The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Dealing with a PR Disaster

As an entrepreneur, you never intend to displease your customers, but sometimes, bad publicity is predictable. If you behave responsibly, you can always overcome the risk of an unexpected brand image disaster.

In the age of information technology, bad publicity can reach millions of users before you can post a single defensive comment. It is important to successfully manage a PR crisis in order to protect your company reputation.

Here are some golden rules that successful entrepreneurs follow to deal with negative reviews and bad publicity.

Quick Response Strategy

Turn a negative review into something positive by creating a response strategy. If possible, reach out to a customer, discuss the issue and try to come up with an amicable solution. In fact, a negative review is a great opportunity to take on the customer feedback and improve your product quality.

Always Respond Kindly

The best way to tackle with bad press is to simply respond in a lean, kind way. This let negative reviewers know you actually care them and want to improve things.

Strictly Follow the Customer Service Policy

Be practical and strictly follow the customer service policy so everyone knows you value customer appreciation and attitude. If your client is not satisfied, ask him to let you know, respond and propose the best possible solution that perhaps include added benefits. If the client is still unsatisfied, simply refund the money, no more questions.

Address Negative Responses Smartly

It is important to look for the trends in the press for the improvement of your business. Whenever possible, address the bad press and try to rectify the issue. Accept your mistake, if made unintentionally. Businesses that portray an image of honesty and integrity usually get support by their consumers in return.

Increase Your Online Presence

One of the best ways to deal with bad publicity is to take practical approach with reputation management that is through search engines. Companies should create their online profiles on social media platforms, forums, directories, etc. and optimize such profiles for search engines to create a better online presence. These online profiles will take over the first page of search results and if user searches for your company in Google, he will only see these profile results. This way bad reviews will be pushed to the second or third pages that users rarely/occasionally click.

Accept Negative Feedback

Negative customer feedback usually shows engagement from your audience. If your customers didn’t care, they would simply not respond. Try to engage with the audience who have feedback for you. You might create a strong relationship you were not expecting.
Accept it, if you are wrong.

Be loyal, helpful and honest. If you have made any mistake, accept it and be straightforward to resolve the issue. If you resolve the customer’s complaint and make compensation, chances are good they will update their comment to reflect your efforts. Don’t get defensive. Respond in a positive, practical way and react personally. There are always ways to turn a bad feedback into a positive one. It’s about how you take it.

Remain Strong

Stay strong on social media and try to defend your organization. Though it is very hard, simply let it go, see if there is anything possible you can do to improve the situation. Don’t take it personally, people have short term memory, they usually forget news.

Surpass Negative Publicity

It is advised to proactively deal with your bad reviews with positive media attention. Restoring your brand image will take a lot of effort and is best dealt with professionals who have experience and know how to get your company reputation back on track.

Go beyond conflict resolution to more profound solution

Usually we try to fix the error by refunding the order or not bothering customer to waste his time in returning the product or paying for shipping chargers. But for high cost products, come up with a solution. It will show you actually care for your customers and they might forgive you.

Take it as an Opportunity

Negative customer reviews are a great chance for your business to show excellent customer service. Instead of being defensive, stay calm and let the reviewer know what you are going to address the matter. Though you may not be able to retain the dissatisfied customers, the way you deal with them, and your positive, cool attitude will surely affect your company’s worth for other potential clients. In fact, handling the negative feedback positively will only improve your position in the market.

Let detractors damage their own credibility

One of the best techniques is to let critics become increasingly angry with the refusal to fight, which in turn make them behave more absurdly, resulting in decreasing their accountability. People will not care if you are right, if you don’t behave in a respectable manner.

Sometimes Silence is Key

Analyze how much respect your haters deserve. If they are not respected, stay silent, even if their criticism is valid. Because if you respond to them, make sure whatever action you take must take your company towards better position and recovery.

Probably you need some improvements

If one customer complains about your services or products, they might be wrong. If a lot of people have issues, then obviously there is some fault in your customer service. If you want high ratings and excellent customer satisfaction, then don’t neglect the single negative comment. Negative feedback is inescapable and often the loudest. Don’t miss an opportunity to collect a valuable feedback.

Furthermore, if many people have complaints about your products, you should fix the issue. Customer service and feedback are the two most important areas, if the majority of people think your products need improvement, then you should listen to them. They are probably right.

Act Smartly, Behave Professionally

You can build better customer relationships by resolving their concerns. If you really want to turn a dissatisfied customers into a dedicated one, then give them the best possible solution to the problem. A negative review can spread through social media networks quickly.

Outperform to Create Amnesia

It is one the best ways to get away from this terrible PR disaster, i.e. perform extraordinarily. Treating your customers well and offer them great products are the best formula to handle this PR disaster. When disaster strikes, act smartly and behave professionally.

We all know the story of Apple, almost twenty years ago, the company was in a really bad condition. They had expelled Steve Jobs and were not producing quality products. But when Steve Jobs returned, the company started creating amazing products that were technically superior to all their competitors. Now no one cares about their early 90’s bad situation, as they are producing great products and have become one of the most profitable companies in the whole world.

Don’t Play the Blame Game

Sometimes companies play a blame game to diverting people’s attention from negative publicity. Using such methods that direct the blame away from you, onto someone else is really unethical. Don’t mistreat others, karma is always watching.

Hopefully this guide will help protect your damaged brand image and restore your company reputation when things went wrong.

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One Comment

  1. A few years later, now as I shape my plans as a new entrepreneur, I find myself playing the hurry up and wait game quite often. While I devise my yet-to-be- launched startup , I am frequently inundated with what seems to be an unending stream of projects and I hurry to tackle each one and stay on top of the workload.

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