Managing brand reputation is one of the most important jobs for every business. Whether it’s a local shop or a multinational company, a bad reputation can cost customers. Many business owners think it is mainly PR mistakes which impact on reputation, but that’s not always the case. Certain members of staff could be rude to customers, or a marketing campaign may not sit well with the community.
The effectiveness of a company’s IT department can also have a direct effect on brand reputation. As an internal department, it can be hard to see how. But with so many businesses relying on IT solutions to operate, if something goes wrong it impacts customers.
Here are just some IT fails which could lead to a bad reputation – and never underestimate the power of a bad reputation on sales.
When a business’s data is compromised during a hack, customers will rightly worry about their personal data. They have trusted an organisation to keep their details safe, and they have failed. Companies which suffer from a data breach will also suffer from a hit to their reputation, and will be viewed as untrustworthy. It can take years for a brand reputation to recover, so make sure all networks are encrypted and set up by a professional.
Unresponsive Website/Site Crash
There is nothing worse than trying to buy a product or service online, only for the website to crash and you have to start all over again. Most people won’t bother as it’s too much hassle – and will head straight for your competitors. An efficient and practical website is essential for ecommerce. Make sure it has fast loading times so customers don’t get frustrated. Have a qualified IT team on hand in the event of a site crash, so you’ll be back online in no time.
Slow Customer Service
Customer service is essential for reputation management. The speed and effectiveness with which you handle queries and complaints will either make returning customers or unhappy customers. Slow and ineffective customer service can lead to bad reviews, which will impact upon brand reputation. If an online complaints service goes down, and there is nobody available to answer the phone, it could be a recipe for disaster.
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