RECONSIDER YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE APPROACH
Make sure that your customer service is amazing. Some of the most common lawsuits and PR problems come because of a bad interaction between a customer and an employee. If the employee was in the wrong, make sure their employment is terminated or that they are put on suspension.
Train your employees regularly. Have meetings where customers can ask questions about different situations. Avoid bashing customers—keep the meetings as positive as possible. If your employees view their work as an optimistic thing, people will have a hard time taking the bad press seriously, and your employees will be more effective.
FIX NEGATIVE REVIEWS
Another way your company can remedy its dipping reputation is by addressing negative reviews. People want to know they are going to have a good experience when they step through your doors. Customers also like to feel heard—especially when your company did something wrong.
You must turn this around. Only 9 percent of customers will consider going with a business with a one or two-star review. Start by addressing the most valid criticisms directly with the reviews. Tell them what you will do to improve, and ask that they give you a chance once again.
GET AHEAD OF BAD PRESS
Another tactic that can be helpful in the modern age is to get ahead of the bad press. If you know something was done improperly, have your PR team post a statement condemning the action. However, this isn’t always the case. You should also acknowledge when your business didn’t do anything wrong and declare how you will move forward.
When a claim or rumor doesn’t hold water, sometimes the smartest thing you can do is lean into it. For example, Subway was accused one time of not using real tuna in their sandwich. Rather than cower and admit defeat, Subway launched a campaign asking customers to try a free tuna sandwich—allowing people to try it for themselves.
No matter what dip in reputation you are going through, there is a way out. Humbly concede when you have done something wrong, work to improve and embrace what you stand by. These are the tenets of great PR.
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