If you’ve ever worked in customer service, you’ll know that sometimes people aren’t just mad about your product or service: they’re just angry and want someone to listen to them, and you happen to be the person on the other end of the phone.

Being able to comment online has changed this a little: now people can air the complaints – and any response from you – in public, and they also can potentially influence how other people see you by sharing their thoughts on “review” sites like Yelp or Glassdoor. All good, bad and neutral reviews are factored into how people see you.

This means that you and the rest of your team need to not only focus on responding to every complaint by trying to keep tabs on your overall reputation management.

Doing so effectively can help with keeping several strategies in mind:

  • Think about complaints different. If you look at complaints as “opportunities to learn what you’re doing wrong and figure out how to do things better” rather than “more unhappy people venting” it can go a long way toward making you feel better and improve your business.
  • Look for ways to create advocates. Reputation management starts at saying “we’re sorry.” This is where some people stop and is good enough. But if you can wow a formerly unhappy customer by how you resolve their concern, they could become a great champion.
  • Encourage positive comments. You can’t and shouldn’t tell people to write only good things, but it never hurts to invite past satisfied customers to tell the world about their experience. This also helps balance out any negative comments you may have received since many review sites create a total score based on all comments.
  • Think long-term. If you haven’t received many online comments, the negative ones are going to be painful. But customer service advocates encourage people interested in reputation management to try to put them all in perspective as part of modern business. Over time, if you’re doing things right, the positive will outweigh the negative.

For more business strategies visit Drive Digital Demand.