Friday, August 9, 2013

What Businesses Expect

: Centel Media,,  Online Reputation Management, Online Reputation Repair, Remove Rip Off Reports
Now before you think I am sympathizing with big businesses and companies that make billions of dollars a year in profit I am not. What I am doing is simply explaining your rights as customers of these large corporations, yes the rights you have but were unaware of. It is a secret that you the customer control more of the store than you think you do, a majority of how a store is built inside and out is a result of trying to appease to you the customer.

Just like the customer has expectations of a business, a business has expectations of the customer just with a lot less freedom. Businesses expect customers to not only spend money (which is a given ) but above all they want loyalty. In no way is a business in any position to demand loyalty but it would be nice to have that solid foundation to call upon. I will say that there is a lot of loyalty on both sides of the fence and it is because of that loyalty that businesses have been around for over fifty years making positive profits.

Technology is a major driving force behind customer and business loyalty. Social Media has allowed businesses to in a way get a bit more personal with their customers which has created some relationships and destroyed some. But what social media has done is provide a 24/7 olive branch that is available year round. As customers the least we can do is give our feedback when a company asks, I myself am guilty of not taking any surveys or giving feedback.  

Our feedback is important because it is how a business plans its next move, contrary to what we believe a business needs us to survive and operate. If people stopped shopping at one store and went to another what do you think would happen to the store that lost customers? They would shut down they can't operate,there is no profit coming in. So if we do one thing let it be something that benefits us in the long run and feedback is what is going to benefit both us and the business.

 Often times we hear customers complain about certain businesses but it gets deeper than that and most of the time those same complaints are unjust and very damaging. Customers are not required to spend their money at one place we have the freedom to roam but we can't be upset about changes that we were informed of but ignored. If you love a brand do yourself a favor and stay informed and do the business a favor and give feedback.

The business customer relationship is a two way street though their may be more give and take on one end, both sides benefit from working with each other. 

What Customers Expect

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Expectations fluctuate depending on who they are placed upon. A business that has had a lot of hype and excitement built around it is going to have an enormous amount of expectation around it. Conversely a business with little to no fanfare will have little expectation. While expectations can motivate and excite it can also be very pressure intense if you can't handle it. It is important that as a business owner that you know your companies limits and that includes employees, know how far to push before you have to scale back.

As consumers we have standards and we hold certain brands and companies to a certain level of expectation. We expect a your business to provide a certain level of customers service and that your product be of the highest quality bar none. Customers place expectations on businesses based on how they promote and carry themselves. If you paint a picture of your company being a "luxury brand" we expect the service that a 'luxury brand" is required to provide.

It is all about perception and projection. You project your business to be viewed a certain way and if we "the customers" see it that way then that is the reputation you will have. With that being said only a handful of things stand above your businesses reputation, in fact your reputation is the hub of your business. It extends its roots and branches to areas such as profit,promotion,operations and all that your business entails. As you can clearly see your reputation both online and in your brick and mortar store is very important and if you don't take care of it your business will crumble from the inside out.

The customers expectations are somewhat based on your reputation, if your reputation is positive then the expectation level will be high, if it is negative then you have a lot of work ahead of you because you now have several factors against you now. Profit loss is starting to occur, fewer people are going in to your stores and visiting your website and this is just the tip of the iceberg. As a business owner it is important that you work to keep customers expectations of your company high. Those companies that have low expectations are barely operating, it should be taken as a challenge to keep your customers interested and loyal to you.

Yes the work is hard but the admiration of your company by your customers should be enough to keep you going.

Pictures Are Worth More Than 1000 Words

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My Grandmother totes a small digital camera to graduations, birthdays, Christmas parties, and weddings. She attempts to capture every gift being opened, every smile on every face before the moment passes. Unfortunately, this endless family scrapbook has not yet been uploaded to a digital platform.

If these photos were uploaded to a social networking site such as Instagram or Facebook, the entire extended family could spend hours, even days, pouring over images, recollecting our past. Of course, this desire for pictures goes beyond my own family. Capturing our existence in photographs is of global interest.

