately to keep the customers informed.