The evidence is outstanding; photo uploads to the social networking site Facebook total 300 million per day. Those 300 million photos are uploaded and downloaded from around the world.  This is just the statistic of one social networking site. There are countless other online sources for photographs. These sites show the significance of visually engaging users, and what it can do for business ventures as well.

Numbers like these explain how important the use of images is to your business and your online reputation. With the help of images, you can quickly communicate with your viewers. In the blink of an eye, in a fast glance, a Facebook user can gather a wealth of knowledge about any particular subject.

A picture can summarize an entire article, it has the ability to add credibility or evidence to a claim, or it provides an opportunity to illustrate and highlight the capabilities of a brand or product.  In can also inspire a viewer, or intrigue them to investigate further into an article or the post attached to the image or thumbnail.

In the representation of brand reputation it must be taken into consideration that there are 300 million other photos, 300 million other first impressions being made each day, by competing brands. It is not just a matter of using images, not as simple as being a part of that trend, you must be competitive. Keep in mind that a viewer will only see your image for a few moments. It is necessary to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of your photo, and determine if it will stand out from the other 300 million, if it is a picture worth remembering, if it’s a picture worth more than 1000 words.

Reputation Rehab

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“Reputation rehab” is an expression used in Hollywood to describe an attempt to control the public perception of a misbehaving celebrity by sending them to a rehabilitation center for the PR value alone. These attempts at rehabilitation are typically short lived, and provide little substance for the celebrity to make lasting and real changes in their life.

Like a car accident with rubberneckers slowing down to look, a celebrity’s downfall usually becomes a public event, with everyone feeling entitled to know what's going on. Today, social media deepens the impact of a ruined reputation, netting countless onlookers and attackers.

Instead of using rehab as a publicity stunt, you can legitimately put your brand reputation itself into rehab. There are measures you can take to prevent damage to your online reputation, but, if it’s too late for prevention, here are the twelve steps to rehabilitating your reputation.

1. Acknowledge. As with all programs, the first step is admitting you have a problem.

2. Move quickly to assess the situation and damage. You cannot properly respond to a reputation crisis if you do not understand the depth of the issue.

3. Act as if, eventually, all truth will be known. You may have gotten away with certain actions or poor behaviors in the past, but do not continue to assume you will get away with them again.

4. Control your emotions. When your personal emotions begin to swell, you must conquer them and think strategically.

5. Keep your focus directed toward social media. You may be tempted to withdraw from social networks, but keep yourself and your brand involved.

6. Determine the correct message and medium of response. If a Tweet was the cause of controversy or upset, use Twitter as your first avenue of response.

7. Never make a public denial. Accept responsibility and present an acknowledged apology.

8. Be original. Each crisis is different, never copy the responses of others.

9. Use the opportunity to reset the moral compass of your brand. This is a perfect opportunity to restructure old ways of thinking in how you communicate with the public.

10. Redirect focus. Present your accomplishments, past and present, to the public.  

11.  Establish lasting, game-changing solutions. Develop strategies, or hire brand management companies to assist in future crisis’ and implement procedures for daily interactions on social networking sites.

12. Move forward. Don’t dwell in the past, otherwise the public's attention and your reputation will remain in the past as well.

Avoiding the Rumor Mill

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It is tempting to gossip in both our personal and professional lives. Around the water cooler at the office, the mirror in the ladies room, e-mail or Facebook, gossip happens everywhere. We've all received and repeated information that may be harmful to someone else's reputation. At times it may seem innocent or without consequence, but gossip can be dangerous to your appearance.

It is common to be the victim of rumors and gossip, yet even with first-hand experience of the discouraging, damaging result, we continue the cycle by spreading dirt ourselves. This come from our failure to  take the consequences into consideration. If we talk slanderous to one person, they may repeat the information to another, leading to a wildfire of gossip that will injure not only the person of topic, but your professionalism as well.

Spreading gossip is unquestionably poor business practice, even if shared in a private setting. Obviously, there is nothing private about social networking sites and online media, so relaying gossip in these arenas  can be even more damaging. The best action is to avoid spreading rumors in the first place. Don't gossip, especially about competitors or other brands, and don't slander someone else's name.

With all the destructive, classless mud-slinging we see in the media, particularly in the realm of politics, it can be difficult to prevent ourselves from following in their footsteps. There are too many role models in society that set poor examples for those trying to establish business models. It was common to grow up being told that "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." But, as adults, and as business conscious individuals, sometimes finding the "nice" words to say fall outside what's best for our interests.

In other words, gossip may seem like a necessary path to follow. Revealing a negative truth about someone else could look like a way to build your own reputation. But, in reality, this doesn't reflect how good of a worker or employer you are, it only reflects how that other individual isn't. Before you head down the road of selling out someone else's shortcomings, keep in mind that if you get your facts wrong, you will be the one who is hurt.

Instead of drawing attention to your competitors downfalls, focus on drawing attention to your own positive qualities. In time, the consumers or superiors will see, on their own, the margin between you and the poor quality of your competitors. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Why It Might Be a Good Time to Change That Bad Press

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Celebrities, no matter if they're a film actor, reality television star, athlete or radio personality, are constantly in the public eye and subject to media conversation. Unfortunately, it seems the worse their behavior, the bigger the splash, and the longer the discussion continues. This has been true for decades, from the era of paper boys in flat caps to our present ability to instantly stream news on our mobile devices, more papers are sold when the news is negative.

 There is a saying that any publicity is good publicity. You may think this to be true if no one has ever heard of you or your brand, since your brand has no reputation to corrupt in the first place. The public cannot form an opinion of you, negative or positive, so fifteen minutes of fame may seem beneficial. However, it is never advisable to begin your public reputation on the wrong foot because a poor first impression can be long lasting. Eventually, after the turbulence settles, it's the reputation that ends up taking the hit, possibly tarnishing it forever.

If you're struggling with brand management and reputation, then you may want to listen to a few words of advice. First, you need to devise tactics that can battle against negative accusations or comments. A wrong way to handle these situations would be to become defensive and deny any wrongdoing because it comes off as unprofessional and immature. Instead, you should take on PR problems with a productive approach. Focus on what you or your brand has done right or positive goals you have for the future, because doing so will shift the story from any poor behavior to your accomplishments and aspirations.

So, even though it may seem that all press is good press, because getting your name in the papers may peak interest and traffic to websites or blogs, in the long run, it can affect your career, along with all those connected with you. The ripple effect will reach a large pool of individuals and corporations that have taken either a personal or professional interest in you. When met with difficult situations or events that can have a negative impact on your reputation, don't focus on the allegations or other negative accusations. Instead, redirect your focus to past or present accomplishments, positive qualities or future goals. Leave a fresh image of optimism in the mind of the public.

Your Reputation Beyond the School Yard

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Our reputations can change at many different points in our lives. Billy, for example, had a reputation of being a difficult child to birth, his mother bragged about his ability to walk at an early age, and eventually he had the reputation among the daycare staff as having the most terrible temperament of all the toddlers.

On the schoolyard Billy was a bully, verbally teasing the other kids. This was a point where he began to have control over his reputation through the words he spoke and his behavior towards others. A change in neighborhoods meant Billy could begin high school with a clean slate. With no one knowing that he was previously a bully, he could rebuild his reputation. Billy had several more opportunities to repair and manage his reputation, like when he started off college, began his career, and joined new communities, along with the times he gained new experiences, and built social and business contacts.

At other moments in time, we no longer have the ability to start over, to have that clean slate; our reputations follow us, they precede us, in good ways or bad. After Billy had been with his company for five years, he had an inappropriate outburst of anger in a confrontation with a co-worker. The situation resulted in Billy’s termination from the company, and unfortunately, when he applied for positions with other companies, tainted his reputation, all due to his own actions and behavior.

    In the earlier scenarios of Billy’s life, his reputation was beyond control. In the later examples, his reputation was corrupted and tarnished due to his own lack of reputation management. In our day-to-day lives, we often receive new opportunities to begin rebuilding our reputation. However, we don’t have this same luxury in online formats. Content can be published, including pictures, videos, or commentary focused on us that is permanent in many ways. Once it is published online, in many instances, it becomes impossible to remove or undo.

Your reputation is perpetuated by your own actions, those you have control over and those you don’t. Your reputation is also determined by both yourself and others. If you have a desire to succeed in your business or personal life, it is necessary to manage your reputation in all arenas.